Retirement for Havre de Grace

With an overall record of 9-4-5 in 16 starts, and career earnings of $2,586,175, Havre de Grace took Horse of the Year honors in 2011, becoming the third female to earn the honor. Fans were no doubt looking forward to seeing her thunder down the track next week in Churchill’s Grade II La Troienne on the Kentucky Oaks card…

So it came as quite a shock to hear that Havre de Grace is going into retirement with immediate effect due to an ankle injury, and is likely to be put up for sale as a broodmare at November's Keeneland or Fasig Tipton sales.

In a website announcement, owner Rick Porter noted that some heat was detected in Havre de Grace's right front ankle after her early morning workout on Sunday at Churchill Downs. Equine surgeon Larry Bramlage examined the five-year-old mare at the Rood & Riddle clinic in Lexington and determined that she had a torn ligament, noting that the prognosis of a complete recovery was unfavorable, and recommending that she be put into retirement, with the prospect of being a broodmare.

Porter was reported as saying that it was a sad day for horse racing, as he believed Havre de Grace had been set to "put on a real show" this season. While stating that he had not made up his mind for sure, as he was still in shock over the situation, it was likely that he would sell the champion mare as he is not a breeder, but is in the sport to race.

Havre de Grace was sired by Saint Liam (2005 American Horse of the Year) out of Easter Bunnette (daughter of Carson City) and foaled on 12 May 2007 in Kentucky. She was bought by Rick Porter as a yearling at Keeneland for $380,000 and was trained by Larry Jones. Havre de Grace’s memorable performance in the Grade I Woodward at Saratoga where she beat the males on the field, coupled with her 8 ¼-length victory over three-year-old champion Royal Delta in the Grade I Beldame at Belmont, clinched the 2011 Horse of the Year title, etching her name in the history of horse racing.

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