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Arthur Blue Chip Retired; To Stud

Published: October 25, 2016 10:32 am ET

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Trot Insider has learned that 2013 O'Brien Award winner Arthur Blue Chip has been retired and will stand at stud in 2017.

Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, Arthur Blue Chip (Shadow Play - Advantest) was a $135,000 Harrisburg yearling buy for Moore's Shadow One stable group -- the most expensive yearling his ownership group has purchased. He paid immediate dividends with a rookie campaign that boasted six wins from 11 starts and more than $400,000 in purse earnings, making him North America's richest freshman colt pacer. That bankroll came despite missing his most lucrative two-year-old event, the Metro Pace. In his Metro elim, he took his freshman mark of 1:51.2 and was the 7/2 second choice going into the $683,000 final.

"He just had a lot of bad luck throughout his career," said Moore. "He won the Metro elim and then everybody was sick the week before all around him and he's not sick and then on Thursday he coughs after I train him. Somebody else might have raced him, I just couldn't do that...I had to scratch him."

Concluding his season with a runner-up finish in the Governor's Cup, Arthur Blue Chip's 6-2-1 summary and class-best bankroll garnered him the O'Brien Award as Canada's best two-year-old. The stage was set for a Grand Circuit campaign at three until an injury in March derailed those plans and forced the colt to miss his entire sophomore season, forcing his career into question.

"He was one of the best horses we've ever owned," admitted Moore. " He had an unfortunate injury in March of his three-year-old year which changed the whole outlook on things, I guess, but that's the horse business."

Arthur Blue Chip returned midway his four-year-old season, winning his initial qualifier before climbing to and conquering the top class on the WEG circuit. He took his mark of 1:50.1f at Pompano, winning multiple Opens as a four- and five-year-old.

With 38 starts under his belt, Arthur Blue Chip retires with a 14-8-3 summary and more than $552,000 in career earnings.

On Monday, Moore bid farewell to Arthur Blue Chip...but not before the pacing stallion had a chance to meet some of his family. Moore purchased the full sister to Arthur Blue Chip, Percy Bluechip at the 2016 Forest City Yearling Sale. She was the sale topper after Moore collared her for $110,000.

Arthur Blue Chip will stand stud for 2017 at Cool Winds Farm in Ohio.

"He's a big, strong, powerful animal with a lot of desire and a will to win," stated Moore. "I have trained quite a few Shadow Plays and he's been the best one, there's no doubt about that. Who knows what might have happened if that injury didn't occur."

Moore spoke to the horse's natural ability and will to win as key traits to his on-track success.

"He was a tremendously-gaited horse, had a beautiful gait to him...wore a 63 or 64-inch hopple and no equipment to speak of. When he was behind the gate he knew what it was all about."

Moore has concentrated his focus on mostly the Ontario Sires Stakes in recent years but recognizes the strength of Ohio's program and is eager to race Arthur Blue Chip's progeny in the Buckeye State.

"The Ohio program has taken right off. The way the program has gone there I will certainly give it a try....it's just amazing how well they've done," said Moore. "They seem to have government people there that are a lot like the people in P.E.I.; they recognize the value of the agricultural component."


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