Connections and Stats:
Her first stakes win was the 2010 Cotillion (G2) at Parx Racing (in track record time, defeating Blind Luck). In 2011, she won the Azeri (G3), Apple Blossom (G1), Woodward (G1) against males, the Beldame (G1) and then closed out the year by finishing 4th in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, earning her both Champion Older Female and Horse of the Year honors. Her final career start was a winning effort in the New Orleans Ladies Stakes at the Fair Groundas on March 17, 2012, and her final official workout was on April 22 at Churchill Downs, breezing 5f in 1:00.40.
2012 Racing Season:
She was training at the Fair Grounds and her only start for 2012 was a win in the New Orleans Ladies Stakes there. She was scheduled to race on Kentucky Oaks day and was in training at Churchill Downs when she injured her left front ankle on April 22. She was examined by Dr Larry Bramlage at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, and it was determined it would take at least a year to recover from it, so they decided to retire her.
You will find lots of photos of Havre de Grace here:
Injury, retirement, and upcoming sale:
Dr. Larry Bramlage described the injury: "This is just one of many ligaments that support the fetlock by attaching to the base of the sesamoid. Unfortunately, with one injured the remaining ligaments become progressively more vulnerable, and they would sequentially become injured if we trained on. These are slow healing and are prone to re-occur once injured the first time. In a lesser horse we would rehabilitate, probably using stem cell therapy, but it takes a year to fully resolve, and it usually reduces a horse's quality. In her instance this is not acceptable, and so we should probably stop her race career. She needs 60 days of stall rest and hand walking before turning out. She needs no special therapy if we are not going to train again as the remaining ligaments are intact because this was identified so early in the course of the problem. She will be fine as a broodmare. She could be bred at any time if you like. She can go outside in a stall-sized square pen if desired to help her settle into her new career. Normally we would just turn out at that time. We can check her again to assess if desired."
On announcing her retirement, owner Rick Porter said, "It is with great disappointment that I have to announce that Havre de Grace has been retired. Owning Grace through her racing career has been the highlight of my time in horse racing. She was a wonderful, wonderful racehorse, and I feel confident she'll be an equally wonderful broodmare. Thanks, Grace, for all you gave us, and here's to a long and enjoyable retirement."
Later, Porter added that she is up for sale and he has already received offers. If a private sale cannot be agreed on, he will send her to auction in November at Keeneland or Fasig-Tipton Kentucky. He added that Fox Hill Farms is primarily a racing and not a breeding operation and his business plan involves buying horses to race and then selling them afterwards. "I am not willing to invest a lot of money in racehorses every year and have a big investment in a quality broodmare band. It's tough to do both; it's too tough for me. Some people can do it, but I just don't have enough money to make that type of investment."