09/28/2004 12:00AM

Sarava's racing career ended


Sarava, the 2002 Belmont Stakes winner, has been retired with an injury to the suspensory ligament in his right foreleg. A 5-year-old son of Wild Again, Sarava reaggravated the injury, which he originally sustained two years ago, in a work on Monday at Belmont Park.

Sarava had been scheduled to run in Saturday's Grade 1, $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Bob Baffert, Sarava's trainer, said stud plans have yet to be finalized.

Baffert took over the training of Sarava for Gary Drake's New Phoenix Stable and Susan Roy late in 2002. Ken McPeek trained Sarava to his upset in the Belmont Stakes, which was the last time the horse won a race. Sarava is the highest-priced winner ($142.50) in the Belmont's 136 runnings.

After the Belmont, Sarava didn't race for 14 months because of the suspensory injury. After making it back to the races, he had another setback when he had surgery for a twisted colon.

Sarava, out of Rhythm of Life, a daughter of Deputy Minister, retires with earnings of $773,832 and a record of 3-3-0 in 17 starts. In his last start, Sarava finished fifth in the Grade 2 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap on Aug. 22.