Barbara Hunter’s homebred Keertana, who last year became the first female to win the Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) since Our Request in 1951, has been retired from racing. The 6-year-old mare was bred in the spring to Claiborne Farm stallion Arch and has been pronounced in foal.
Keertana last raced in the Orchid Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park March 31, finishing third. She later was bred and placed back in training. Trainer Tom Proctor had planned to keep her running through the summer but things changed.
“We just decided it was time,” he said. “She was nothing but a pleasure. I’ll miss her. She might not be the best filly I’ve ever trained, but she’s one of my favorites. I use to bring people in the barn and let them pet her. It was pretty cool to have an earner of $1 million that you can walk up to and pet.”
Keertana (Johar —Motokiks, by Storm Cat) was retired with a record of 11-6-8 from 29 starts and earnings of $1,031,938. In addition to the Louisville Handicap, she captured four other graded stakes. She placed in 11 other stakes including the 2010 Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT).
Keertana resides at Hunter’s Brownwood Farm near Nicholasville, Ky.
Another of Hunter’s homebred graded stakes-winning mares, Keertana’s half sister Snow Top Mountain, also has been bred this year but she remains in training. By Najran, 5-year-old Snow Top Mountain is in foal to Claiborne stallion Blame .