- DRF Bets
- Handicapping & PPsHorsemen's ProductsReports
Access past performances
- The Wizard
- DRF Gameplan
- Quick Sheets
- DRF Picks
- Today's Racing Digest
- Key Race Report
- Positive ROI Report
- Moss Pace Figure Reports
- Debut Reports
Racing and Wagering InformationTools
- DRF EasyForm PPs
- DRF Classic PDF PPs
- DRF Formulator PPs
- DRF HarnessEye PPs
- DRF Daily Harness Program PPs
- Daily Racing Program PPs
- NewsCategoriesTrack Reports
- StorePast Performances
- Compare all DRF PPs
- DRF Formulator PPs
- DRF Classic PPs
- DRF EasyForm PPs
- Daily Racing Program PPs
- See all Pricing/Plans
Updated on 04/25/2012 1:52PM
Horse of the Year Havre de Grace retired with ankle injury
By Marty McGee
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Havre de Grace, the 2011 Horse of the Year, has been retired after being found to have an injury to her right front ankle following a Sunday workout at Churchill Downs, where she had been preparing to make her second start as a 5-year-old in the La Troienne Stakes on the May 4 Kentucky Oaks undercard.
Rick Porter, whose Fox Hill Farms campaigned Havre de Grace throughout her 16-race career, reported Monday afternoon on the farm website that the injury was not life-threatening but was severe enough that “it is with great disappointment that I have to announce that Havre de Grace has been retired.”
As described on the farm website by Dr. Larry Bramlage of the Rood and Riddle equine hospital in Lexington, Ky., where the mare was sent after heat in her ankle was detected, the injury was to a lateral ligament in the ankle and would take at least a year to fully resolve, “and in her instance this is not acceptable, and so we should probably stop her race career. . . . She will be fine as a broodmare.” Bramlage further prescribed 60 days of stall rest and hand-walking before the mare is turned out but added she could be bred “at any time if you like.”
Porter said he intends to sell Havre de Grace sometime this year, no later than the November breeding-stock sales.
“I’ve had people call already and try to buy her privately, and I might well end up doing that,” he said. “But if I don’t, I will sell her in November at one of the sales. I’ve got a budget I need to stick to every year, and once in a while I need to cash in. At some point I need to get some of my Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton checks back.”
Porter said he will not have Havre de Grace bred this year because he “doesn’t want her to have to have an April or May foal and put a (prospective) buyer behind the eight-ball. I’ve given a lot of thought to it, and I think we’d be better off not breeding her, and that way the buyer can start off fresh with her.”
Bred in Kentucky by Nancy Dillman, Havre de Grace had the distinction of being the third straight female to be voted Horse of the Year in the United States, following Rachel Alexandra in 2009 and Zenyatta in 2010, an unprecedented streak in American racing history.
Named for the small Maryland town where racing was conducted on an unofficial half-mile circuit from 1912 to 1950, Havre de Grace was sired by the late Saint Liam, the 2005 Horse of the Year, and foaled by the dam Easter Bunnette, by Carson City. Her foaling date was May 12, 2007.
Havre de Grace made her first start on Aug. 24, 2009, as a 2-year-old, finishing third in a one-mile maiden race at Delaware Park. She was trained for her first eight races by Tony Dutrow, winning three of those while also finishing second in three stakes, most notably the Grade 1 Alabama by a neck to the filly who would become her archrival, Blind Luck.
Turned over to Larry Jones following a third-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic in November 2010, Havre de Grace embarked on her championship season of 2011 by easily winning the Azeri Stakes at Oaklawn Park in March. She then won the Grade 1 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn and the Grade 3 Obeah at Delaware before being beaten a nose by Blind Luck when conceding her two pounds in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap.
Porter and Jones then chose to run Havre de Grace against males for the first time in the Grade 1 Woodward at Saratoga, and she responded with a 1 1/4-length victory and a career-high Beyer Speed Figure of 111. She then easily won the Grade 1 Beldame at Belmont before trying males again in her final start of the year, the BC Classic, finishing a creditable fourth. Her overall record of 5-1-1 from seven starts was deemed good enough by Eclipse Award voters to make her a clear-cut choice for Horse of the Year and champion older mare for 2011.
