Val Royal, winning the Breeders' Cup Mile.

Val Royal, winning the Breeders' Cup Mile.

Mike Corrado

Breeders' Cup Winner Val Royal Retired

David Milch's Val Royal, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), has been retired because of a recurrence of a tendon injury. The injury was discovered after the son of Royal Academy ran fifth in the March 23 Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I).

"You don't want to take any chances with a horse like him," trainer Julio Canani told the Los Angeles Times. "He was going to be retired at the end of the year anyway."

In 1999, Val Royal suffered a tendon injury in his left foreleg. The problem was discovered after his victory in the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) in his first start for Milch. French-bred Val Royal previously had run for his breeder, J.L. Lagardere.

Val Royal, who was produced from the Bikala mare Vadlava, retires with seven wins from a dozen starts and earnings of $1,186,687. He won two group events in France and his other U.S. added-money win came in the Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile Stakes (gr. IIT) in his final prep for the Breeders' Cup Mile.

Breeding plans have not yet been decided.