Balletto, the first Dubai-bred to win a grade I stakes in North America, has been retired from racing after undergoing surgery for an impacted intestine. The 3-year-old filly, who raced as a homebred for Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stable, is recuperating at Darley at Jonabell near Lexington. The operation did not require the removal of any part of the intestine.
Balletto's history-making took place at Belmont Park. Fresh off a runner-up effort in the Matron Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont, Balletto won the Frizette Stakes (gr. I). Balletto then ran second to subsequent champion Sweet Catomine in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). For the year, Balletto was first or second in all five races and earned $614,000.
Balletto, whose sire, Eclipse Award winner Timber Country, stood in Dubai at the time she was conceived, spent last winter in Dubai being prepared for a North American campaign. She developed a case of colic following her arrival at Belmont Park.
A half-sister to Irish group winner Dearly, Balletto is out of graded stakes winner Destiny Dance (by Nijinsky II). Her second dam is champion Althea.