03/27/2011 3:39PM

Zardana retired, will be bred in Kentucky

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Barbara D. Livingston
Zardana, pictured with trainer John Shirreffs, has been retired and will be bred in Kentucky.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Zardana, best known for upsetting 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra in the New Orleans Ladies Classic in March 2010, has been retired and will be bred in Kentucky this spring, owner Arnold Zetcher said Sunday.

In her final career start, Zardana finished second in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes at Santa Anita on Feb. 12, losing by a neck to Vision in Gold. A 7-year-old Brazilian-bred mare by Crimson Tide, Zardana won 8 of 24 starts and $512,276.

Zetcher said a concern over an ankle led to Zardana’s retirement, which was finalized Saturday after a discussion with trainer John Shirreffs. Zardana was being considered for the $500,000 Apple Blossom Invitational at Oaklawn Park on April 15.

Zardana began her career in Brazil, where she won three races by a combined 39 lengths. Acquired by Zetcher in spring 2007, Zardana was trained by Ron McAnally in 2007 and 2008, a span highlighted by a 43-1 upset in the restricted Osunitas Handicap at Del Mar in July 2008.

In 2009 and until this year, Zardana was trained by Shirreffs. For him, she won three stakes, including the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Hollywood Park in December 2009. The New Orleans Ladies Classic was her final stakes win.

Later in 2010, Zardana was third to the Shirreffs-trained Zenyatta in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park in June.

Zetcher said breeding plans have not been finalized.

Zetcher also owns Always a Princess, the winner of two stakes earlier this year who suffered a sesamoid injury in the stretch of the Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes on March 12.

Always a Princess later underwent successful surgery to stabilize the injury. Zetcher said Sunday that she will not be bred this year and will remain in California through the spring before being sent to Kentucky.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Always a Princess won 5 of 10 starts and $516,048.