Grade 1 winner Princess Noor, the beaten favorite in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, has been retired after suffering a soft-tissue injury in her left foreleg during the running of Saturday’s G1 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos in Cypress, Calif.
Zedan Racing Stables, Inc., which campaigned the 2-year-old filly by freshman sire Not This Time after paying a sale-topping $1.35 million to purchase her at the OBS Spring Sale of 2-year-olds in training, made the announcement on Sunday morning via Twitter.
Princess Noor 👸🏽 has been retired from racing after a soft tissue injury in the Starlet. She’s a ⭐️ — she had the race & probably more G1s to her name. Our focus is to get her healthy to be the best mom she can be. It hurts, but 🙏 God she’s well & retirement is the best decision pic.twitter.com/PfPOiXO5yA
— Zedan Racing Stables, Inc (@ZedanRacing) December 6, 2020
“She’s a star and a very talented filly,” Zedan Racing owner Amr Zedan said in a statement posted on the stable’s website.
Princess Noor, produced from the graded stakes-winning Wilko mare Sheza Smoke Show, was bred in Kentucky by Oussama Aboughazale’s International Equities Holding Inc., and originally purchased by Mark Marino, agent, for $135,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Selected by Zedan’s racing and bloodstock manager, Gary Young, at the OBS Sale the following spring from the Top Line Sales consignment of James and Torie Gladwell, Princess Noor was turned over to trainer Bob Baffert.
After a strong series of workouts, Princess Noor debuted Aug. 22 with a 2 1/2-length victory at Del Mar as the 7-10 favorite, then won the G1 Del Mar Debutante Stakes on Sept. 6 by 6 1/2 lengths.
Princess Noor stretched out around two turns for her next start on Sept. 26, the G2 Chandelier Stakes at Santa Anita, where she took command on the far turn and drew off to win by 8 1/4 lengths. Favored at 19-10 in the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland on Nov. 6, Princess Noor tasted defeat for the first time, tiring to be fifth after prompting the pacesetter, Dayoutoftheoffice, who finished second to winner Vequist.
One of three Baffert runners in the Starlet, Princess Noor was favored at 3-5 in the 1 1/16-mile contest. Under Victor Espinoza, who had ridden the filly in all five of her career starts, Princess Noor tracked stablemate Kalypso through the opening five furlongs, moved to the lead on the far turn, then was pulled up and eased to the outside fence by Espinoza at the top of the stretch.
Kalypso and Abel Cedillo inherited the lead after Princess Noor was pulled up but was overtaken in deep stretch by the third Baffert entry, Varda, who scored by 1 1/2 lengths under Drayden Van Dyke.
Princess Noor was not in distress and walked onto the equine ambulance, then taken back to the stable area for examination. X-rays of the left foreleg were clean, according to trainer Bob Baffert, but the filly began to show swelling above her ankle that Baffert said would require four to six months time off to heal.
“She’s seems fine this morning,” Baffert said on Sunday. “We think she hit herself, but we don’t know what the damage is. We’ll ultrasound it on Monday or Tuesday and know more then.”
Princess Noor retires withy three wins from five starts, with earnings of $363,500.
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