That coat color, and
the gritty way he had of wearing down his competition, week after week after week, also made him a fan favorite, instantly
recognizable to even the most casual racing fan. Former Woodbine race-caller Frank Salive dubbed the gelding “The Grey
Gladiator” and the moniker stuck as Admiral's Express continued to rake in purses. By the time the horse retired (for
the first time) in 2006, he had complied more than $1.6 million in purses and had scored 14 sub-1:50 victories.
Admiral's Express was
honored with a special retirement ceremony at Woodbine, amid much hoopla, but a year and a half later, the gelding, then 12,
was back in harness. Hales maintained he wasn’t content in retirement, and indeed Admiral's Express returned to racing
with all of the gusto he ever had, but many fans were dismayed to see the old champion struggle to remain competitive, despite
a significant drop in class.
He did manage four wins,
from 33 starts, as a 13-year-old, and in January of 2010 Admiral's Express finally retired for good, with earnings of
$1,766,644 and a record of 86 wins, 53 seconds, and 44 thirds in 353 lifetime starts.