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Saratoga: Winter Memories retired with bone bruise
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.
“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.
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.
Get her in that breeding shed before she cant stand.
And another one bites the dust! Enjoy being a mom.
The beat goes on.
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!
Why would anyone breed to a horse that has a "degenerative bone disease"? How does that further the breed?
It's a huge blessing that she's been in Jimmy's care. Luck to all her foals.
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
I'm sorry not to see her humiliate the Euros in the Breeders' Cup, but I'm looking forward to her foals.
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.
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