Ouija Board Withdrawn from Vase, Retired

Ouija Board Withdrawn from Vase, Retired
Photo: Alexander Barkoff
Filly & Mare Turf winner Ouija Board, out of Hong Kong Vase.
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By Tracy Gantz
Ouija Board has been withdrawn from the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase (HK-I) at Sha Tin Racecourse on Dec. 10 due to soreness in the splint bone of her left foreleg.

The mare had been expected to conclude her brilliant racing career with a second victory in the Vase, a race she won last year, but during the routine pre-race veterinary examination Saturday morning, Hong Kong veterinary officials discovered the soreness.

Initially, another examination was to have been conducted Sunday morning. However, trainer Ed Dunlop x-rayed Ouija Board Saturday and found a slight problem. He took her out onto the track Saturday afternoon for an easy canter to evaluate her condition. Following that exercise, he and owner Lord Derby made the decision to withdraw her from the race rather than risk further injury.

"It is a very, very sad end to her career and an emotional day for everyone who have put in a huge team effort," Dunlop told the British Press Association.

Ouija Board, who won this year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), had suffered an injury to the same splint bone two years ago in England's Prince of Wales's Stakes (Eng-I). Originally scheduled to ship to Kentucky following this year's Vase, Dunlop said that she now might be shipped back to England so that he can monitor the injury.

Ouija Board, one of the most popular horses to ever compete in Hong Kong, was considered the most likely winner of the four international races, which also include the Hong Kong Mile (HK-I) and Hong Kong Cup (HK-I). Her withdrawal opens the door in the 2,400-meter Vase for Scorpion, the St. Leger (Eng-I) and Grand Prix de Paris (Fr-I) winner who most recently ran fifth in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).

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