Mean Mary, one of North America's top female turf competitors, has been retired at age 5, bowing out after finishing second in the Beverly D. Stakes (G1T) at Arlington International Racecourse in her final race.
The Scat Daddy mare, out of the Dynaformer mare Karlovy Vary, earned $1,086,270, per Equibase, in a career that saw her victorious in seven of 12 starts. She also had three seconds, finishing out of the money only in her career debut Sept. 6, 2019, on the dirt at Laurel Park and in last year's Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1T) at Keeneland, where she reported seventh.
Mary Venezie, representing owner Alex G. Campbell Thoroughbreds, tweeted the retirement.
"With heavy hearts, Team Campbell, (trainer) Graham Motion and Herringswell Stable have decided to retire our girl, Mean Mary," Venezie said.
"She ran a great race and we had so much fun cheering her on," Venezie said. "We are very sad but we are looking to the future and what is best for her."
After her second to Santa Barbara in the Beverly D., Motion said jockey Luis Saez reported Mean Mary, a confirmed front-runner, had hit the gate hard at the start and the impact "took all the sting out of her." She took the lead but was unable to hold off her Ireland-based rival, who ran by to win by three lengths.
"I haven't been totally happy with her since she started training after that race at Arlington," Motion said. "I couldn't find anything actually wrong but she just didn't seem right. So we gave her a scan and, sure enough, she had bone bruising inside her right front fetlock. It seems quite extreme."
He said he is disappointed Mean Mary won't get another shot at the Breeders' Cup. "But my main regret is she didn't get a grade 1 win," he said. "She deserved it."
Bred in Kentucky by Campbell, Mean Mary is one of three winners out of Karlovy Vary, winner of the 2012 Central Bank Ashland Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. The mare, who also produced graded stakes winner Bye Bye Melvin, died in 2017.
Mean Mary won her second start in October 2020 at Keeneland. That front-running effort, at odds of 7-1, gave notice she had more to offer as she cleared 11 rivals to win by 3 1/4 lengths.
She lived up to that promise as a 4-year-old, winning the La Prevoyante Stakes (G3T) and the Orchid Stakes Presented by Rood & Riddle (G3T) at Gulfstream Park and the New York Stakes (G2T) at Belmont Park, all in succession.
A close second behind Rushing Fall, last year's champion turf female, in the Diana Stakes (G1T) at Saratoga preceded the Breeders' Cup effort, in which she disputed the pace and was beaten only 2 1/2 lengths as Rushing Fall finished second.
This year, Mean Mary won the Gallorette Stakes (G3T) at Pimlico and repeated in the New York Stakes before her final start at Arlington.
Along with War Like Goddess, winner of the Flower Bowl Stakes (G1T) at Saratoga, Mean Mary would have been among the top U.S. contenders in this year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf Nov. 6 at Del Mar.