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Grade I Winner Rigoletta Retired

Filly was weighted at 118 pounds on last year's Experimental Free Handicap.

Rigoletta, one of the leading 2-year-old fillies of 2010, has been retired from racing because of a tendon injury discovered after she ran sixth in the Honeybee Stakes (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park March 12. Her owners, Erik and Pavla Nygaard, who plan to have her bred, have sent her to Drew Nardiello’s Chesapeake Farm near Lexington.

“She loved racing and had trained tremendously well for the Honeybee, which makes her injury perplexing,” Pavla Nygaard said. “We thought about rehabilitating her and bringing her back to race but coming back at the same level is difficult.”

Dan Hendricks, who trained Rigoletta, bought the daughter of Concerto for the Nygaards for $35,000 at the 2010 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s April sale of 2-year-olds in training. Rigoletta was consigned as agent by her breeder, J. Michael O’Farrell’s Ocala Stud.

Based on the West Coast and raced in the name Thor-Bred Stable, Rigoletta won last year’s Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) and ran third in the Darley Debutante Stakes (gr. I). She was weighted at 118 pounds on the Experimental Free Handicap for fillies, five pounds below champion and topweight Awesome Feather.

Rigoletta, who finished unplaced in her other start this year, the La Habra Stakes (gr. III) in February, was retired with two wins from six starts and earnings of $184,070.

A full sister to stakes-placed Evening Concerto, Rigoletta is out of the winning Montbrook mare Almost Aprom Queen, who is a half sister to stakes winners Sea of Green and Lady Gin.