04/04/2006 11:00PM

Japanese star Cesario retired


Cesario, winner of the Japanese Oaks and American Oaks in 2005, has been retired from racing due to an inflamed ligament in her right foreleg. Her trainer, Katsuhiko Sumii, discovered the problem on Monday.

"I am very sorry not to see her race again," Sumii said, "but I hope she will enjoy her second life and produce good foals at Northern Farm," the Hokkaido stud farm where she was foaled in March 2002.

By the Sunday Silence sire Special Week out of the Sadler's Wells mare Kirov Premiere, Cesario lost just once in six career starts. After having won the Grade 3 Flower Cup, she fell a head short of catching Rhein Kraft in the one-mile Oka Sho, or Japanese 1000 Guineas, but followed that setback with a typical late-running victory in the Yushun Himba, or Japanese Oaks. Remarkably versatile, she followed that with an astonishing four-length victory in what would be her final race, the American Oaks at Hollywood Park, thus becoming the first Japanese-trained horse to win a Grade 1 race in the United States.

Named the Japan Racing Association's champion 3-year-old filly last year, Cesario was campaigned by Carrot Farm.

She retires with earnings of $2,578,568.