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Record-Setter Nashville Retired to Stud at WinStar

Nashville set a six-furlong record of 1:07.89 at Keeneland in 2020.

Nashville at the May 12 WinStar Open House

Nashville at the May 12 WinStar Open House

Anne M. Eberhardt

WinStar Farm held an open house May 12 to introduce breeders to its newest stallion—track record-setting Nashville, a son of prominent stallion Speightstown , who also stands at WinStar.

The open house also showcased grade 1 winners and future WinStar sires Life Is Good and Country Grammer who are being prepared for their return to racing since coming back from Dubai, where Country Grammer won the Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) and Life Is Good was fourth.

Racing by China Horse Club and WinStar, Nashville established one of several stakes records set during the second day of the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Keeneland Nov. 7, 2020, when he won the six-furlong Perryville Stakes on the undercard. He took the field through sizzling opening fractions of :21.54 and :43.87 for the half-mile when he built a six-length advantage. Jockey Ricardo Santana Jr. let off the gas and Nashville glided to a 3 1/2-length win in a record 1:07.89. The performance earned Nashville a 102 Beyer Speed Figure and 117 Equibase Speed Figure. The Perryville's final time was faster than subsequent Eclipse champion sprinter Whitmore's time of 1:08.61 in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) later that day.

"Nashville is the fastest horse we have ever had at WinStar," said Elliott Walden, president, CEO, and racing manager of WinStar. "He is a freak of nature. Three times he went :43 and change; he led through the first quarter in every start and led after a half in all but one start. The brilliance he showed will give him a big chance at stud. Speightstown is always a plus, already having six sons to sire grade 1 winners."

Nashville parades at Open House with Nashville, Country Grammer, and Life Is Good at WinStar in Versailles,, Ky., May 12, 2022.
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Nashville parades at the May 12 WinStar Open House

Nashville was a serious racehorse from the beginning, starting his career undefeated in his first three outings for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. He broke his maiden in dazzling fashion in his career debut with an 11 1/2-length romp in a maiden special weight going 6 1/2 furlongs at Saratoga Race Course. In his debut, he blazed through opening fractions of :21.50, :43.87, and 1:07.92 on his way to closing out with a final time of 1:14.48. Prior to the Perryville, he won a six-furlong allowance race at Keeneland by 9 3/4 lengths.

Later in his 3-year-old year, he finished fourth in the 2020 Runhappy Malibu Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park

This season, Nashville recorded a wire-to-wire victory at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in March where he won by 4 3/4 lengths over six furlongs, covering the distance in 1:08.61, the fastest sprint race of the entire Fair Grounds meet and the fastest time at that distance in more than two years. He concluded his racing career with a 10th-place finish in the April 9 Commonwealth Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.

Speightstown, who was the 2004 Eclipse champion sprinter, is an obvious source of speed for Nashville but the 5-year-old gets additional racing class through his dam Veronique, a Mizzen Mast half sister to multiple stakes winner Almond Roca and graded stakes-placed winner Calistoga. His immediate family also produced 2005 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Giacomo, 2007 Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Tiago, and graded stakes winner and multiple grade 1-placed Stanwyck. Bred in Kentucky by Breffni Farm, Nashville was a $460,000 graduate of the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale where he was acquired by CHC and Maverick Racing out of the Lane's End consignment.

Walden said Country Grammer, a 5-year-old son of Tonalist , will be shipped to California in a few weeks with the plan to have his next race in the TVG Pacific Classic (G1) Sept. 3 at Del Mar. What trainer he'll go to has not been decided yet.

"He is doing outstanding. His time back from the World Cup could not have gone better," he said. "We have not breezed him yet but may breeze hi once or twice before he ships."

Life Is Good at Open House with Nashville, Country Grammer, and Life Is Good at WinStar in Versailles,, Ky., May 12, 2022.
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Life Is Good at the May 12 WinStar Open House

Life Is Good, a 4-year-old son of three-time leading sire Into Mischief , won the Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) last fall and the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) over Horse of the Year Knicks Go  Jan. 29 before being sent to Dubai. He also has fully recovered from his trip to the Middle East, according to Walden.

"He will go to Todd Pletcher next week and point for the Whitney Stakes (G1) and then we'll take it from there," he said. "We hope both of these horses get the chance to meet again in the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1)."