03/20/2006 1:00AM

Rockport Harbor is retired


Rockport Harbor has been retired because of a reoccurrence of an old injury to his right hind foot, his trainer, John Servis, said Monday. Rockport Harbor is expected to be sold as a stallion prospect by his owner, Rick Porter, and will enter stud in 2007.

was stepped on in the Grade 2 Remsen in 2004, and the gash, which extended from his pastern to the bulb of his foot, forced him to miss most of his 3-year-old season. The site of that injury separated again during the running of the $150,000 Razorback Breeders' Cup at Oaklawn Park on March 12.

Rockport Harbor, who finished fifth in the Razorback, had bandages from the injury site removed Monday. There is a fresh crack to the wall of his hoof, and it extends into the sensitive area of the coronet band. The foot will not tolerate training until it grows out.

"We're looking at a whole lot of time again," said Servis.

Last year, Rockport Harbor was stopped on to allow the foot to grow out. He returned from a layoff of more than nine months to win the Grade 3, $100,000 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn on Feb. 11.

"The way he won the Essex, coming back after the long layoff, he did it like a true professional," said Servis. "It was a little bit of a sign of what we might have had our hands on."

Servis said that aside from the Essex, he was also most impressed with Rockport Harbor's win in the Remsen, when he won over 1 1/8 miles in his first start at the distance. The win made him the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby.

Rockport Harbor, a 4-year-old son of Unbridled's Song, has won 5 of 8 starts and $324,800. He will remain at Oaklawn.