10/12/2007 12:00AM

Shakespeare retired after reinjuring tendon

EmailELMONT, N.Y. - The curtain has come down on Shakespeare's racing career.

Shakespeare, whose comeback from a serious tendon injury hit a high note with a victory in last month's Grade 1 Woodbine Mile, has been retired from racing after suffering another tear in the tendon of his left foreleg, trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said Friday. Shakespeare would have been a major contender in either the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile or $3omillion Turf later this month at Monmouth Park.

"After consulting with the vet we decided we were not going to push on," McLaughlin said. "He's a star; it's unfortunate. I think he'll be an outstanding stallion. It's a tough part of the game. We were on borrowed time from the day we got him. We knew he had issues."

Shakespeare, a son of Theatrical, began his career with trainer Bill Mott. He won his first five starts, including the Grade 2 Belmont BC Handicap. Shakespeare finished 12th of 13 in the 2005 BC Turf - the only loss of his career.

He subsequently sustained a tendon injury after he resumed training in early 2006 and was sent back to owner Frank Justice's Dell Ridge Farm. After more than a year off, Shakespeare was sent to McLaughlin, who got him to the races at Saratoga, where he won a stakes-caliber allowance race impressively and then the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile with another strong stretch kick.

"He is one of those special horses that I've been fortunate to have," McLaughlin said. "I've had a couple of them this year."

McLaughlin also trained Invasor, last year's Horse of the Year, who was retired because of an injury after winning the Donn Handicap and Dubai World Cup.

McLaughlin used a quote from the English poet and playwright William Shakespeare to sum up his feelings on retiring Shakespeare, the horse.

"True is it that we have seen better days," he said.

Shakespeare, who was also owned by William Schettine, won 7 of 8 starts and earned $1,293,780. He will retire to stand stud at Dell Ridge Farm.