Keeper Hill and Rings a Chime, both of whom were grade I winners in Kentucky, have been retired from racing after disappointing added-money efforts. Keeper Hill finished fifth in the May 5 Louisville Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) and arrived at Dr. and Mrs. John Chandler's Mill Ridge Farm two days later. Dr. Chandler and Mill Ridge raced Keeper Hill in partnership with Audrey Otto and trainer Claude R. (Shug) McGaughey.
Five-year-old Keeper Hill (Deputy Minister--Fineza, by Lypheor) was bred on May 22 to syndicated stallion Gone West, who stands at Mill Ridge. There is a slight possibility that Keeper Hill will be returned to training if she doesn't get in foal.
Rings a Chime (Metfield--Outofthebluebell, by Red Ryder) suffered a minor tendon injury while finishing last of seven in the May 19 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico. Owned by Joseph Kowal's Turf Side Stables and trained by Lonnie Arterburn, Rings a Chime arrived at the Taylor family's Taylor Made Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., on May 22 and is booked to Storm Cat.
Keeper Hill was bred in Kentucky by Chadds Ford Stable in partnership and initially was trained in New York by McGaughey before being sent to Southern California to trainer Bobby Frankel. She won the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) in her second West Coast start, then was runner-up in the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) before heading back to her birth state to run in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). She beat subsequent champion Banshee Breeze by a neck in the Oaks in front of an Oaks record crowd. Keeper Hill raced four more times as a 3-year-old, placing in the Mother Goose Stakes (gr. I), Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I), Gazelle Handicap (gr. I), and the Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I).
Keeper Hill's big win as a 4-year-old also came in Kentucky. She captured the 1 1/8-mile Three Chimneys Spinster Stakes (gr. I) over Banshee Breeze at Keeneland. Her time of 1:47.19 was close to the 1:46.80 track record. Keeper Hill, who had placed in four earlier graded stakes that year, concluded her season with a fourth-place effort in the Breeders' Cup Distaff.
Keeper Hill finished fifth in the Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) in February in her only start this year prior to the Louisville Breeders' Cup. She was retired with four wins from 21 starts and earnings of $1,661,281. Eleven of her 12 stakes wins or placings were in grade I events. She had run four times on grass and finished in the top three all four times.
Rings a Chime's big win came in the Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland in the filly's fourth start for Kowal, who had bought her privately following her juvenile season for what he said "was the most money I've ever paid for a horse--close to seven figures." Rings a Chime next ran second in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) to Secret Status.
Rings a Chime, who was bred in Washington by Mr. and Mrs. William T. Griffin, raced as a 2-year-old for Lloyd Mason and Dave and Trish Currie, winning the Bay Meadows Lassie Stakes and placing in three other added-money races. In her first race for Kowal, Rings a Chime ran second in the Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III), then finished third in the Las Virgenes and fourth in the Santa Anita Oaks before heading to Keeneland. She was retired with four wins from 13 starts and earnings of $606,315.