Desert Blanc, winner of the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park on June 9, has been retired from racing due to a tendon injury, his connections announced Sunday.
Trainer Chad Brown said he noticed some inflammation in the 4-year-old Desert Blanc’s tendon about a week after the Manhattan and an ultrasound “revealed what we were hoping not to hear,” Brown said. “That he has a large lesion in the center of his tendon.”
Brown said the prognosis was not good for Desert Blanc to return “to the level where he is now so we went ahead and retired him.”
Brown said that Peter Bradley of Bradley Thoroughbreds, a bloodstock agent who helped buy the horse from European connections last year, will be in charge of making stallion arrangements for Desert Blanc, a son of the Irish-bred Desert Style out of the Indian Ridge mare Lumiere Rouge.
“It’s very disappointing,” Brown said. “I’ve been lucky to be around a lot of top grass horses and this horse ranks right up there near the top of the list. We had big plans for this horse.”
An English-bred son of Desert Style, Desert Blanc won 3 of 5 starts in France when trained by Pascal Bary for the Moussac family.
The horse was purchased by Bradley on behalf of Swift Thoroughbreds, Mackie Racing and Vintage Thoroughbreds and turned over to Brown during the winter.
In his North American debut, Desert Blanc broke slowly and rallied to finish second to Boisterous in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy at Belmont on May 5.
Five weeks later, he outlasted a late-running Papaw Bodie to win the $500,000 Manhattan by a nose.
Desert Blanc retired with a record of 4-1-1 from 7 starts and career earnings of $428,133.
“We’re very proud of that horse,” Brown said. “He showed what he was made of in the Manhattan. I hope someone gives him a shot [as a stallion]. He’s a class act.”
Find out more at DRF: http://www.drf.com/news/manhattan-winner-desert-blanc-retired-tendon-injury