Team Block's Ioya Two, who thrilled Thoroughbred racing fans twice last summer at Arlington Park with courageous victories, has been retired and will leave this week for her upcoming career as a broodmare.
"After talking it over with my family, we've decided to go ahead and retire her," said trainer Chris Block Sunday morning. "In fact, she's scheduled to leave here Wednesday. It's time to send her home.
"She's an excellent outcross to just about anything," said Block. "We own a share in Red Ransom, so we might go ahead and breed her to him, or maybe just another good racehorse like Crafty Prospector. She should make an excellent broodmare."
Ioya Two's most memorable victory came in the Modesty Handicap (gr. III) one year ago when she made the pace throughout and held on gamely in the late stages to withstand James C. Routsong's Megans Bluff by a nose.
After winning the 2001 Modesty, the final local prep for the Beverly D., the Block family withstood the temptation to make Ioya Two a supplementary nomination to the Grade 1 test.
"This will be our Beverly D.," Block said at the time.
Earlier last summer, Ioya Two came from off the pace win by 3/4 of a length in the $75,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap.
The 7-year-old mare by Lord At War out of the Naskra mare Ioya retires with career earnings of $460,851. She had 11 victories, five seconds and four thirds in 32 career starts.
Ioya Two's dam, Ioya, produced a number of racehorses in her own career, including Team Block's Mystery Giver, winner of this year's $90,450 Cardinal Handicap who may start in the Arlington Million (gr. I) August 17.
Ioya also produced Team Block's Ioya Forever, a daughter of Louis Quatorze who has won her last three in a row and was nominated to the Singapore Plate (gr. III) this Saturday.