Antonio Francesco’s Simmard , who was experiencing his best year of racing, has been retired because of a fractured sesamoid that was discovered after an Aug. 13 workout at Woodbine in preparation for the Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 18. Breeding plans are undecided.
“He had been doing so well this year. It’s a big shame,” said trainer Roger Attfield, a recent Hall of Fame inductee who raced Simmard with William Werner before selling the 7-year-old horse to Francesco prior to Simmard’s last start June 24. Simmard, by Dixieland Band, finished second that day in the Singspiel Stakes (Can-IIIT) at Woodbine.
A long distance specialist, Simmard won or placed in all five starts this year. In addition to his effort in the Singspiel, Simmard captured the Mac Diarmida Stakes (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park at 11 furlongs and the Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs at 1 1/2 miles. He also ran third in the Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIT) and the Pan American Stakes (gr. IIT).
Simmard, whose other stakes win came in the 2009 Chief Bearhart on grass, was retired with a record of 7-5-4 from 32 starts and earnings of $635,953.
Bred in Kentucky by Haras Santa Maria de Araras S.A. and initialy raced by his breeder, Simmard is out of the stakes-winning Spectacular Bid mare Dibs and is a half brother to multiple French stakes winner Le Carre. Dibs is a full sister to graded stakes winner Double Feint and a half sister to three stakes winners, including Narrate, the granddam or great-granddam of successful sires Johannesburg, Pulpit , and Tale of the Cat .