10/14/2004 11:00PM

Hard Buck's race days over

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Hard Buck, whose runner-up finishes in a pair of Group 1 races overseas accounted for most of his 2004 bankroll of $840,526, has been retired after exiting a recent workout in unsatisfactory fashion, trainer Ken McPeek said Friday.

McPeek, without specifying an injury, said he didn't like the way Hard Buck came out of a half-mile work Tuesday at his home base of Churchill Downs.

"I didn't think he'd be 100 percent for the races we had planned for him, and I didn't want to run him at a lower level than he had been," said McPeek. "We're hoping to get a place for him in Europe to stand at stud."

, a 5-year-old bred in Brazil, ran second in the $2 million Dubai Sheema Classic in March and the King George Stakes at Ascot in July. He had been pointing to the Oct. 24 Canadian International at the time of his retirement.