Undrafted is co-owned by NFL wide receiver Wes Welker, who named the horse after his status in the 2004 draft when he was not selected by a team. He started out as a free agent that year for the San Diego Chargers.
During his career, he’s played for several teams including six seasons with the New England Patriots. Widely regarded as one of the best slot receivers ever, he recorded 903 catches, 9,924 yards and 50 touchdowns. He is not playing this season.
Quite possibly Undrafted’s biggest claim to fame was his 2015 victory in the Grade 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Sent off as a14-1 shot, Undrafted and Frankie Dettori gave American trainer Wesley Ward his first Group 1 success in England.
Six-year-old Undrafted may not win the big ones often, but he’s almost always right there picking up big checks. The gelding son of Purim has a record of six wins, three seconds and nine thirds in 27 starts, and a healthy bankroll of almost $1.3 million.
He started out running long but has found his niche sprinting on the grass. He was second in the Twin Spire Turf Sprint Stakes at Churchill in 2014, then notched his first stakes win in the Jaipur Invitational at Belmont in June. He was third in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita.
Last year, he ran fifth in the same Breeders’ Cup event on his home turf at Keeneland. While he’s well-traveled, the gelding doesn’t really care for it. "He's settled in his ways. He's very content and likes to be left alone,” his trainer told The Bloodhorse last year.
“When you bring him to a racetrack where there's a lot commotion and noise, he gets a little mentally shook,” Ward said. “He's like the country boy coming to the city. Wherever he runs, whether in the States or abroad, I try to time it so it's right on top of the race so he doesn't fall apart and then get him right back home.”
This year he won the Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland in the spring, and was sixth in the Woodford at his home track Oct. 8 in his final Breeders’ Cup prep.