2017 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Winner El Deal Retired

El Deal retires
El Deal retires from competitive racing

Despite some strong runs late in the season, El Deal has been retired by his connections with no definitive plans for the immediate future. “We have not finalized any plans as of yet, but I am weighing all options for his future,”  owner Michelle Crawford said. “In the meantime, immediate plans include shipping him to Hidden Brook Farm near Paris, Ky., for that team to field additional inquiries and potential stud opportunities.”

Bred by Martha Buckner, El Deal was purchased as a yearling for $57,000 by Al and Michelle Crawford. “We had a great ride with El Deal,” owner Michelle Crawford said in a release. “Taking on and beating the best sprinters of his generation in such dramatic style at Saratoga was a testament to his sheer brilliance and the thrill of a lifetime for us.  We’ve have had a few farms looking into his availability as a stallion and he has certainly earned that opportunity.”

Cracking his maiden in late 2014 as a two-year-old, El Deal would go on to win a slew of lower level allowances as he slowly progressed towards stakes competition. However, the decision was made to upgrade El Deal to the graded stakes level this year. He finished 4th in the 2017 Mr. Prospector and then scored in the 2017 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap as a 7/2 favorite.

Most recently, El Deal competed in the 2017 Vosburgh Invitational at lost out as a 6/5 preference to Takaful, who was listed at 5/1 as the third choice. Even with a second place finish, the Crawford’s didn’t see reason to continue the five-year-old’s competitive career as his training leading in to the world championships at Del Mar didn’t warrant an entry. He was intended for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, but never made the trip. That race was won by Roy H.

The Crawfords are a small operation in a relative terms, and there’s no doubt that El Deal has been their biggest producer to date. El Deal retires with a respectable record of 9-3-1 over 17 starts with $575,025 in career earnings.

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