04/12/2007 11:00PM

Liquor Cabinet retired

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Liquor Cabinet, who appeared ready to become a force in the handicap division, has been retired after injuring his left front ankle, trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. said Friday.

A 6-year-old son of Hennessy, Liquor Cabinet had 5 wins and 5 seconds from 12 lifetime starts. His best race was his last, a nine-length score in the Grade 3 Aqueduct Handicap over the inner track on Jan. 20 in which he earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 113. Liquor Cabinet was scratched out of the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap the morning of the March 10 race with what was believed to have been a recurrence of a foot problem.

After being examined by Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic - where he stayed for about two weeks - Liquor Cabinet returned to Dutrow's Aqueduct barn. Three days after resuming training, he suffered a serious ankle injury.

"It was probably coming all along and we never knew it," Dutrow said. Bramlage, the trainer said, "took pictures of everything and we couldn't find it. We thought it was a frog that he blew. There must have been something going on."

Liquor Cabinet was bred and owned by Edward Evans. He earned $234,968.- David Grening