Two-time Eclipse Award winner Songbird has been retired from racing and taken up residence at Taylor Made Farm near Nicholasville, Kentucky, in advance of being sold at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale on November 6.
The announcement came via the Fox Hill Farm Facebook page, with owner Rick Porter posting:
“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.”
Porter revealed that Songbird spent the winter recovering from a bone bruise. The filly’s four-year-old campaign began rather later, with the Kentucky-bred miss not returning to competition until capturing the Ogden Phipps Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on June 10. She was then all out to hold by that same margin in the Delaware Handicap (G1) on July 15.
The dark bay daughter of Medaglia d’Oro recently suffered just the second loss of her championship career, caught by Forever Unbridled in the August 26 Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) when that mare stuck her neck in front on the Saratoga wire.
Following her Personal Ensign loss, Songbird was sent to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, where she was evaluated by Dr. Larry Bramlage.
Porter revealed the results of the exam on Fox Hill’s Facebook page:
“After this past race, we thought something seemed off in her hind end. 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.”
Songbird retires with a 15-13-2-0 record and $4,692,000 in lifetime earnings. Trained by Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer, she captured her first 11 starts, seven of which were Grade 1s including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, Alabama Stakes and Santa Anita Oaks. She suffered her first loss after a stretch-long duel with fellow multiple champion Beholder in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), just nosed out on the wire, to conclude her sophomore campaign.
Songbird earned Eclipse Awards as the champion two-year-old filly of 2015 and champion three-year-old filly of 2016. Bred by John Antonelli, she is out of the Grade 2-winning West Acre mare Ivanavinalot and comes from the same female family as multiple champions Gallant Bloom and Bowl of Flowers as well as successful stallions Graustark and His Majesty.
Porter said of his star filly:
“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.”
Its sad for horse racing, but its the right thing to do,we haven’t heard the last from this Fillie ,thanks for the Memories,and good luck with your future in racing.
Thankyou Mr. Porter for taking care of her so well. You continue to be a great credit to the integrity of the sport!
Why would Rick Porter send her to that sale in November she gave you everything just like Eight Belles did only for you to dispatch her to the sale for your own greed $$$ shame on you Rick Porter if you were a horseman you would keep and breed her
From my understanding Mr Porter isn’t involved in the breeding business. That’s never been his arean of the horse business. You might get your ducks in order before telling someone how to handle his business .
As difficult as it is to retire such a beautiful, gallant filly it is the right thing to do. As hard as she tries a breakdown could definitely happen. That would be devastating to everyone connected to her and the public that watched her magnificent performances. She will make some owner a wonderful broodmare.