SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - The National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame can begin preparations to enshrine one of the greatest fillies ever to grace a thoroughbred race track.
Two-time champion Songbird was retired following the second race of her 4-year-old career in which she finished second in Saratoga's Grade 1 Personal Ensign Stakes.
Owner Rick Porter, who races under the nom de course of Fox Hill Farm, announced the mare’s retirement after a veterinary evaluation by Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood and Riddle Veterinary Center at Lexington, Ky.
“After this past race, we thought something seemed off in her hind end. So, we sent her to Rood & Riddle for an evaluation," Porter wrote. "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," he continued. "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."
The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro from Ivanawinalot was awarded the Eclipse trophy as 2-year-old filly of the year in 2015 and champion 3-year-old filly in last year.
She retires with a record of 13 wins and two seconds from 15 starts with $4.692 million in purse earnings.
Those 13 wins included 11 straight prior to her nose defeat by last year's champion older filly or mare, Beholder, in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Santa Anita Park.
This year, she was victorious in Belmont Park's Grade 1 Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes for fillies and mares prior to losing to Forever Unbridled in the Personal Ensign.
When she is enshrined in the Hall of Fame, Songbird will join her Hall of Fame trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, and her Hall of Fame rider, Mike Smith.
Breeding arrangements for Songbird have not yet been announced.