Regal Ransom remembered

A look back on the life of Darley stallion Regal Ransom
Regal Ransom at Jonabell Farm

Nine-year-old Darley stallion Regal Ransom died on December 29th following complications from colic.  A multiple graded Stakes-winning son of Champion sire Distorted Humor, Regal Ransom was out of the Red Ransom mare Kelli’s Ransom, making him a half-brother to  Devil May Care, three-time G1 winner of the Mother Goose Stakes, Coaching Club American Oaks Stakes and the Mother Goose Stakes.  Bred in Kentucky by Diamond A Racing Corporation, he was purchased by John Ferguson on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed for $675,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale of two-year-olds in training in 2008. 

Regal Ransom began his career at Saratoga in August of his two-year-old year, racing in the Darley silks for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.  He broke his maiden on debut in wire-to-wire fashion, earning an impressive 93 Beyer Speed Figure.  In his only other start at two, he finished eighth behind Street Hero and Midshipman in the G1 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita.

Sheikh Mohammed with Regal Ransom after UAE Derby

Ahead of his sophomore campaign, he was transferred to Godolphin and sent to trainer Saeed bin Suroor in Dubai, where he finished second to Desert Party in consecutive starts at Nad Al Sheba, including the G3 UAE 2000 Guineas, before turning the tables on that foe in the G2 UAE Derby.  This victory punched his ticket to the 2009 Kentucky Derby, where he split the field behind Mine That Bird's upset victory after pressing the pace through the first mile.  He returned to the races in September after a four-month layoff to score his signature win over future Champion Blame in the G2 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs, for which he earned a career-high 110 Beyer, one of the highest numbers for a three-year-old that year.  He finished out his three-year-old season with an eighth place finish behind Zenyatta in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita.  

He went on to race four times as a four-year-old, winning a nine-furlong allowance at Saratoga and finishing fourth in the G2 Suburban Handicap at Belmont.  He then ran four more times as a five-year-old in 2011, including a nose defeat in the G3 Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs to First Dude on Kentucky Derby day.  He finished his career with four wins from sixteen starts and earnings of $1,894,835.

Regal Ransom was retired to stud at Darley’s Jonabell Farm in Kentucky in 2012 and spent four breeding seasons at Jonabell before his untimely death last month.  From his first crop of runners, who are three-year-olds of 2016, he has had nine winners from 18 starters so far, including Black Type performers Freaky Kiki and Lemnos.

Regal Ransom has been buried at Jonabell Farm.

For another trip down memory lane, relive the best moments of our past stallions in our Hall of Fame.