She's been a familiar sight these past few years, a fireball chestnut galloping fiercely in the morning around ovals across the country with trainer Larry Jones along for the ride.
Now Fletcher and Carolyn Gray's gritty homebred I'm a Chatterbox will transition into her second career, as a broodmare whose first visit will come this season to Darley stallion Medaglia d'Oro . The multiple grade 1 winner has been retired, Jones said April 25.
"She's got some bone bruising, nothing bad and nothing to keep her from racing. But it would take three months to deal with it, and three months to get her back ready to go, and at that point you're already looking at late October, and you've missed the Breeders' Cup," Jones explained. "She's already 5, and the plan wasn't going to be to race her at 6 anyway, we were just going to race her this year."
A daughter of Munnings out of the Lost Soldier mare Chit Chatter, I'm a Chatterbox has an 8-4-3 record from 19 starts, with earnings of $2,354,454. Her top wins came in the 2015 Cotillion Stakes (G1) at Parx Racing, the 2016 Delaware Handicap (G1) at Delaware Park, and the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. She ran twice in the Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1), where she was fifth in 2016 and eighth in 2015.
"She really was dear to us," Jones said. "For her to win the Delaware Handicap, which was a race that kind of set me on the national level the first time with (2005 winner) Island Sand, was very special. And to be able to pull of that grade 1 win at Keeneland in the Spinster, well, winning a grade 1 at Keeneland is always dear to a Kentucky boy."
I'm a Chatterbox is already in Kentucky, where she will remain at Bill Harrigan's Miacomet Farm near Georgetown. She was part of Harrigan's consignment when she was offered at the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale, but was a $30,000 RNA. Harrigan reunited with her the following season when he prepared her to join Jones' string.
En route to her high-level accomplishments, I'm a Chatterbox showed her talent early on. A winner at first asking at Keeneland in October 2014, she took the 2015 Silverbulletday Stakes, Rachel Alexandra Stakes (G3), and Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), was third in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), and finished second in both the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) and the Alabama Stakes (G1) before notching her Cotillion win. Her other stakes placings came with runner-up efforts in the 2016 Hilliard Lyons Doubledogdare Stakes (G3) and in this year's Houston Ladies Classic Stakes (G3). She retires off a third in a March 4 allowance/optional claiming event over the lawn at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.