08/09/2007 12:00AM

Flashy Bull injured, retired


Flashy Bull, who rose from obscurity to become a Grade 1 winner, has been retired from racing after suffering a fracture to the base of the sesamoid bone in his left ankle, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Thursday.

Stallion plans have not been finalized for Flashy Bull, whose victory in the Stephen Foster Handicap in June made him the first Grade 1 winner of his owners, West Point Stable. Flashy Bull, a son of Holy Bull, won 5 of 19 career starts and earned $844,313.

McLaughlin believes the injury occurred in the July 28 Whitney Handicap - in which Flashy Bull finished seventh - but was not detected until earlier this week.

"There was some pressure in his left front ankle," McLaughlin said. "We thought he might have nicked it. But he was lame. It didn't come around like it should."

McLaughlin said that it took several sets of X-rays to find the injury. McLaughlin said that surgery and a long recuperative period would have kept Flashy Bull out until early next year and it was unlikely he could return to compete at the top level.

"That injury is tough to come back from," McLaughlin said.

Flashy Bull won just once in his first 14 starts. After finishing second in his 4-year-old debut, Flashy Bull won two allowance races and then took the Grade 3 William Donald Schaefer Handicap at Pimlico before capturing the Stephen Foster.

"He's a very nice horse," McLaughlin said. "He will have a future as a stallion."

Earlier this year, McLaughlin had to retire defending Horse of the Year Invasor, who was injured during a workout at Belmont Park preparing for the Suburban.

"I feel fortunate to have had those types of horses," McLaughlin said.