07/10/2002 11:00PM

Starine retired from racing

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Starine, the winner of major turf stakes at Hollywood Park and Saratoga last year, has been retired, her trainer, Bobby Frankel, said on Thursday.

Frankel did not disclose the nature of any injury, but said the 5-year-old Starine "has come back bad twice now.

"She's been good to me and I should be good to her," Frankel said. "I'm sure if I gave her some time off she could come back, but by the time she got back it would be the end of the year."

Frankel expressed concern that the condition of the main track at Hollywood Park played a factor in Starine's condition. "The track has been rough here," he said.

A winner of nine of 31 starts and $963,913, Starine made her final start in the Grade 1 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park on May 27. Starine led turning for home, but was caught in the final strides by Astra.

In her only other start this year, Starine finished second as the favorite in the Santa Ana Handicap at Santa Anita on March 23.

Starine won three stakes in her career. She won the Prix Saraca as a 2-year-old in France in 1999, and blossomed under Frankel's care last year.

In her fourth start in this country, she won the Diana Handicap at Saratoga last September and later won the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park.

In between, she finished 10th in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Belmont Park.