Pastor Stephen, the full-brother to O'Brien Award finalist Father Patrick and the highest priced yearling of 2013, Custom Fit, has been retired to stud duty.
After winning the Dan Patch Award in the U.S. as top two-year-old trotting colt of 2010, the son of Cantab Hall - Gala Dream had a disappointing sophomore campaign spattered with signs of brilliance. His last race at three came in his elimination of the 2011 Canadian Trotting Classic after winning his Simcoe division the week before in a lifetime best 1:52.4.
Pastor Stephen was diagnosed with a broken coffin bone and shut down for the season, with his future as a racehorse in question. He was sold to Swedish interests and his new owners attempted a comeback with him at age five but the stallion could only muster a second-placed finish from two starts.
His owners, Sweden's Stall Zet, have stated that the demand for breeding to Pastor Stephen in Sweden is so great that they've decided to shut him down. That demand was surely heightened by the success of his brother, Father Patrick.
Trained by Jimmy Takter -- as was Pastor Stephen -- Father Patrick reeled off nine straight wins in 2013 to end the season with 10 wins from 11 starts, losing only once by the margin of a head and establishing himself as the fastest two-year-old colt trotter in harness racing history by virtue of his 1:52.1 win in his Breeders Crown elimination.
Impressed enough by his two full-brothers, Takter shelled out $475,000 for Cantab Hall yearling Custom Fit at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. That final bid was the highest amount paid for a Standardbred yearling in North America for 2013.
Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca