05/25/2007 11:00PM

Fracture ends Milk It Mick's racing days


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Milk It Mick, the winner of the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita in 2006, has been retired after suffering a recurrence of a cannon bone injury that kept him out of action for the second half of last year, trainer Jim Cassidy said.

Milk It Mick will begin stud duty later this year in the Southern Hemisphere or next year in the Northern Hemisphere, Cassidy said. He said that conversations are ongoing with stud farms but that no plans have been finalized.

In his final start, Milk It Mick, 6, finished last of 10 in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 5.

"The fracture has opened up a little bit and that's enough for me," Cassidy said, detailing the retirement.

Owned by Paul Dixon, Milk It Mick won 6 of 28 starts and $671,577. He began his career in England, where he won the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes for 2-year-olds at Newmarket in 2003.

Milk It Mick joined Cassidy's stable before the 2006 season. The Kilroe was his only victory in five races that year, which included a second in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes and third-place finishes in the Grade 2 Arcadia and the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic. The cannon bone injury was diagnosed after a sixth-place finish in the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile last May.

Mulhall realistic about Running Free

Running Free's victory in Friday's $76,375 Quicken Tree Stakes for California-breds left trainer Kristin Mulhall surprised that he could be effective over 1 1/2 miles on turf, but did not leave her with visions of the 6-year-old gelding going on to win any major stakes.

Running Free ($6.20) outfinished pacesetter Ring of Friendship by three-quarters of a length, winning the longest race of his career in the respectable time of 2:25.53.

The Quicken Tree was the first win for Running Free since the Harry Brubaker Handicap at Del Mar in August 2005.

Owned by Southern Nevada Racing Stable, Running Free has won 7 of 30 starts and $521,657. He was second in the Khaled Stakes for statebreds on April 29.

Mulhall said that Running Free could reappear in a high-priced claiming race. He finished second in an optional claimer at Santa Anita on April 13 when available to be claimed for $62,500.

"I have to run him when the races fill," Mulhall said. "He has no conditions."

Magna asked about barn-area plan

Officials with Magna Entertainment, the parent company of Santa Anita, have been asked to appear at a California Horse Racing Board meeting on June 19 to discuss why the track has shelved redevelopment plans for the track's dilapidated barn area.

Earlier this year, Santa Anita track president Ron Charles and vice-president of regulatory affairs Frank DeMarco told the racing board that the track was working with city officials on a plan to rebuild some of the aging barns.

But at a racing board meeting last week, Magna officials indicated that the track had no plans to tear down some stables, which date back to the early 1930s. A letter sent by Magna chief executive officer Michael Neuman to Arcadia (Calif.) officials said in part, "We never had a plan and we currently do not have a plan to replace barns at Santa Anita."

Neuman was not available for comment late last week.

* Bordonaro, the multiple-stakes-winning sprinter, worked five furlongs in 1:00.20 on Saturday, preparing for the $200,000 True North Handicap over six furlongs at Belmont Park on June 9. Bordonaro missed a start in the Los Angeles Handicap earlier this month because of a bruised foot.