10/02/2003 11:00PM

Ankle injury forces Mineshaft retirement

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Mineshaft, the leading contender for Horse of the Year and likely favorite for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic, has been retired with an ankle injury. The announcement was made by trainer Neil Howard at a 2:00 (EDT) teleconference from Churchill Downs on Friday afternoon.

Howard said that Mineshaft had developed a chip in his right front ankle following his win in the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap, and that the chip had recently become displaced forcing the horse's retirement. Mineshaft's veterinarian, Foster Northrop, also disclosed that Mineshaft also has new chips developing in his right front knee and his left front ankle.

Mineshaft's injuries will not require surgery. He will enter stud duty in 2004 at a fee of $100,000.