Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
American racing may not have seen the last of Mendelssohn, the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner who returned at age 3 to finish fifth in last weekend’s Classic.
Robyn Murray, head of sales and marketing for Coolmore America, said “at present it is possible” the son of Scat Daddy trains on toward Aqueduct’s Dec. 1 Cigar Mile (G1) and then for Gulfstream Park’s Jan. 26 Pegasus World Cup.
“After that plans are fluid and a decision will be made at a later date,” Murray said.
Going into the Breeders’ Cup, Coolmore listed Mendelssohn on its 2019 list of American stallions for a price to be determined after his racing days were over. He’s no longer on the roster, at least for now.
Both prospective races will represent a cutback in distance for a colt known to cut fast fractions and stick around late. Under jockey Ryan Moore, Mendelssohn opened the Classic by going the quarter mile in 22.68 seconds, the half mile in 46.46 and the mile in 1:35.90, each numbers that would make him more than competitive going around one turn at Aqueduct.
Then, looking forward to the Pegasus, Mendelssohn looms as a major pace threat in what should be a loaded race. Three Breeders’ Cup winners — Accelerate (Classic), Monomoy Girl (Distaff) and City of Light (Dirt Mile) — could line up for what will this year be a $9 million event, complemented by a $7 million turf race on the same card.
Coolmore participated in last year’s Pegasus by entering the mare Stellar Wind. She finished sixth in her career finale and was still able to breed in 2018. Both California Chrome and Gun Runner have proven the Pegasus-to-stud route is attainable, too.
Prior to the Classic, Mendelssohn ran in three other American graded stakes following his ill-fated Kentucky Derby try, finishing third in the Dwyer (G3), second in the Travers (G1) and third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1).