Multiple Grade II Winner Puerto Banus Retired

Multiple grade II winner Puerto Banus has been retired after suffering an injury to a suspensory in his front leg, trainer Kristin Mulhall revealed Feb. 24.

The 6-year-old son of Supremo and the Regal and Royal mare Drina, a half-brother to all-time leading female money earner Spain, was preparing to start in last month's San Marcos Stakes (gr. II) when the injury occurred.

"It was a freak thing," Mulhall said. "It's not a terrible injury, but he tore a bunch of fibers in his suspensory. He's old enough and a multiple graded stakes winner so it's probably the right thing. With time we could bring him back, but he'd probably never be as good as he was."

Puerto Banus, owned by the partnership of Taub, Papiano and Noctis LLC, became his young conditioner's first career graded winner when he captured the 2003 Sunset Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park. He went on to win the following year's San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita and was looking to better his troubled ninth-place finish in the Dec. 4 Hollywood Turf Cup (gr. IT) in the San Marcos when he was hurt.

Puerto Banus is a half-brother to multiple grade I winner Spain (by Thunder Gulch) and the multiple allowance winner Fantastic Spain (by Fantastic Fellow), who is also trained by Mulhall.

Mulhall's father, Richard, trained Supremo for the late Prince Ahmed Salman's The Thoroughbred Corp. Supremo was Salman's first North American graded stakes winner when he captured the 1994 Norfolk Stakes (gr. II).

"I've been around Puerto Banus since he was a baby," Mulhall said. "I've actually been around the whole family with him and Spain, Fantastic Spain and Supremo. He's definitely been a family horse."

A stallion deal for Puerto Banus has yet to be worked out, Mulhall said, but the group has been looking at several options for the Kentucky-bred chestnut.

"(His owners) have expressed interest in keeping him as a stallion and maybe standing him somewhere here in California. We'll just have to see what's best for him."

From 20 career starts, Puerto Banus won five times, with three seconds and a third, for earnings of $380,410.