08/09/2012 5:10PM

Saratoga: Winter Memories retired with bone bruise

Tom Keyser
Winter Memories retires with eight wins from 12 career starts, including her final race, the Grade 1 Diana on July 28.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Winter Memories, the popular multiple-Grade 1-winning turf mare, was retired Thursday due to bruising of the cannon bone in her right front ankle, trainer Jimmy Toner confirmed Thursday afternoon.

The injury is not deemed serious, but it would have sidelined her for the remainder of 2012 season and Winter Memories was to be retired at year’s end.

Following a scintillating victory in last month’s Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga, Toner had been planning to run Winter Memories in the Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont on Sept. 29 and then the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf in November at Santa Anita.

“It’s unfortunate no question about that,” Toner said. “It is what it is; I have no control over it. There’s no surgery. She gets to go home in full.”

Toner said he noticed some filling Winter Memories’ right front ankle a few days ago and the filly had X-rays taken on Wednesday.

[Complete coverage of racing at Saratoga: News, PPs, and video]

“It showed erosion of the condylar bone,” Toner said.

In a press release, John Phillips, the manager of the Phillips Racing Partnership which owned and bred Winter Memories, called it “an uncommon degenerative bone disease.”

Winter Memories, a daughter of El Prado out of the Grade 1-winning mare Memories of Silver, won 8 of 12 career starts and earned $1,268,100.

“This was a total surprise to everyone concerned,” said Phillips, adding “the irony is I don’t think I have ever been around a more sound horse.”

Winter Memories won seven stakes, including the Grade 1 Diana in her most recent start. She also won the Grade 1 Garden City last year at Belmont, a race in which she looked hopelessly beaten before getting out in deep stretch and blowing past the rest of the field.

“It was a privilege and an honor to be involved with a horse of that nature,” Toner said. “She’s the best horse I ever trained. What made her stand apart from the rest of them was that ‘Wow!’ factor. She would make your hair go up and stand on end. She’ll be sorely missed.”

Winter Memories will retire to Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, where she will bred to a yet-to-be determined stallion in 2013.

Kathy Lawrence More than 1 year ago
Winter is a beautiful filly & so much fun to watch her run. i am excited she will be at Darby Dan. My son works on Darby Dan & i will get to meet Winter on my visit. that is exciting.
Gee More than 1 year ago
Get her in that breeding shed before she cant stand.
Eric Rickard More than 1 year ago
And another one bites the dust! Enjoy being a mom.
B More than 1 year ago
The beat goes on.
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Winter Memories will surely be missed. She was such an exciting horse to watch, always coming with that explosive stretch kick. I'll never forget last year's Garden City - wow!
Ian Lozada More than 1 year ago
Why would anyone breed to a horse that has a "degenerative bone disease"? How does that further the breed?
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
Seems like a legit question to me. Wouln't it ffect her value as broodmare ?
Vinod Jhangimal More than 1 year ago
The article doesn´t mention whether the condition may be passed on to her progeny, so the question is valid. I, for one, would like more information on this disease, but I am glad Winter Memories will be fine. If she is able to, I hope she passes that explosive kick to all her offspring.
hdubret More than 1 year ago
Degenerative doesn't necessarily mean heriditary... The question isn't should she be bred.....she's a mare and that's what you do. The question will be how much would her foal bring in the sales ring (if they decide to go that route).
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
It's a huge blessing that she's been in Jimmy's care. Luck to all her foals.
Fred Reardon More than 1 year ago
This is a huge disappointment, but at least Winter Memories went out a winner with a great last race. I really think that this was a case where an observant trainer and new technology caught a potential major problem in the stall rather than having a catastrophe on the track. Good luck to all the connection, and I'm sure her foals will be runners
Kyri Freeman More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry not to see her humiliate the Euros in the Breeders' Cup, but I'm looking forward to her foals.
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
What a dumb post,lol.Another gr 2 type who never won outside of NY,and constantly beat the same horses over and over,except when they beat her.Another product of terrible U.S turf horses
Barbara Livingston More than 1 year ago
Hi sat.customer, Winter Memories is a multiple Grade I winner who also won the Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland. At least be accurate when you're trying to be nasty, or your argument will just come across as "a dumb post,lol."
sat.customer More than 1 year ago
So you're defending the post that she would "humiliate" Euros in the BC. Really ? And how could I forget that "star-studded" field she beat in the 2011 App. Have any of her opponents that day even won a race since ? I was actually thinking of the thrashing she got in the QE GR 1 last year @ Keene.She's a nice turf filly,compared to what's out there,but that's it. Nothing special at all,and certainly not close to the Euros.She never even got a consideration to run against the boys
walter goode More than 1 year ago
i fully agree. she was a standout in that event.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
uncommon degenerative bone disease,if its so uncommon why is it occuring in racehorses so often?.maybe its the common treatments.she is a very good filly who got stiffed by lezcano a couple of times and shes by a very good racemare so her babies will nodoubt be runners,just keep lezcano of them.
Big Jeff More than 1 year ago
Why don't you just not have anything else to do with racing. You are either 1. as dumb as you sound in your post and will always fail to enjoy this great sport because you are convinced everyone is cheating. Or, 2. you are right and everyone is cheating and it will just drive you mad. Either way you're screwed. But continuing as you are is just plain foolish.
myjockwon More than 1 year ago
yeah Ray i agree with Jeff fined another sport horse racing will do just fine without your negitive comments seeee yaa
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chillax Jeff, Ray is one of those characters that is at every racetrack blaming everyone except himself for his lack of betting ability. If he loses his money for us to be able to get better payoffs betting against him, who are we to drive him away. We should actually make him more comfortable. Need a drink Ray? it´s on the house!
Gee More than 1 year ago
Lezcano is riding great this yr!! She had 2 bad trips in a row. Thats the chance u take with closers.