04/25/2016 12:16PM

Leg injury forces retirement for Lady Sabelia

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Lady Sabelia, winner of the 2015 Barbara Fritchie, has been retired.

Lady Sabelia, one of the most popular stakes runners in Maryland, was injured during a Sunday morning gallop at Laurel Park and has been retired, according to trainer Robin Graham.

“It’s disappointing, but the good thing is she’s doing fine,” Graham said.

Lady Sabelia’s exercise rider heard a noise while galloping her Sunday, Graham said, and thought she had stepped on a stone. The rider pulled Lady Sabelia up and walked her back to the barn.

“When she cooled out, she was a little off,” Graham said. “She wasn’t three-legged or in a lot of pain. We gave her some bute and took X-rays, which revealed she had broken two pieces off the inside sesamoid in her front left.”

Graham said the X-rays have been sent to Dean Richardson, a veterinarian at the New Bolton Center, who will decide whether the chips need to be removed or if stall rest will be sufficient. Lady Sabelia, a 6-year-old daughter of Majestic Warrior, will not be bred until next year.

Bred in Kentucky by her Maryland-based owners, Frank and Virginia Wright, Lady Sabelia won 11 of 20 starts and $740,465. She won eight stakes, including the Grade 2 Barbara Fritchie Handicap at Laurel in 2015.

Six of her stakes victories came at Laurel. She also won stakes at Belmont Park and Monmouth Park.

“She never was one to be real racy and try to pull you out of the saddle; she’s always been very kind,” Graham said. “If you wanted her to breeze an easy half in 51, she’d do it. She has always been cooperative and very classy. She made it easy on everyone around her and easy on herself.”