Saturday’s G1 Ogden Phipps provided entertainment as Awesome Maria kept her 2011 undefeated streak going in a thrilling finish.
However, the occasion was sobered down a bit when 2010 Breeder’s Cup Ladies Classic winner Unrivaled Belle flipped in the paddock before the race.
After her antics it was no shock when Unrivaled Belle was a late scratch from the race, but it was surprising minutes after the race when it was announced that she was retired due to broken withers.
The five-year-old mare was returning to the Ogden Phipps to avenge her second-place finish last year, a season that included multiple graded wins other than the Breeder’s Cup in addition to three seconds in graded stakes.
She had raced two other times this year, finishing second in the G2 La Troienne and third in the G3 Rampart.
“I’ve had horses come back from [broken withers] and race and even win a stakes,” trainer Bill Mott told Bloodhorse. “It’s not an uncommon thing. But with her, the year would be practically over.”
Unrivaled Belle will be stall bound for several weeks before likely going to owner Peter Vegso’s farm in Ocala, Fla.
It is likely that the gray daughter of Unbridled’s Song will be bred next year.
The mare has a record of six wins, six places, and one show in 14 starts for earnings of $1,854,706. Three of her four stakes wins came in graded-stakes company while five of her six placings also came in graded-stakes races.
Her second biggest claim to fame may be her defeat of Rachel Alexandra in the 2010 La Troienne Stakes.