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Multiple Graded Winner Keertana Retired

10 September 06: Keertana (no. 3), ridden by Jose Lezcano and trained by Thomas Proctor, wins the 15th running of the grade 3 Glens Falls Stakes for fillies and mares three years old and upward at Saratoga Race Track in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Barbara Hunter’s homebred Keertana, who last year became the first filly or mare to win the Louisville Handicap (GIII) since Our Request in 1951, has been bred and is retired from racing.

 

The dark bay/brown daughter of Johar won a breathtaking three-horse photo over Bearpath and Guys Reward at Churchill Downs last May in the Louisville, which was her last race of 2011.  Keertana began her 6-year-old campaign with a third-place finish in the Endeavour (GIII) at Tampa Bay Downs in February.

 

After a third-place effort in the Orchid (GIII) at Gulfstream Park in March, Keertana was bred to Arch, who stands at Claiborne Farm. While plans for her next start had not been determined, Keertana was placed back in training after she was determined to be in foal and trainer Tom Proctor had planned to keep the 6-year-old mare running through the summer. She breezed four furlongs at Churchill Downs in :51.20 on April 27.

 

But plans have changed.  Proctor said on Saturday that Keertana’s racing days are over and she is now at Hunter’s farm in central Kentucky. 

 

“We just decided it was time,” Proctor said. “She was nothing but a pleasure. I’ll miss her. She might not be the best filly I’ve ever trained, but she’s one of my favorites. I use to bring people in the barn and let them pet her. It was pretty cool to have an earner of $1 million that you can walk up to and pet.”

 

Keertana won 11 times, including five graded stakes, in 29 starts and earned $1,031,938.  Outside of her win over males in the Louisville, Keertana’s finest outing could have been a third-place run behind Shared Account and European star Midday in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GI).  She lost that race by only a half-length.

 

Another Hunter homebred Snow Top Mountain has been bred, but she will remain in training. The 5-year-old daughter of Najran was bred to Blame and she will be pointed to the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (GIII), which is to be run on the Matt Winn Turf Course at Churchill Downs on June 2.

 

Snow Top Mountain and Keertana are both out of the Storm Cat mare Motokiks.

 

It is not uncommon for mares to stay in training during the early months of their pregnancy. In fact, Magdalena Racing’s My Baby Baby won last year’s Early Times Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill Downs while in foal to two-time Horse of the Year Curlin.

 

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