08/11/2012 4:21PM

Saratoga: Awesome Maria retired with tendon injury

Tom Keyser
Awesome Maria retires with a record of 9 wins from 16 starts and more than $1.1 million in earnings.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Awesome Maria, one of the top older fillies and mares the last two years, has been retired from racing due to a tendon injury, her connections said Saturday.

Owned and bred by Joyce Robsham, Awesome Maria, a daughter of Maria’s Mon out of the mare Discreetly Awesome, had a record of 9-3-3 from 16 career starts and earned $1,114,875. She made the first four starts of her career for trainer Stanley Hough and the final 12 starts for Todd Pletcher.

Awesome Maria won the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps in 2011, capping a 4-for-4 campaign that included victories in the Sabin and Rampart handicaps - both Grade 3 races at Gulfstream Park - and the Grade 2 Shuvee at Belmont. Following the Phipps, Awesome Maria was sidelined for the remainder of 2011 with an injury.

This year, Awesome Maria repeated in the Sabin - beating 3-year-old filly champion Royal Delta by eight lengths - and Rampart, running her winning streak to six. That streak came to an end when she finished third behind It’s Tricky and Cash for Clunkers in the Phipps. In her final race, Awesome Maria finished third behind Royal Delta and Tiz Miz Sue in the Delaware Handicap on July 21.

As a 2-year-old, Awesome Maria won 2 of 4 starts, including the Grade 2 Matron. She was beaten a head in the Grade 1 Frizette.

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“Remarkable filly,” Pletcher said. “She was top-class at 2, 3, 4, and 5. A little bit unlucky we weren’t able to finish this year or last year as strong as we started. She’s certainly a Breeders’ Cup quality mare.”

Anna Ford, the stable manager for Robsham, said Awesome Maria ranked as one of the stable’s all-time favorites.

“There’s only one other horse Mrs. Robsham bred that gave her as much joy as she did and that was Pretty Discreet,” Ford said. “Pretty Discreet won the Alabama in the slop and she went on to produce so many amazing foals for the Robshams.”

Pretty Discreet produced Grade 1 winners Discreet Cat and Discreetly Mine as well as multiple listed stakes winner Pretty Wild.