November 6, 2009 -- The Kentucky-born trotter Mr. Muscleman, a harness-racing winner of $3,582,823, has a new home at the Kentucky Horse Park. He arrived on October 16, and will take up residence in the Hall of Champions along with the other breed ambassadors. The nine-year-old Standardbred was foaled at Brittany Farms in Versailles, Ky.
John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park said, "The Kentucky Horse Park is considered 'hallowed ground' in the Standardbred world, as it was built on the former Walnut Hall Stud. This land has an abiding kinship with the breed, so Mr. Muscleman will retire to pastures that have been the home of legendary horses like Rodney, Rambling Willie, Cam Fella, and currently Western Dreamer and Staying Together. The great Bret Hanover is buried here. Mr. Muscleman is a welcome and worthy addition to that stellar line-up."
Sold for only $2,000 as a yearling at Tattersalls in 2001, Mr. Muscleman became a two-time Breeders Crown champion. In 2007 he represented the United States in the prestigious Elitlopp Trot in Stockholm, Sweden, and finished second and third against an international field. He retired as the richest active trotter and the 10th leading money-earner of all time with 37 wins and $4,032,206. He is one of only two Standardbreds in history to earn $1 million in two non-consecutive seasons (Peace Corps was the first).
"We're very thrilled that he's there," said Adam Victor Jr., who owns Mr. Muscleman with his father. "We had been in discussion with about 20 people for about the past year to try to have him retired to the Horse Park."
Nicholson continued, "Alan Leavitt of Walnut Hall Ltd. also played a significant role in bringing Mr. Muscleman to the park, and we are grateful for his involvement."
Mr. Muscleman began a mini retirement tour of tracks earlier this summer and made an appearance at The Red Mile on Kentucky Futurity Day before he joined the stable at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Mr. Muscleman is the first trotter to retire to the Hall of Champions. Other Standardbred representatives at the park have all been pacers.
Nicholson concluded, "He was a hit with our staff from the moment he walked off the van, and Mr. Muscleman's gentle disposition will quickly make him popular with our guests as well. He stepped right into his role as an ambassador, and he'll be a great representative for the wonderful sport of trotting."