10/21/2005 11:00PM

Motivator retired from racing


English Derby winner Motivator has been retired after suffering a strained muscle in a workout in England and will miss Saturday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park.

His retirement was announced after the completion of a workout in Newmarket, England, on Saturday. The injury occurred to a hind leg.

Since Motivator was scheduled to be retired to stud after the BC Turf, he will not have any additional starts.

Owned by the Royal Ascot Racing Club and trained by Michael Bell, Motivator was expected to be a top contender in the BC Turf.

"He worked absolutely brilliantly in his final piece of work, but pulled up slightly lame behind," Harry Herbert, the racing manager for the Royal Ascot Racing Club, told reporters in England. "It was nothing life-threatening, but it was enough to put him out of the Breeders' Cup and therefore signal the end of his racing career."

Motivator won the English Derby by five lengths in June, but had lost three subsequent starts. In his final start, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Oct. 2, Motivator led with a furlong remaining but faded to finish fifth, 4 1/4 lengths behind Hurricane Run.

Motivator won 4 of 7 starts and $2,161,931. He was recently syndicated to stud for approximately $10.5 million.

The defection of Motivator leaves the BC Turf with 14 expected starters and will allow the pacesetter Shake the Bank to draw into the field from the reserve list. The BC Turf field will still have five invaders from Europe - Ace, Alkaased, Azamour, Bago, and Shirocco. Azamour is expected to be favored in a competitive race.

Shake the Bank is owned by Bushwood Stable and trained by Graham Motion, the same connections as BC Turf defending champion Better Talk Now.

Shake the Bank was the only horse on the reserve list for the BC Turf. Motivator is the first horse to defect from the field since pre-entries were announced last Wednesday.

Shake the Bank was pre-entered for the BC Turf with the sole purpose of setting the pace for Better Talk Now. The strategy worked when Shake the Bank led early in the United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park in July and the Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park on Sept. 10. Better Talk Now and Shake the Bank have not started since the Man o' War.

Friday at Fair Hill training center in Maryland, Shake the Bank worked seven furlongs in 1:33 on a wood-chip surface, according to Motion.