Colonel Liam wins the 2022 Pegasus World Cup Turf, marking his second straight win in the race
Colonel Liam’s bid for a third consecutive victory in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes will not come to be, after the horse was retired on Thursday, BloodHorse and Thoroughbred Daily News report. He will begin his stallion at Ocala Stud for the 2023 breeding season.
The 6-year-old son of Liam’s Map finished his career with seven wins in 12 starts for earnings of $1,812,565, racing for owners Robert and Lawana Low and trainer Todd Pletcher.
Colonel Liam would have been among the favorites for this year’s Pegasus World Cup Turf, which is set to take place Jan. 22 at Gulfstream Park.
“Colonel Liam took our whole family on quite a ride over a four-year period,” Robert Low told Thoroughbred Daily News. “Ocala Stud has a proven track record of developing young stallions into some of the most formidable stallions in the business and we are excited to be sending Colonel Liam to them. We love the family aspect of Ocala Stud. Their integrity and horsemanship set them apart.”
A $1.2-million purchase by the Lows at the 2019 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. Spring 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, Colonel Liam won on debut as a 3-year-old at Gulfstream Park, and he earned his first stakes score at the end of that season, when he took the listed Tropical Park Derby at the same track.
Colonel Liam’s Tropical Park Derby score led into his first of two Pegasus World Cup Turf scores to begin his 2021 campaign, besting Largent by a neck at the wire. That race kicked off a run of three victories to start the year, also including the G2 Muniz Memorial Stakes at the Fair Grounds and the G1 Turf Classic Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Colonel Liam premiered in 2022 with another victory in the Pegasus World Cup Turf, this time establishing command earlier in the stretch and drawing off to win by one length.
The horse’s final start came in the G2 Fort Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 31, where he finished a non-threatening sixth. Jacob West, racing manager for the Lows, said that a conversation with Pletcher after that race ultimately steered the decision to retire the horse to stud.
“He has given us so much and if he was not going to have a top campaign, then (racing) made no sense,” West told BloodHorse. “The Lows always do what’s best for the horse.”
Colonel Liam will stand his debut season for an advertised fee of $6,500, and West told BloodHorse that the Lows will be supporting him with mares at stud, and with bids at auction when their foals reach the ring.