Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Now, I'm no horse racing expert, but I do think that this is highly unusual. In the 12th race on the Belmont Stakes card there was a horse racing that was in foal. Check out this list of changes. She is the 4 horse in the 12th:

The filly (mare?)Iron Goddess won by a length under Richard Migliore in a 6 furlong State-bred NW1X. Am I wrong in my understanding here? Has anyone ever seen this before?


Valerie said...

No, you are reading that correctly. I saw that program change listed on the Belmont webpage on Saturday morning before the race. I thought it was pretty curious too, so (being the egghead academic I am) I did further digging and found out that, while unusual, it is not actually that rare or even harmful for mare. In fact, it may give her a bit of an advantage, with surging hormones, etc., if in early pregnancy.

There have been some famous examples of mare racing while in foal, such as:
• Indian Queen who won the 1991 Ascot Gold Cup while in foal
• Spain who won the 2002 G2 Fleur-de-Lis Handicap while in foal to Storm Cat
• Likely Exchange who won several stakes while pregnant with Belmont Stakes winner Crème Fraiche

Pretty cool, huh?

John (AKA Not Too Swift) said...

Nice research Valerie.

I remembered Spain racing while in foal, I think it was the season after she won her Breeders Cup but I defer to Valerie on that.

Handride said...

I remember a female jockey in quarter horse racing while, I think, 4 months pregnant. They said the baby was more protected inside her than anywhere else, and the stewards let her ride.

Superfecta said...

I recall Randy Moss mentioning it about a mare last season -- can't remember who it was now, but it's pretty common if the mare is due to be retired at the end of the season. I believe he also referenced Spain as an example.

It's a long 11 months...

Baloo said...

Let me be ignorant for a moment.....Can a mare go back into training after having a foal? Has/is this been/being done?

Anonymous said...

Locally, I'm fairly certain the great Brilliant Brass (1992 Maryland Horse of the Year) ran in foal, although I don't think she made a comeback after giving birth.

That horse in New York, was my LOCK OF THE DAY, when I arrived at Belmont Park on Saturday and then John De Silva, handicapper for the New York Post, voiced his skepticism about my pick, pointing out she was in foal.
That's the last time I listen to a public handicapper. -- J.S.

Nellie said...

Oddly enough, I was just talking about Spain running while in foal over dinner yesterday. The conversation was regarding stallions who stand at stud 'on the side'.

Managed to find two articles on the Thoroughbred Times website:

The pros and cons of racing in foal

foal has permission to race

The second one deals with a 'how did that happen?' scenario in which the mare unexpectedly foaled, yet continued to run. However, a planned foal and then return to training? Not sure. It does happen relatively frequently in the other disciplines, though - an eventing friend of mine would breed her mare (a Thoroughbred) every few years ... she just gave her time off, then went right back to competition. I remember hearing somewhere that some people actually considered it beneficial for a mare to have been bred, as it seems to take the edge off (the 'mare as ultimate bitch' theory isn't always just a joke...).

Baloo said...

Thanks for the links Nellie. Makes for an interesting page of the Thoroughbred Database


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