Brazilian Triple Crown Winner Retired

Virginie, a winner of grade I races in both Brazil and the United States, has been retired due to a small bone chip in her left front foreleg. Richard Mandella, who trains Virginie for Rio Claro Thoroughbreds and R.D. Hubbard, apparently found some slight filling in the leg prior to her second-place finish in the March 26 Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT), and had her further checked out following the race.

Tom Goncharoff, who manages Crystal Springs Farm near Paris, Ky., for Hubbard and Connie Sczney, said the mare was flown to Kentucky to be checked out by Dr. Larry Bramlage, so if the decision was made to retire her, she would already be near her new home.

Bramlage found surgery would be necessary to return to racing, but was not required if the mare was retired, so that route was chosen. “With a mare this valuable, you just don’t want to risk it,” Goncharoff said.
Virginie (Legal Case—Misty moon, by Baronius) has won nine of her 11 lifetime races, and finished second twice. her earnings total $435,122, but do not indicate her performances. Before coming to the United States in 1998, Virginie won Brazil’s Triple Crown for fillies in 1997, comprised of the Grande Premio hnerique Possollo, the Grande Premio Diana, and the Grande Premio Marciano de Aguiar Moreira, all group I events. In this country she won the 1999 edition of the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IT). Her half-sister, Be Fair, captured this year’s filly Triple Crown in Brazil and was slated to contest the Brazilian Derby, the 1 1/2-mile Gran Premio Cruzeiro do Sul, as the favorite on April 30. Their dam, Misty Moon, is at Crystal Springs and has been bred to Kris S. All three horses are owned in partnership by Hubbard and Rio Claro.

Virginie is now at Crystal Springs. If an acceptable season can be obtained within the next week, she might be bred, but beyond the first week in May, Goncharoff said the likelihood she would be bred decreases.