05/16/2006 11:00PM

A Bit O'Gold's race days end

Michael Burns Photo Ltd.
A Bit O'Gold won 10 of 18 races.

A Bit O'Gold, Canada's Horse of the Year, champion older male, and champion turf male in 2005, will not be returning to the races.

"Due to general wear and tear, we've decided to retire him," said trainer Catherine Day Phillips, who along with her husband, Todd Phillips, is a partner in The Two Bit Racing Stable that owns A Bit O'Gold. "He's been very, very good to us for three years, and we think he deserves a dignified retirement.

"We had discussed some time ago that he would be retired to our farm."

, an Ontario-bred 5-year-old gelding, won 10 of 18 starts, including stakes in each of his three campaigns, finishing in the money 15 times and earning $1,888,155.

Victorious in Woodbine's 1 1/8-mile Cup and Saucer at 2, A Bit O'Gold won the 1 1/8-mile Plate Trial the following spring but ended second as the favorite in the Queen's Plate.

A Bit O'Gold then went on to sweep the final two legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, Fort Erie's Prince of Wales and Woodbine's Breeders' over 1 1/2 miles on turf. He also won the Ontario Derby and was named Canada's champion 3-year-old male.

Adding to his laurels last year, A Bit O'Gold won the Grade 3 Dominion Day over 1 1/4 miles and the Grade 2 Chinese Cultural Centre and Grade 3 Sky Classic, both at 1 3/8 mile grass races.

A Bit O'Gold made what has turned out to be the final start of his career in Belmont's Breeders' Cup Classic, where he finished last of 13. After wintering in Florida, A Bit O'Gold returned to Woodbine and had been scheduled to be back at the races this summer.