10/09/2006 12:00AM

Melhor Ainda is retired


Melhor Ainda, a graded-stakes-winning daughter of Pulpit, has been retired from racing because of chronic ankle problems, trainer Bobby Frankel said Monday.

Melhor Ainda, trained by Frankel and owned by Goncalo Borges Torrealba's TNT Stud, won 5 of 8 career starts, including the Grade 3 Sands Point as a 3-year-old. Her other stakes wins include the Miss Grillo at 2 and the Capades Stakes in her only start this year.

As a 3-year-old, Melhor Ainda finished second in the Grade 1 American Oaks and third in the Grade 1 Beverly D.

Melhor Ainda worked twice within an eight day period, including a five-furlong move in 1:03.50 on Sunday at Belmont. Frankel was hoping to train the filly up to the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

"She's not the same to run at the level she has to run at," Frankel said. "She worked okay, but you could tell something was wrong. I'd rather send her home in one piece."