Thu, 10/08/2020 - 16:00

Grade 1 winning millionaire Gift Box has been retired from racing and will begin his new career as a stallion at Lane’s End starting in 2021. The colt retires as a Grade-1 and three-time graded stakes winner with a record of 18-6-6-2 from the ages of two to six. In 2019, Gift Box was among the leading older horses in America after a string of graded stakes performances that included a Grade 1 victory in the Santa Anita Handicap. He retires as the highest earning colt by his leading sixth-crop sire Twirling Candy. He will join his sire, along with his grandsire Candy Ride, who both also stand at Lane’s End.

“Gift Box was an incredibly talented and consistent racehorse,” said John Sadler. “We ran him back-to-back in graded stakes race after graded stakes race and he was only ever off the board once. These are attributes you do not often see in the modern racehorse. He had speed, toughness, sound enough to race on in the handicap division, everything a trainer wants in a two-turn dirt horse.”

As a two-year-old Gift Box broke his maiden at Belmont posting a 93 Beyer before targeting the Grade 2 Remsen Stakes in his next start, where he was beaten by just 3 lengths into third. In doing so, he became a graded stakes performer in just his third start as a two-year-old. Gift Box opened his three-year-old campaign with a victory in a competitive allowance race at Belmont by 4 ½ lengths, posting a 98 Beyer. His next start that year came in the Curlin Stakes where he was defeated by subsequent Grade 1 winner Connect. Just a month later he finished fourth in the Grade 1 Travers at Saratoga to Champion Arrogate, defeating Grade 1 winners Connect, Creator and Exaggerator.

“Gift Box represents so much of what we’re about at Lane’s End. A Grade 1 winner at a mile and a quarter on the dirt, speed, out of a tremendous mare from a sire line we believe in,” said Bill Farish. “That’s what we’ve been successful with and I’m appreciative of the opportunity Hronis Racing has given us.”

Gift Box’s career hit new heights as an older horse when he got a much-deserved graded stakes victory in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes at Santa Anita defeating Grade 1 winner Battle of Midway. This race was the first of four further graded stakes starts that only saw Gift Box off the board once. His next start came in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap where he defeated four-time Grade 1 winner McKinzie. In his next start he finished second in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita, posting a 105 Beyer before winning the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes in his final start by almost 4 lengths, posting a career high 107 Beyer. Gift Box posted four triple-digit Beyers in a career that saw three graded stakes victories.

“Gift Box was always involved in races of the highest level and as owners we could not ask any more than that,” said Kosta Hronis. “John [Sadler] always had a tremendous amount of confidence in him, and time and time again Gift Box proved him right. We are going to stay involved in his next career as a stallion at Lane’s End, where they have a proven track record of nurturing a young stallion’s career.”

Bred by Craig and Carrie Brogden of Machmer Hall, Gift Box was a $135,000 Keeneland November purchase. He is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Special Me. His pedigree is free of Storm Cat and A.P. Indy which will be appealing to breeders as both have been a proven success with Candy Ride and Twirling Candy, producing the likes of Grade 1 winner Collusion Illusion.

Gift Box will be syndicated and available for inspection in the coming weeks at Lane’s End Farm and a stud fee will be determined.