02/13/2013 3:52PM

Aqueduct: Oft-injured Sean Avery retired

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Barbara D. Livingston
Sean Avery developed a chronic problem that caused him to bleed in his last three races.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Sean Avery, the gelding who returned from a bowed tendon to win a Grade 1 stakes at Saratoga, has been retired from racing, his connections said Wednesday.

Sean Avery, named after the former National Hockey League player, will reside at Old Friends, a Thoroughbred retirement facility, in Georgetown, Ky., according to John DeStefano, the racing manager for Black Swan Stable, which owns Sean Avery.

Sean Avery, a son of Cherokee Run, was trained for most of his career by Allen Iwinski though in 2009 he was conditioned by Mike Hushion.

In a career that began in 2008, Sean Avery, bred by Darley Stable and purchased at auction for $30,000, won 7 of 14 starts and earned $398,640. Before he made it to the races, Sean Avery needed a chip removed from an ankle. Following his career debut at Saratoga, in which he finished third, Sean Avery sustained a fractured knee and was off for 13 months.

Following the 2009 Fall Highweight, in which he finished sixth, Sean Avery was diagnosed with a bowed tendon in his right foreleg. Few horses come back from that type of injury to be stakes caliber, yet alone win a Grade 1.

But in 2011, Sean Avery won 4 of 5 starts, including the Longfellow Stakes at Monmouth Pak and the Grade 1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at Saratoga by a nose over Trappe Shot.

Unfortunately, Sean Avery sustained a second bowed tendon and while he did return last fall to win an overnight stakes at Belmont Park, he developed a bleeding problem that compromised the rest of his career.

According to DeStefano, Sean Avery bled after running fifth in the Grade 1 Vosburgh at Belmont last September and again in the Frank De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel last October in which he finished eighth. He also bled after running last in an optional claimer Feb. 6 at Gulfstream Park.

In addition to bleeding, Sean Avery’s tendon had some heat in it, according to DeStefano, and the decision was made to retire him.

DeStefano said that Sean Avery is currently at Lynne Boutte’s farm in Ocala and will soon be vanned to Old Friends.

“It was a great ride,” DeStefano said. “He gave us one of the most exciting moments Black Swan has ever had and gave Allen his first Grade 1 win.”