Composure, winning the Santa Anita Oaks.

Composure, winning the Santa Anita Oaks.

Benoit photos

Composure Retired After Suffering Fracture

Robert and Beverly Lewis' star 3-year-old filly Composure has been retired from racing after suffering a fractured sesamoid in her right front leg.

"We're gravely disappointed," Bob Lewis said. "Bob (Baffert) called me on Tuesday and told me they had discovered swelling in her foot, which turned out to be an ever-so-slight crack in the sesamoid. She had shown no signs of it after racing in the (March 8) Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), but it showed up on Tuesday. Bob said he had gotten a call from the barn at 5:30 in the morning. He's always hesitant to receive a call at that hour, because it's always bad news.

"The prognosis for recovery is fine, but she wouldn't be able to make it back for eight to 10 months, and we decided it was best to retire her. She was such a magnificent filly. It's really a tragedy, but you have to accept things like that in this game. I know it doesn't relieve the ache and the pain of losing a filly like Composure, but we do have Santa Catarina, whom we'll point for the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). I'm not ready to make a decision on where Composure is going to go, but we do have one farm in mind at this point."

"It's just devastating," Baffert added. "Fillies like her are difficult to come by. She was such a big, beautiful mare. We noticed her foot was little bit sensitive, and there was some heat and swelling. X rays showed a tiny hairline fracture. We weighed our options as far as bringing her back, but by the time it healed, she would have missed the Breeders' Cup. I'm going to try to talk Bob into breeding her to Silver Charm."

It was Composure's sire, Touch Gold, who denied the Lewises' Silver Charm the Triple Crown by defeating him in the Belmont Stakes.

Produced from the stakes-winning Alleged mare Party Cited, Composure was bred by Gary Tanaka in the name of Rancho San Peasea S.A. and sold by Three Chimneys Farm to the Lewises for $470,000 at the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale. Party Cited is boarded by Tanaka at Three Chimneys.

The Lewises and Baffert had been contemplating pointing Composure to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), and were to make a decision after the filly ran in the April 5 Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. Baffert said on Monday that they were leaning more toward the Kentucky Oaks.

Composure won the Oak Leaf Stakes (gr. I) at 2 and was second to Storm Flag Flying in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). This year, she won both her starts, the grade I Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks, defeating Elloluv both times. She retires with four wins from eight starts and career earnings of $731,300.