LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Cloudy's Knight has been retired after an old injury flared up, ending a terrific racing career in which the 10-year-old gelding earned more than $2.5 million, was voted a champion in Canada, and barely missed winning a Breeders' Cup event.
"We finally made the decision that the time has come," said Jonathan Sheppard, the Hall of Fame trainer who scratched Cloudy's Knight from Thursday's Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland. "We tried to bring him back, but the leg flared up again. We went as far as we could with him."
Bred and owned by Shirley and Jerrold Schwartz, Cloudy's Knight won 14 of 42 starts and earned $2,547,835 while being named the Sovereign Award winner for older turf male in Canada in 2007, when he won the Grade 1 Canadian International. Most of the gelding's career was spent in Chicago with trainer Frank Kirby. After incurring an injury following his final start of 2008, Cloudy's Knight ran the last six races of his career for Sheppard, winning four, all stakes, while also finishing second by a nose in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Marathon at Santa Anita.
While training toward the Elkhorn Stakes last spring at Keeneland, Cloudy's Knight injured a suspensory, and although he was able to make one more start when finishing second in the Sept. 11 Kentucky Cup Turf, he tweaked the injury in recent weeks. Sheppard had hoped to give the horse a final work Monday at Keeneland for the Sycamore, but that was scrapped after Cloudy's Knight returned from a strenuous Sunday gallop in less than ideal shape, according to Sheppard.
"It just wasn't reasonable to keep going with him, although we tried all we could," said Sheppard. "He's been a trouper, and we've really enjoyed having him. Now he gets to enjoy his retirement."
Among the other highlights of his career were victories in the 2007 Fair Grounds Breeders' Cup, the 2007 Sky Classic at Woodbine, the 2009 Kentucky Cup Turf at Kentucky Downs off a one-year layoff, and the 2009 W.L. McKnight Handicap at Calder.
Cloudy's Knight, by Lord Avie, was bred in Kentucky.