10/02/2001 12:00AM

Country Hideaway injured, retired

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Country Hideaway, a multiple stakes-winning mare who won nearly 50 percent of her starts for trainer Shug McGaughey, was retired on Tuesday because of a minor injury to her left front ankle, McGaughey said from Belmont Park.

The injury first flared up last week, forcing Country Hideaway to miss the Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont Park. McGaughey said the ankle had improved after Country Hideaway was walked under tack for the past week, "but it's still not 100 percent.

"We took X-rays. It's not broken," McGaughey said. "You could inject it and go on, but the only thing she hasn't done is win a Grade 1 race, and if you can't go into the Breeders' Cup Distaff 110 percent, there's no point. You're better off going home. She's done enough."

Country Hideaway, a 5-year-old daughter of Seeking the Gold, won 10 of 21 starts and $762,568.