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Evening Attire wins the Grade 3 Queens County at Aqueduct, Edgar Prado up.  December 8, 2007.  Photo credit NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Evening Attire wins the Grade 3 Queens County at Aqueduct, Edgar Prado up.  December 8, 2007.  Photo credit NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Evening Attire is a stunning grey gelding born February 14th, 1998 (Black Tie Affair – Concolour, by Our Native). Evening Attire is the son of 1991 Eclipse Award for Horse of the year winner Black Tie Affair.  Although born in Kentucky, Evening is best known for his career on the New York racing circuit. Evening had 69 starts in his career with 15 firsts, 16 seconds, 9 thirds and earnings of $2,977,130. Having last raced in 2008, Evening Attire has been retired here to beautiful Akindale Farm since 2008.  Akindale is lucky to have such an honored champion as its program ambassador.

As a gelding, Evening Attire raced until the age of ten. Out of the successful Mr. Prospector line, he raced well off the pace, often closing with a dramatic finish. As a two- and three-year-old, Evening Attire came off of five straight defeats in allowance company to win back-to-back stakes races against top-class horses. But, in 2002, he earned the most important win of his long career, the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Evening Attire on the day of his official retirement at Belmont Park, September 2008. Photo credit Teresa Genaro

Evening Attire on the day of his official retirement at Belmont Park, September 2008. Photo credit Teresa Genaro

Evening won a race at all three New York tracks, a total of 15 wins in all, nine of them stakes, including the Queens County Handicap and the Saratoga Breeders’ Cup Handicap, twice. On September 28, 2008, his owners and trainer announced that Evening Attire would retire due to a suspensory injury.

His trainer, Pat Kelly, said, “He was one of a kind. He had to be castrated early on because he couldn’t break from the gate. Still to this day, he didn’t break like any other racehorse. But at the final end when it counted, from the quarter pole to the wire, he always put in his run. I’ve never seen him back down once. He might have finished second, third, fourth, or fifth, but he was already running at the end, where the best part of a racehorse manifests itself. We’re all going to miss him.”

On October 25, 2008, Evening Attire was brought to Belmont Park one last time. He was walked around the paddock, and a celebration was held in the Belmont Park winner's circle. 

Aqueduct Race Track has renamed its Aqueduct Handicap the "Evening Attire Stakes" in his honor with the first race taking place January 17, 2009.

Evening's next stop was Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue.

Photo credit  Leon Steele

Photo credit Leon Steele

Evening Attire has taken to retirement with zeal!  Apparently, Evening wasn’t quite ready to hang up his running shoes the first few times he gave retirement a whirl but he has sure found his inner “lazy boy” at Akindale!  Within his first few days on the farm, he discovered his BFF “Remington” and they never looked back. A few years later, Evening’s half-brother Tactitioner joined the pack and this threesome is inseperable!  It’s hard for us to believe this is the same horse who earned $3MM  running over 8 years…  because he practically has to be coaxed to get up from his afternoon siesta to come inside for a meal.  He has however, taken the award (beating HUNDREDS of horses at Akindale) for the best disguise.  He has an uncanny ability to transform himself from a snow white gentleman to a dark muddy bay with no signs of white anywhere.  Evening can sniff out a mud puddle like no-other and manages to roll on every square inch of his 17+ hands until he and his bay friend Remington are practically twins.  Yes, he is indeed enjoying retirement! 

Evening has had visitors from near and far and he sure does put on a show for them.  He will put his nose right into your pocket in search of the almighty peppermint and God forbid you show up empty-handed…  well let’s just say … don’t!  He lets everyone know he is king of the hill and demands respect… in the form of treats.  As for his “people”, he is great with everyone but he just loves Erin Pfister, Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue’s Manager.  Perhaps he’s smart enough to know that she runs the show and being teachers’ pet is the way to get what he wants, but he screams when he sees her car or hears her voice -- his adoration of her is palpable.  We were warned when Evening first arrived that he wasn’t the warm and fuzzy type.  Yet, in her final months of pregnancy, he would all but cuddle with Erin in his new stall, letting her curry, pick feet, pull his mane, anything she wanted.   Sucker perhaps, but the feeling is definitely mutual and while Erin never plays favorites among her current herd of 140 equine friends… she rarely misses a day without spending time with Evening.  Anyone who has witnessed the bond between Evening and Erin is understandably touched. 

Evening Attire will spend the rest of his years at Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue, as our program ambassador. We held our first Annual “Black Tie Affair” in honor of Evening’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, February 2013. We plan to make this a yearly celebration of the amazing career and spirit of an exceptional racehorse and our dear friend, Evening Attire.