Ocala Jockey Club

Irish Surf, son of champion Surfside and runaway gate-to-wire winner by 8 lengths in the 2014 running of the G3 Cougar II H. at Del Mar, has been retired from racing because of a tendon injury discovered after a routine breeze on Dec 31. His owners, Erik and Pavla Nygaard of Thor-Bred Stables LLC, plan to stand him at stud at their Ocala Jockey Club farm in Reddick, Florida.

“He loved training and racing. We felt that he was good enough to have a G1 in him. In January 2015, he fractured his tuber coxae after getting cast in a stall. We took the time it took to rehabilitate him at our Ocala farm to excellent form, and looked forward to a successful return to racing. After his return to racing in the spring, he was found to have white line disease that took time to resolve, worked well towards a come back, but unfortunately came up with a tendon injury out of his last work before his intended next outing. While we regret that his racing comeback didn’t work out as we hoped, we don’t regret giving him the rehabilitation time and the chance to return. Given his talent and breeding, we are excited to now stand him at stud. We feel that Florida is an excellent location for him to start his stud career. Florida has plenty of mares with speed and runners’ pedigrees that will balance well with his classic bloodlines.”

Dan Hendricks, who trained Irish Surf throughout his career, along with bloodstock agent Marette Farrell, identified Irish Surf as a racing prospect in Niall Brennan’s consignment at the 2012 OBS April 2-year old sale. Thor-Bred Stables purchased a majority interest in him from Gainesway. Irish Surf raced in Thor-Bred Stables’ silks, under a partnership between Gainesway and Thor-Bred Stables LLC. Aside from his impressive Cougar II win which earned him a 106 Beyer, Irish Surf also placed 2nd in the 2014 GII Las Vegas Marathon on the Santa Anita main track, and ran 5th in the 2014 G1 Pacific Classic. He retires with $278,945 in earnings.

Thor-Bred Stables has established itself as a breeder focusing on quality from a small broodmare band, comprised largely of broodmares retired from its racing program, such as 2010 Oak Leaf S. G1W Rigoletta. Thor-Bred Stables’ notable breeding program graduates include 2017 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Battle of Midway, G1W Klimt and G3W Ocean Knight. Retiring Irish Surf is in line with the program focusing on value and creative breeding. About Irish Surf, Marette Farrell says, “He is a Graded Stakes winner by sire of sires Giants Causeway and his first two dams were multiple G1 winning 2 year olds from European champion 2 year old Air Force Blue’s family. This is one of the best pedigrees in the Stud book, and he is gorgeous. What’s not to like!”

The OJC facility, with its rolling hills and showcase old-growth Spanish-moss-laden oak trees, with rich history of standing stallions in its past, is a crown jewel in the horse country of Ocala, Florida. About 200 acres of the 950-acre Ocala Jockey Club property serve as a Thoroughbred training farm, and the facility also includes townhouses and an iconic 9,700 square-foot clubhouse, a unique venue for weddings, event hospitality, meetings and other special events. For more information on the Ocala Jockey Club, visit www.ocalajc.com.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - January 19, 2018