Kentucky Bear, who ran third in this year’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I), has been retired from racing after suffering a leg injury. The 3-year-old Mr. Greeley colt, owned by Danny Dion’s Bear Stables, was stabled at Santa Anita when the incident happened.
“We’re not sure if the injury happened during a workout or while he was galloping out after it,” said trainer Reade Baker.
Kentucky Bear worked five furlongs Dec. 7 in :58.20, the fastest of 59 works that day.
“It’s a shame what happened,” Baker said. “He was really a fast horse.”
Unraced at 2, Kentucky Bear won at a mile at Gulfstream Park in his first race, then ran in the Blue Grass two races later, beaten 1 1/2 lengths. His graded stakes earnings of $75,000 weren’t enough to get him into the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Kentucky Bear raced just twice more. He ran sixth to Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) and then ran unplaced in the Colonial Turf Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT) in June in what was his last race. He retired with one win from five races and earnings of $100,200. He was bred in Kentucky by Alexander Valley Breeders and produced from the Afleet mare Tate.
Baker plans to send Kentucky Bear to Ocala Stud Farm in Ocala, Fla. Breeding plans are incomplete.