Updated on 09/15/2011 12:56PM

Point Given retired with tendon injury

Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos
Point Given retires with earnings of $3,968,500

DEL MAR, Calif. - Point Given, the leading candidate for Horse of the Year, has been retired because of a strain in a tendon in his left front leg, it was disclosed Friday morning.

The announcement was made by the colt's trainer, Bob Baffert, and Richard Mulhall, who is the president and racing manager for Prince Ahmed Salman's The Thoroughbred Corporation, which owns Point Given.

"I'm devastated," a visibly shaken Baffert said while standing outside Point Given's stall on Friday morning. "What really hurts is that it's not only a blow for me, the stable, and the prince, but it's a blow for racing. He attracts such a huge following. We finally had a great horse, and look what happens."

Point Given won last Saturday's Travers Stakes at Saratoga, his ninth victory in 13 lifetime starts, before a record Travers crowd of 60,846. He flew home Monday, and was walked under tack Tuesday and Wednesday. According to Baffert, Point Given was scheduled to go back to the track to resume galloping on Thursday, but the colt's groom, Roberto Luna, detected some heat in the ankle. So, Point Given remained in his stall.

The leg was examined late Thursday afternoon via ultrasound by Dr. Vince Baker, who detected a strain. According to Mulhall, Point Given would need at least three to four months to recuperate from the injury. After a meeting Thursday night that included Baffert, Mulhall, and the prince, it was decided to retire Point Given.

"It's just too risky to try to bring him back," Mulhall said.

Mulhall said Point Given will enter stud next year. He said the colt could be syndicated and sent to a breeding farm, or the prince could retain 100 percent interest and stand him himself. "A lot of people are asking about him. There's a lot of interest in standing him at stud," Mulhall said.

for Point Given's lifetime Past Performances.

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