Updated on 09/17/2011 10:07AM

Composure retired after injury


ARCADIA, Calif. - Composure, the top 3-year-old filly in California this year, has been retired because of a cracked sesamoid in her right foreleg, trainer Bob Baffert said on Wednesday.

The injury ends a career that showed considerable promise.

won two Grade 1 races at this meeting - the Las Virgenes Stakes and Santa Anita Oaks - and was considered a leading candidate for the Kentucky Oaks in May. The injury was diagnosed earlier this week, Baffert said.

"She was a little off, and we had it X-rayed," he said. "It's the start of a crack. They take six to eight months to heal, and we thought we'd miss everything.

"She was my Oaks mare. Mares like her are hard to find."

Owned by Bob and Beverly Lewis, Composure won 4 of 8 starts and $731,300. Aside from her two recent wins, she is best known for a second-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Arlington Park last October. In that race, she went by Storm Flag Flying in midstretch to take the lead, but was passed by that rival in the final 100 yards and lost by a half-length. The difference gave Storm Flag Flying the Eclipse Award as the nation's best 2-year-old filly.

Composure will be bred in coming weeks, Baffert said.

Purchased for $470,000 at the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale, Composure was well regarded from the start of her career. She finished 10th as part of favored entry when she made her career debut last July at Del Mar, but was never worse than second in seven subsequent starts.

She beat maidens in her third start last September and followed with a convincing four-length win in the Grade 2 Oak Leaf Stakes last October, a race that made her a leading contender for the Juvenile Fillies.

Following the Breeders' Cup, Composure was upset by Elloluv in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes in December. She was unbeaten in two races this year.

The loss of Composure is the latest in a string of disappointments in the Baffert 3-year-old division. In February, Baffert announced that Vindication, the champion 2-year-old male of 2002, was out of the Triple Crown with a leg injury. Vindication will resume training later this year.

Baffert still has an Oaks candidate, Santa Catarina, for the Lewises. Third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, Santa Catarina has made one start this year, winning an allowance race on March 12.