Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro) and jockey Mike Smith win the Ogden Phipps (Gr I) at Belmont Park 6/10/17. Trainer: Jerry Hollendorfer. Owner: Fox Hill Farm
Two-time Eclipse champion Songbird has been retired from racing, it was announced Thursday morning.
After the filly’s second-place finish in the G1 Personal Ensign, owner Rick Porter had her sent to Kentucky to be examined by Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood & Riddle.
Owner Rick Porter released the following statement on his Facebook page Aug. 31:
“There is an ancient proverb that says all good things must come to an end. Today, Fox Hill Farm announces that something that was very good for us, and very good for racing, has come to an end — the racing career of Songbird.
Over the Winter, Songbird had bone bruising and a specific area was very slow to heal. She was finally cleared to return, but the three races from Songbird this year weren’t what we expected from the bigger, stronger, and smarter Songbird. There were so many variables with her long layoff, shipping, tiring tracks, going 1 1/4 miles, and more, we were never sure which of the variables may explain what wasn’t quite Songbird.
After this past race, we thought something seemed off in her hind end, so we sent her to Rood & Riddle for an evaluation. Her lameness was readily apparent to Dr. Bramlage, and ultrasounds proved both hind suspensories were enlarged. Since suspensories are usually the result of something else amiss and he knew of her history, Dr. Bramlage shot a set of x-rays of the area of bone Songbird had issues with over the Winter. A distinct line on the bone was present. We followed up with a bone scan, and then an MRI.
Unfortunately, the results weren’t what we wanted to see. We have a situation where it’d be dangerous for Songbird to continue training, and Dr. Bramlage isn’t optimistic that the site will fully resolve even if given ample time.
So for this reason, we are retiring our lovely Songbird. She was an absolute joy to race, and we expect that she’ll be as wonderful a broodmare as she was a racehorse. She took us on an incredible and unforgettable journey. While we’re sad that we must retire her, we absolutely cannot risk having another Eight Belles kind of devastation and are ultimately happy that she is retiring in good health. May she soar to new heights in her future journey.
We’d like to publicly thank the incomparable Dr. Larry Bramlage, Dr. Katie Garrett, and the rest of the staff at Rood & Riddle.”
It has also been reported by the BloodHorse that Songbird will be offered at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale.
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