Updated 08/09/2012 06:14 PM
The Spa Spot: Winter Memories retired
Winter Memories on her way to victory in the Grade 1 Diana at Saratoga
Winter Memories, winner of the Grade 1 Diana Stakes at Saratoga and a multiple Grade 1 winner and millionaire, has been retired from racing due to issues with her ankles.
The homebred daughter of the great Memories of Silver ran in the colors of the owners, Phillips Racing Partnership, and was trained by Jim Toner.
“This was a total surprise to everyone concerned,” said John Phillips, manager of the family partnership, “Winter Memories had trained flawlessly up to the Diana, raced impressively, and was happy to be back on the track again. She looks and acts great but two days ago her ankles were a little warm despite flexing well, precautionary x-rays were taken and the results were crushing news, an uncommon degenerative bone disease. The irony is I don’t think I have ever been around a more sound horse.”
Phillips said it was an easy decision to stop training the filly and send her into retirement.
“Jim Toner did a superb job," he said. We feel terrible for him and the crew but he understands that Winter Memories represents five generations of horses for Darby Dan and we can not and will not risk their safety.
"We are terribly disappointed, of course, and, while I admit to being totally biased, I think she is the best in her division with the kind of athleticism that left you in near disbelief of her ability to overcome. She never finished off the board winning eight of twelve starts. Winter Memories has been an incredible blessing for the family and Darby Dan.”
Arrangements are being made to ship Winter Memories back to Darby Dan where she will join her dam and her two half sisters in the broodmare band. La Cloche by Ghostzapper, another half sister, was the winner of The Voodoo Dancer Stakes at Belmont in July. La Cloche remains in training with Toner. A half brother by Tiznow will be offered for sale in the first night of the September Keeneland sale.