SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (Aug. 31, 2017) -- Two-time Eclipse Award champion Songbird has been retired from racing after recent x-rays revealed damage to her hind suspensories and a bone chip, owner Rick Porter announced on Aug. 31.
In a post on his Facebook page, Porter says that the daughter of Medaglia d'Oro was sent to Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital to be examined following her runner-up finish to Forever Unbridled in the Aug. 26 Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course.
"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, Porter posted. "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," Porter 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. 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."