John's Call, after winning the 2000 Turf Classic at age 9.

John's Call, after winning the 2000 Turf Classic at age 9.

End of the Line: John's Call Retired

"He's officially retired." With those words Tom Voss, the respected trainer from Maryland, announced the end of the career of the gallant 10-year-old gelding John's Call.

Sunday, in the $150,000 Sycamore Breeders' Cup at Keeneland, John's Call contested the lead, ambled along at a moderate pace, but then faded to last in the seven-horse field. It was the third straight subpar performance for the hard-trying horse who, last year at 9, won two grade I stakes, finished a close third in the Breeders' Cup Turf and was a finalist for an Eclipse award as turf runner of the year.

Two months ago in the Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap at Saratoga, John's Call bled profusely from the lungs for the first time in his career. Despite the administration of the anti-bleeder medication Lasix, John's Call likely started bleeding again in subsequent races, Voss said.

"I guess he felt that trickle," Voss said. "Once they start doing it [bleeding], they sort of get scared of it."

John's Call retires after 40 races of which he won 16 and finished second 11 times. He earned $1,571,080. Voss said John's Call would return to his farm in northern Maryland.

"Enough's enough," the trainer said.