The reigning Thoroughbred Horse of the Year, the five-year-old mare Havre de Grace, has been retired with an ankle injury. If the injury is as bad as her connections announced, they certainly did the right thing. But it does make you wonder if their loud complaints about her modest 123 pound weight assignment for the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn, which they dodged, masked other concerns. Maybe they knew she wasn't the same horse she was last year, in spite of her win in her first start of 2012. There was a precedent. 2009 HOY Rachel Alexandra wasn't a fraction as good in her final, shortened, season as she was in her championship year.
It all makes you admire 2010 Horse of the Year Zenyatta all the more. After a short season at 3, she raced full campaigns at four, five, and six, and she was as good the day she retired as she was in her debut. She certainly was one of a kind.