Grade 1 winner Illuminant has been retired from racing after she emerged from a recent workout with some minor signs of discomfort, her connections announced July 13.
According to trainer Michael McCarthy, subsequent diagnostics revealed the 5-year-old daughter of Quality Road had enough wear and tear that owners Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Head of Plains Partners LLC, SF Bloodstock, and Sol Kumin determined it was best to call it a day regarding her racing career. In her final start, Illuminant captured the May 27 Monrovia Stakes (G2T) over the downhill course at Santa Anita Park to earn her sixth victory of her career.
"Illuminant was a brilliant filly," McCarthy said. "She did some things in the morning time and come game time that only extraordinary racehorses can do. I have been very fortunate to be around some elite fillies and she ranks right up there with the best of them. We are sad to see her leave the barn, because she is so special to me, my family, and our team, but we are proud she heads back to Kentucky in good order and ready to go on and tackle her new career as a broodmare."
Illuminant took five tries to break her maiden, but ultimately got over the hump at Santa Anita in October of 2015. Seven months later the dark bay prevailed at the highest level when she won the Gamely Stakes (G1T) at Santa Anita.
"Illuminant was grade 1 in every sense of the word," said Eclipse president Aron Wellman. "She was a beast of a mare who took our partners on a magical ride during her career. Michael did a masterful job developing her, and it'll be tough to walk down his shedrow and not see that jet-black beauty behind a webbing. That said, she owes us nothing and we'll keep a close eye on her offspring, as she figures to be an incredible broodmare."
Bred in Pennsylvania by Sycamore Hall Farm, out of the stakes-winning Polish Numbers mare Sparkling Number, Illuminant retired with six wins from 14 starts and $536,243 in earnings. Wellman added the mare would likely be sold at the Fasig-Tipton November sale but "that would be up to our partners and SF Bloodstock."
"Illuminant provided us with some wonderful thrills this season," said Tom Ryan of SF Bloodstock. "It was a punch to the gut to arrive at the decision to retire her, because she's been working exceptionally well and we had a grade 1 campaign mapped out for her, but it's an honor to be associated with a filly of her caliber and we'll now focus on her next chapter."