By Jon Lees
USA: The owners of star US sprinter-turned-stallion World Of Trouble have moved to try to restore the standing of their horse in the belief it has been tarnished by association with disgraced former trainer Jason Servis.
World Of Trouble retired at the end of 2019 with a record of nine wins from 13 starts, including two at G1 level – one each on dirt and turf – and a narrow second in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
But, according to Hill ‘N’ Dale Farms president John Sikura, his reputation has been “tainted by a false assumption that his speed, courage and will to win was injected into his veins from a vial”.
“Those traits coursed through World Of Trouble’s veins well before he was ever transferred to his now disgraced trainer,” added Sikura in a statement. “I encourage anyone evaluating World Of Trouble as a stallion prospect to focus on the facts.”
Sikura made the assertion in an open letter to horsemen and women in which he also announced World Of Trouble’s fee was being drastically cut by 50% to $7,500 from an advertised $15,000.
Shortly after saddling Maximum Security to win the inaugural $20 million Saudi Cup in February, Servis was arrested with 18 others and issued with federal charges which allege he was involved in a widespread doping scheme. He has pleaded not guilty.
Kentucky-based Hill ‘N’ Dale is home to a massively successful roster of high-profile stallions such as Curlin, Ghostzapper and turf star Kitten’s Joy. Sikura described World Of Trouble as “one of the most versatile and talented horses we have retired to stud”.
He explained: “Though his trainer is in a world of trouble, I wanted to try and take this opportunity to put things into their proper perspective.”.
World Of Trouble began his career with trainer Kathleen O’Connell and then under Servis finished a neck second to Stormy Liberal at the 2018 Breeders’ Cup. He went unbeaten in 2019, winning the G1 Carter Handicap and Jaipur Invitational.
Sikura added: “I would suggest maturity was responsible for this progression, not performance-enhancing drugs. His improved speed figures on turf are totally attributable to the fact he was an astonishing turf horse with an exceptional turn of foot.”