Midwest Thoroughbreds’ Grade I Breeders’ Cup Sprint-winning homebred Work All Week has been retired from racing due to a stress fracture in his right knee, his connections announced Thursday.
According to Midwest principal Richard Papiese, the stress fracture was discovered during a routine scan performed following his third place finish in the Grade III Phoenix Stakes at Keeneland on October 2.
“Sometimes he gets heat in his ankles, so we were doing a routine check on him,” Papiese said of Work All Week. “We decided to go ahead and check his knees for no reason except just to be thorough and we found a stress fracture that likely occurred during the running of the Phoenix. There was no pulse or heat, but there was just enough for us to have to stop on him. We are so lucky we decided to check, because it could have set him up for a slab fracture and that could have been catastrophic. To bring him back as a 7-year-old would be a big risk and he’s already done so much and given us so many highs that I would not risk his health and happiness. It’s not a tragedy and the glass isn’t half-empty – it’s full because he isn’t shattered.”
Trained by Roger Brueggemann, Work All Week was named the Eclipse Award champion male sprinter for 2014 for a campaign that saw him win five of six starts, highlighted by his half-length win in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita Park on November 1.
The only time the 6-year-old gelding finished worse than third in any of his 19 career starts came when he finished sixth in his career debut going 1 1/16-miles on the turf at Hawthorne in November 2012. The Illinois-bred son of City Zip and the Repriced mare Danzig Matilda won over nine different tracks and was ridden to victories by jockeys Florent Geroux, Chris Emigh, Francisco Torres and Seth Martinez.
“You try to keep the highs and lows in perspective,” Papiese said. “After all the tears, the good thing is that we still have the horse and he goes out as a reigning Eclipse champion, Breeders’ Cup champion and the best sprinter ever in Illinois – and doesn’t go out in an ambulance. You feel bad for the horse because all he wants to do is run and compete, but this is the right thing to do. We will keep him in Roger’s barn for now and then possibly make him into a pony. He loves to be at the track.”
Work All Week retires with 13 wins from 19 starts and $1,511,071 in earnings.
“Work All Week is part of the family,” Papiese concluded. “We’re going make sure he stays happy and healthy.”