12/09/2006 12:00AM

Ouija Board out of Hong Kong Vase, retired

Email

Ouija Board has been ruled out of the Hong Kong Vase and retired hours after a problem was detected with the mare's left front leg Saturday, according to a release issued by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

The 5-year-old Ouija Board, winner of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf in 2004 and this year, had been the expected favorite for Sunday's Group 1 Vase. She was found to be sore during a routine examination by a Hong Kong Jockey Club veterinarian and was officially scratched from the race by her trainer, Ed Dunlop.

"This morning, much to our surprise," Dunlop told the Racing Post on Saturday, "the mare wasn't quite right. We X-rayed the leg and the damage was unremarkable, but she has jarred herself either on the dirt or the grass, and we decided that enough was enough.

"I was with the owner, Lord Derby, my own vet, and the Hong Kong vets, and we all agreed it was the right decision. . . . There was a risk of further damaging her if we'd run.

"It is the same front splint that she injured two years ago in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at York."

According to the Racing Post, Dunlop suggested that Ouija Board will be shipped home to England rather than directly to Kentucky, where she was set to be covered at Lane's End Farm.