Champion Work All Week retired with stress fracture
Owner Midwest Thoroughbreds announced the news on Thursday, revealing the fracture probably happened when the six-year-old gelding finished third while going for another title defense, this time in the October 2 Phoenix S. (G3) at Keeneland.
Work All Week captured last year’s Phoenix by a length in a track-record setting 1:09 for six furlongs, and would go on to take the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and eventually an Eclipse Award as the 2014 champion sprinter, by a half-length. The Illinois-bred chestnut finished out the year with a 6-5-1-0 mark.
“Sometimes he gets heat in his ankles, so we were doing a routine check on him,” Midwest principal Richard Papiese explained. “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 seven-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.
“Work All Week is part of the family. We’re going to make sure he stays happy and healthy.”
Papiese added that Work All Week will stay in trainer Roger Brueggemann’s barn for the meantime and may take up duties as a pony. The popular gelding retires with more than $1.5 million in earnings having been worse than second only twice in his 19-race career.
Work All Week photo courtesy of Breeders' Cup Ltd.