Four-year-old Visionaire, who rolled home to a 2 ¼-length victory last summer in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes at Saratoga, has been retired from racing, it was announced by trainer Michael Matz.
“Visionaire most likely suffered a knee chip in the King’s Bishop,” said Matz. “His next two races were unlike him. Surgery was performed by Dr. Larry Bramlage last fall, but he has not trained to our satisfaction, so the owners have decided to retire him, rather than blemish his racing record.”
The chestnut son of Grand Slam won 5 of his 12 starts for Matz, earning $465,882. His most notable victory came in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes, in which he ran 7 furlongs at Saratoga in 1:21 4/5. The King’s Bishop is considered by breeders to be an outstanding credential for a colt entering stud.
Visionaire indicated partiality to the Saratoga track with an easy allowance win over older runners when prepping for the King’s Bishop and in the Grade 1 he electrified onlookers by going from last to first in a furlong to gain command and win drawing away under Alan Garcia.
Earlier in the spring, Visionaire scored a memorable, if not fully visible, victory when he emerged from the fog to run down Texas Wildcatter for a dramatic victory in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes around two turns at Aqueduct.
Visionaire additionally placed in the Grade 3 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds and the Grade 3 Northern Dancer Stakes at Churchill Downs for his owners Vision Racing and Team Valor International.
Bred in Kentucky by Reiley McDonald, Visionaire is by Ashford Stud stallion Grand Slam out of French Deputy mare Scarlet Tango, a half-sister to $274,144-earner and stakes winner Dale’s Prospect, who was foaled by $473,242-earner and 10-time stakes winner Silver Tango.
No plans have been formulated for Visionaire’s stud career. Visionaire is being sent to the Paragon Farm of Vision Racing partners Brandon and Diannah Perry in Lexington, Kentucky so that he can be inspected by prospective buyers.