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New York stallion Key Contender retired

SUBURBAN Handicap winner and stakes-producing sire Key Contender has been retired from stud duty in New York. The 24-year-old son of Fit To Fight stood his entire 17-year stud career at Highcliff Farm and will spend retirement at the Old Friends facility in New York.

Stud manager and resident veterinarian C. Lynwood O'Cain said: "My wife Suzie and I were just thrilled that through the collaborative efforts from ourselves with the estate of Mr. Lizza and Flying Zee Stable were able to make this move. Key Contender has beensuch a wonderful stallion to care for during his time at Highcliff. We will visit him regularly and I am happy to take care of his vet work during his lifetime."

Bred by Paul Mellon's Rokeby Stable, Key Contender was purchased by Flying Zee Stable as part of the Mellon dispersal at Belmont Park. In addition to landing the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap for Flying Zee and trainer John Martin, Key Contender was second in five other Graded stakes and retired with earnings of $839,261.

His best progeny included Grade 3 winner Weathered and fellow stakes scorer Ask Queenie.

Highcliff director of stallion marketing Suzie O'Cain added: "JoAnn and Mark Pepper take wonderful care of the horses at Cabin Creek, and until you are in this type of situation you just don't realize how important this facility is to the New York breeding programme."




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