Cape Blanco, who withstood a tenacious challenge for a game victory in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) Oct. 1, has been retired due to an injury sustained in the race over yielding turf at Belmont Park.
According to a statement from trainer Aidan O’Brien, the 4-year-old son of Galileo who was poised to be favored in the Nov. 5 Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) sustained a slab fracture of his knee.
“Cape Blanco is an extremely talented and courageous horse with a tremendous attitude to his racing so we will all be very sad to see him leave Ballydoyle,” said O’Brien. “The fact that he never once changed leads in the home straight in spite of his injury just goes to prove what a brave horse he is. It is very disappointing for all the partners especially the Hays as we were very much looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup.”
Racing for owners Mrs. Fitriani Hay, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, and Michael Tabor, Cape Blanco posted his ninth lifetime victory in 15 starts and extended his career earnings to $3,855,665 with his Turf Classic win.
Cape Blanco won the Man o’ War Stakes (gr. IT) over Belmont’s inner turf course July 9 and returned to America a month later to capture the Arlington Million (gr. IT) at Arlington Park.