This morning, I hoped that whatever was keeping Conquest Curlinate out of the Queen’s Plate turned out to be minor. I also noted that there would likely be more information soon, given how good Conquest Stables is about keeping people posted about their horses.
This evening, they shared a bit more news about him.
There hadn’t been time to delve into the severity of the injury before Queen’s Plate injuries were taken this morning, but he sustained a sesamoid injury severe enough to make retirement the best option.
I don’t know any more details than what Conquest Stables posted on Facebook about the incident or about the injury. I’m sure more will surface in time. I don’t know what happened at Woodbine, how the incident occurred, or what exactly went wrong. If it turns out that the incident could have been prevented, I hope to see measures put in place at Woodbine (and everywhere) to make it less likely that this repeats itself.
It still hasn’t sunk in that I’ll never get to see Conquest Curlinate race again.
This hurts. Seeing him in the Illinois Derby earlier this year was one of the most memorable racing moments of the year. As much of a fan as I was of him before the race…in the paddock, I was smitten. He was big, grey, and majestic. Taking my eyes off of him to do paddock observations for the rest of the field was next to impossible.
He was only getting better, too. He followed his strong second in the Illinois Derby up with a second in the Peter Pan (GII), and a second in the Plate Trial. He had yet to win a stakes race, but I thought there was time. He was still so lightly raced, and he already had so much going for him. In terms of race record, he reliably fired with a closing run. In terms of pedigree, the Curlin babies get better with time and experience; they do not tend toward precocity, but rather toward being fun to follow as they age. I was looking forward to following Conquest Curlinate on the track for years to come.
My sentiment from earlier this morning stands: get well soon, Conquest Curlinate. Your connections love you. Your fans love you. I love you.
Have a great time in retirement. Even though you’ll be galloping around a farm instead of a racetrack, I really hope I get to see you again, and maybe even give you a carrot this time.