ELMONT, N.Y. - Tizway, winner of two prestigious Grade 1 races in New York this year, will miss the Breeders' Cup Classic and be retired to stud after being diagnosed with a suspensory injury after a gallop Tuesday morning.
"He galloped over the track very well this morning," said trainer Jim Bond. "We put him on ice for an hour like we usually do, but he showed some swelling and heat. We called the vets and they saw a bruise and did an ultrasound. They found a diffused lesion in the suspensory branch of his left front leg. It's like the rope that holds the knee and ankle together."
Bond said that normal recovery time would be two months, but with the November 5 Breeders' Cup Classic scheduled to be his final race, the decision was made to retire him.
"The safe thing to do is retire him," said Bond. "The doctors said it was borderline, but I am not going to take a chance with a stud career in front of him. He galloped a mile this morning and looked great. The track was perfect. It was just bad luck. It's sad because I wanted him to have the chance to prove to everyone that he was the best horse in the world."
Tizway, owned by William Clifton, Jr., will now be retired to stud at B. Wayne Hughes's Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky.
2011 Breeders' Cup betting from Churchill Downs at Off-Track Betting
The 6-year-old son of Tizway battled minor injuries throughout the course of his career, taking six starts to break his maiden. He blossomed over the last few years, however, winning the Grade 2 Kelso Handicap at Belmont Park in 2010 and this year taking the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont and Grade 1 Whitney Invitational Handicap.
Bond called Tizway the best horse he has ever trained.
"If you asked me before the Whitney, I would have said Will's Way," said Bond, who saddled the son of Easy Goer to wins in the 1996 Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga and the 1997 Whitney. "But watching Tizway's wins in the Met Mile and Whitney gives me goosebumps, and the only horse that had ever done that to me before was Secretariat. Tizway has the jump on Will's Way because of how quick he is. I can't believe that I trained this horse, because he is amazing."
Jockey Rajiv Maragh, who rode Tizway for the horse's final 14 starts, echoed the trainer's sentiments.
"He is the most accomplished horse I have ever ridden," said Maragh. "His record speaks for itself. He has three or four big wins that can match up to some of the greatest horses that have ever raced in New York. His Met Mile performance was amazing. His Whitney and Kelso were amazing. His best race is as good as any horse that I have ever sat on."
Tizway retires to stud with a record of 7 1 5 from 20 starts and career earnings of $1,359,274.