Grade 1 winner Lady Eli retired and set to visit War Front
Six-year-old mare will be offered at the 2018 Keeneland November Sale
Lady Eli - a high-profile late withdrawal from the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale - has been retired from racing and is set for a liaison with War Front during the upcoming breeding season.
The six-year-old daughter of Divine Park is then set to be offered at this year's Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
"We have been wrestling with the very difficult decision of whether to race or retire Lady Eli since we scratched her from the Keeneland November Sale days after she was injured in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf," said Jay Hanley and Sol Kumin of Sheep Pond Partners in a statement.
"As her stewards we - with Chad's guidance at every turn - have tried to shepherd Lady Eli through her racing career with the utmost respect, compassion, and love for her as a living being first, and secondarily as a racehorse.
"It is in this spirit that we have ultimately chosen to retire Lady Eli from racing and allow her to gracefully - and safely - begin her career as a broodmare."
Trained by Chad Brown for the Sheep Pond Partners, Lady Eli accomplished the notable feat of winning a Grade 1 contest every year from two to five, including the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita and the Flower Bowl Stakes at Belmont Park.
Lady Eli came agonisingly close to winning the 2016 Filly and Mare Turf - a nose separating her and British raider Queen's Trust - and she suffered lacerations to both of her hind legs and lost one of her hind shoes when seventh in last year's renewal, the only time she has ever finished outside the first two in 14 starts.
"We can't begin to put into words how deeply she has affected us, our families and our friends," added Hanley and Kumin.
"We are all eternally grateful to her for granting us such intimate access to her journey. Similarly, there is no way that we can properly express in this forum our debt of gratitude to Chad, his staff and all of Lady Eli's caretakers through the years.
"Lastly we would like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to the legions of Lady Eli supporters and admirers from around the globe. Now that she is retired from racing, our plan is breed Lady Eli to War Front and have her remain in the very capable hands of John Sikura and his team until this year's Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. She will be offered there by John's Hill 'n' Dale consignment."
War Front, meanwhile, is embarking on his 12th season at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky, where he will stand his second season at a career-high fee of $250,000. The son of Danzig has sired 16 elite winners to date.