Havre de Grace raced once at 5, winning the New Orleans Ladies on March 17 at Fair Grounds, and she figured as a heavy favorite in her next scheduled start, the Grade 2 La Troienne. Porter and Jones had intended to campaign her all year before the mare incurred the injury Sunday during a five-furlong breeze that was timed in 1:00.40.
In all, Havre de Grace posted 9 wins, 4 seconds, and 2 thirds from her 16 starts, for total earnings of $2,586,175, with more than $1.6 million coming in her championship season. Her Beyer Figures were 100 or better in 10 of her last 11 starts.
Porter, a 71-year-old Delaware car dealer who has owned such standouts as Eight Belles, Hard Spun, Rockport Harbor, and Round Pond, said on the website that “owning ‘Grace’ throughout her career has been the highlight of my time in horse racing. She was a wonderful, wonderful racehorse, and I feel confident she’ll be an equally wonderful broodmare.”
Sad news......even sadder that right away some people have to start spewing insults toward her connections.
Blind Luck still had her number, Idk if HDG really deserved HOY last year...
I thought Blind Luck was better. Zenyatta, Azeri, & RA were MUCH BETTER.
Enjoy your retirement, HDG!! You're going to have many beautiful babies and we look forward to meeting them all!!!
I saw HDG at Belmont for the Beldame, what a gorgeous animal. She was one of my favorites after Awesome Maria was sidelined last year. I was hoping for a match between them but I guess it is not to be….
SKIP LARRY JONES HOW ABOUT LETS GET TO THE SOURCE IN THE OWNEROWNER YADA YADA YADA HOW HE DOES WHATS BEST FOR THE HORSE WHAT AN INPORTANT HORSE SHE WAS TO THEIR FARM ETC ETC NOW WITH AN INJURY NOT ONLY DID THEY KEEP THAT A SECRET YES THERE WAS MORE WRONG WITH HER THAN JUST THAT PARTICULAR INJURY NOW HES READY TO DUMP HER IN A SALE AS THAT WAS THE LONG RANGE PLAN FOR HIS FARM BALONEY HE GETS MY VOTE FOR WORTHLESS OWNER
Jones gallops his horses. He doesn't ride them in workouts. That's a big difference to those dissing a very fine trainer and horseman. I'd much rather have someone like him who takes a hands on approach to these animals and not somebody like Pletcher who is more like a community organizer in his methods. Jones' horses usually remain sound throughout their career barring an unfortunate accident as in HDG and 8 Belles. How many of Pletcher's horsees actually compete as 4 yos?
When I saw the unfortunate news late yesterday I wondered how long it would take for the hate to start spewing. Got the answer this morning when I got to the site and saw these classics. For the misguided souls that think Larry Jones's morning gallops were a direct cause of the retirement you simply are misinformed. Check Larry's record very few breakdowns. He has trained for my friends for years - minimal issues and is a master at keeping horses sound . For those of you that think she was injured and dodged the Apple Blossom again I disagree. For those who think Rick is a demon for selling HDG later this year you need to understand racing is a business. Porter buys a couple million dollars worth of horses annually and has a farm to run. Basic cash flow my friends. I do wish Rick would have waited to discuss future plans until the ink dried on the retirement news. But that is his call. For those of you that choose to criticize the connections for trying to get the minimum weight on their champion I say that is your right as a racing fan. One final suggestion for the haters - find some light instead of perpetual darkness. They could have retired and sold in 2011. They chose to race as a five year old (rare) and give back to racing fans. I am grateful for that approach, rare in these times.
Definitely a shame she won't be around for the season, especially because the division has some punch this year.
Another blow for horse racing as 2011 HOY HavreDeGrace's career comes to an end. The injury parade makes it crystal clear: the industry needs to take breeding more seriously.
- 1.Posted 05/23/2013 08:40AM
- 2.Posted 05/22/2013 05:35PM
- 3.Posted 05/22/2013 02:08PM
- 4.Posted 05/22/2013 03:18PM
- 5.Posted 05/23/2013 11:31AM