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Evening Attire


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Evening Attire


Pedigree: Black Tie Affair - Concolour ( Our Native)

Owner: Joseph & Mary Grant, Thomas J. Kelly

Trainer: Tim Kelly, Pat Kelly


Race Record: 69: 15-16-9

Earnings: $2,977,130

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Evening Attire raced from 2001-2008. He won multiple Grade 1 Stakes including the Jockey Club Gold Cup & The Whitney Handicap. He ran in 18 Graded Stakes ( GR. 1,2 & 3)  races, where he went up against the likes of Medaglia d'Oro, Funny Cide and Mineshaft.

Bred by Joseph M. Grant and Hall of Famer Thomas J. Kelly, and owned by Kelly along with his long time clients Joe and Mary Grant, he was first trained by Tommy's son Tim Kelly, but when Tim retired, was taken over by another of Tommy's sons, Pat Kelly. The first time Tommy Kelly watched him breeze, he said, "That's a special horse. He'll be a stakes winner." He's also said, "I can't put it into words what's it's been like owning and breeding a horse like Evening Attire. After some of his races, I went home and cried. How lucky can one person get?"

Kelly purchased Evening Attire's dam, Concolor, from Doe Run Farm, one of his former clients. He invited Joe Grant, an old friend, to become a 50/50 partner in her off-spring. Because of a back problem as well as a heart problem, he hasn't been to many of Evening Attire's races, but he never misses them on television.

A dappled gray, Evening Attire is now a hard-knocking veteran, and a of his testicles was immature and stuck in the canal. Said Pat Kelly, "It had been bugging him, so they wound up gelding him. The poor guy had to have two surgeries over the winter." 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 closed dramatically, and became a well loved grand old man of racing.

As a two-and-three-year-old, Evening Attire came off five straight defeats in allowance company to suddenly win back-to-back stakes against top-class horses. In 2002 he earned his most important win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup

Things aren't quite like that now, but Pat Kelly never lost faith in Evening Attire...even though the trainer conceded the classy 10-year-old was "a little slower, but not a lot slower than he used to be. He's prolonged his career without needing a whole lot of down time."

Evening Attire continued racing into 2008,on July 19, 2008, in his first win outside the state of New York, Evening Attire won the Greenwood Cup Stakes at Philadelphia Park Racetrack by 8 1/4-lengths and broke the 16-year-old track record while doing so. The previous track record for 1 1/2 miles was set on January 4, 1992 by Laugh a Minute: 2:31 flat. Evening Attire did it in 2:29.90

On September 28, 2008 his owners and trainer announced that Evening Attire would retire due to a suspensory injury.

His trainer, Tommy 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 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.”

Evening Attire is still at Belmont Park waiting for Evening Attire Appreciation Day on Oct. 25th. Then he will be going to Akindale Farm in Pawling, NY, the farm of the late horse advocate, John Hettinger. It is a rescue and retirement farm on 1,000 acres. For more information about Evening Attire, visit