BC Dirt Mile winner Battle of Midway retired to stud at WinStar

Battle of Midway, winner of the 2017 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, has been retired from racing, and will stand the 2018 breeding season at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky. for an advertised fee of $20,000.

The 3-year-old son of Smart Strike finished his on-track career with 5 wins in 10 starts and earnings of $1,249,949. He made his farewell with a half-length victory in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar, adding to a resume that also featured wins in the Grade 3 Affirmed Stakes and listed Shared Belief Stakes. Additionally, he finished third in the 2017 Kentucky Derby and second in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby.

"We are extremely proud of Battle of Midway and the tremendous performance he put forth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, passing such a fast horse as Sharp Azteca and doing so in such a fast time," said WinStar president Elliott Walden. "It was an incredible race that affirmed the ability we always knew he had."

"Battle of Midway came out of the race in great shape, and it was a very bittersweet decision to make with our partners Don Alberto to retire this horse to stud," Walden continued. "Ultimately, we both partnered on him in the first place because we thought he could be the last great son of Smart Strike to carry on that line at stud, so we are sticking to that plan. WinStar and Don Alberto are very committed to supporting Battle of Midway with world-class mares, because we both believe he possesses the pedigree, looks, conformation, and elite miler speed to become a very important sire."

Bred in Kentucky by Thor-Bred Stables, Battle of Midway is the first starter out of the Grade 1-winning Concerto mare Rigoletta. His extended family includes champion Musical Romance and Grade 3 winners Nome and Gourmet Dinner.

"Battle of Midway improved all year to culminate in one of the most exciting Breeders' Cup races on the entire weekend," said Carlos Heller of Don Alberto. "We have assembled a very nice broodmare band and will support Battle of Midway with quality mares to give him the best chance of becoming the next great son of Smart Strike."