09/22/2004 11:00PM

Adoration's career ends with injury


Adoration, the upset winner of the 2003 Breeders' Cup Distaff, has been retired after emerging from a workout at Hollywood Park on Wednesday with an ankle injury.

Owned by John and Jerry Amerman, Adoration was being pointed for a return engagement in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Lone Star Park on Oct. 30.

Trainer David Hofmans said the injury will not require surgery. Considering that Adoration is 5 and would have been retired at the end of this season, the decision was made to end her racing career, Hofmans said.

Adoration will be sent to Kentucky to be bred later this year, but no decision has been reached on a mating.

Purchased for $40,000 at the 2000 Keeneland September yearling sale, Adoration won 8 of 20 starts and $2,051,160.

Her career began in February 2002 and included seven stakes victories over three years. Her 3-year-old campaign in 2002 was highlighted by victories in the Grade 2 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks and Grade 3 Senorita Stakes.

At 4 last year, she won two stakes, the Piedra Foundation Handicap at Del Mar and the Breeders' Cup Distaff, pulling a front-running upset at 40-1 to win by 4 1/2 lengths.

After finishing second in the Bayakoa Handicap in December 2003 and fourth in the Santa Maria Handicap in her 2004 debut in February, Adoration rebounded to win the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita in March.

"The Santa Margarita was so satisfying for me," Hofmans said. "She came back and won another Grade 1."

Adoration won her final two starts. After finishing second to Victory Encounter in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park in May, she won the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis Handicap at Churchill Downs in June and her final start in the Grade 3 Arlington Matron Handicap at Arlington Park on Sept. 4.

The injury occurred as she was being prepared for a start in the Spinster Stakes at Keeneland next month.

"She was doing so well, too," Hofmans said. "She was coming up to the Breeders' Cup just right."

John Amerman said Adoration will go to his family's Southern California farm before being sent to Kentucky.

"You've always got to be ready for a few surprises," he said. "She's been super-sound throughout her career. It was nice to get over $2 million. It sounds better than 1.9 million and change."