North Chatham, NY—Johnathan Miller, representing owner Mrs. Magalen Bryant, announced the retirement of Grade 1 Travers Stakes winner V. E. Day. “He is shipping back to the U.S. from France and will take up stud duties next year at Dr. Jerry Bilinski’s Waldorf Farm,” commented Miller. “We are extremely excited to stand the leading North American money earner of a Grade 1 stakes on dirt by English Channel,” added Miller.
V. E. Day provided trainer Jimmy Jerkens with a thrill of a lifetime when he nosed out stablemate Wicked Strong in the Travers Stakes. The $1.25 million Travers Stakes win was remarkable, considering it was only the colt’s third start on dirt. After breaking his maiden in May at Belmont at a mile, V. E. Day followed up with a two length 1 1/8-mile allowance win on Belmont’s inner turf. Moving to Saratoga, he won at the same distance on dirt taking the Curlin Stakes in a dramatic three-horse finish, defeating Protonico and Viva Majorca. V. E. Day’s big score in the “Mid-Summer Derby,” was again a tight finish over a stellar group, defeating Grade 1 Wood Memorial S. winner Wicked Strong, Grade 1 Belmont S. winner Tonalist, graded Stakes winner Kid Cruz, Grade 1 winners Mr. Speaker and Bayern, as well as Grade 1 Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve.
Trainer Jimmy Jerkens recalled his thoughts on his Travers winner. “V. E. Day was a beautiful chestnut colt with a gorgeous shoulder and a stride that covered immense ground. He ascended the three-year-old ranks in early summer in leaps and bounds as was evident by his big wins in the Curlin and Travers. He was absolutely sound and had a mind to match. He will always be one of my favorites.”
At four V. E. Day was second in the Grade 2 Brooklyn Invitational S. by a neck to Coach Inge, and second in the Temperence Hill S., both at Belmont Park. Third in three of four starts at five in France, V. E. Day retires with career earnings of $1,994,460.
Bred by Brad Kelley’s Bluegrass Hall, V. E. Day is out of the Deputy Minister mare California Sunset, dam of five other winners and out of a sister to champion Grass Horse Sunshine Forever. V. E. Day sold at Keeneland September for $105,000 to Bradley Thoroughbreds and was purchased by Chester Stables, agent for $135,000 at the OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training.
V. E. Day will stand for an introductory price of $6,500 in 2017 at Waldorf Farm. For additional information contact Dr. Jerry Bilinski (518) 461-8424.