Champion sire and world record breaker Elusive Quality has been retired from stud duties at Sheikh Mohammed’s Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.
Campaigned by Sheikh Mohammed, the 24-year-old took up residence at Gainsborough Farm in Versailles, Kentucky, in 1999, as the second stallion to stand for Sheikh Mohammed in America. Quiet American was the first. Gainsborough was then owned by Sheikh Mohammed’s eldest brother, Sheikh Maktoum, but upon his passing in 2006, Elusive Quality was relocated to Jonabell the following year, along with Quiet American.
Dan Pride, COO of Godolphin in America, said, “Elusive Quality has had two great careers but it’s the right time for him just to relax and take it easy here at Jonabell. But given the success of his current sons at stud, along with the production from his daughters, his will certainly be a legacy that will last for quite some time.”
Although he didn’t win a G1 during his racing career, the son of Gone West did put up several impressive high-level performances.
Tremendous early success
As a 4-year-old, he broke the track record at Gulfstream Park, going seven panels in 1:20, and then, in just his second career start on the turf, he broke the world record for a mile in the G3 Poker Handicap on the grass, travelling over Belmont’s turf course in 1:31.63 seconds. He won seven other races, including a victory in the G3 Jaipur Stakes, and was also stakes-placed in the G2 King’s Bishop Stakes and the G2 Tom Fool Handicap.
He retired to Gainsborough at a fee of just $10,000 in 1999, but it didn’t remain at that level very long given the tremendous early success he achieved as a sire.
His very first crop produced 11 black-type winners, including French G1 winner and champion Elusive City. Foals from his second crop included G1 Kentucky Derby winner, G1 Preakness winner and Eclipse Award winner Smarty Jones, as well as G1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint winner and Eclipse champion Maryfield.
In 2003, his fee rose to $30,000, then to $50,000 in 2004 and reached its highest mark from 2005 through 2007, when it was $100,000.
His other top Northern Hemisphere performers include Darley European stallion Raven’s Pass, British champion miler and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2008; Quality Road, four-time G1 winner and young successful sire whose Abel Tasman captured this year’s G1 Kentucky Oaks; plus multiple champion Elusive Kate and fellow champion Certify.
He shuttled to Australia from 2003-08 and was represented by multiple champion and now successful young Darley sire Sepoy, plus G1 winner Camarilla. From 2009-11, he travelled to Brazil, where he sired champions Sai De Baixo and Ana Luisa along with G1 winners Colorado Girl, Avenger Of Light, Last Kiss, Bonaparte and Birkin Bag.
Pride aded, “Smarty Jones. Raven’s Pass. Sepoy. Quality Road. He was the type of sire that could get you any kind of horse - dirt, turf, synthetic, and they could go short, middle or long. He truly was a very special and versatile sire.”
Elusive Quality has sired a total of 241 worldwide stakes horses to date, 127 black-type winners and 51 Graded or Group winners, 14 of those at G1 level.
As a broodmare sire, he is represented by 61 black-type winners, with five winning at the highest level, including G1 Alcibiades winner Gomo and Darley Prix Morny winner No Nay Never. His 61st came just this week when Godolphin’s Sound And Silence (Exceed And Excel) captured the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.