From a Maryland Jockey Club release
Between today’s fourth and fifth races, the Maryland Jockey Club presented a special retirement ceremony for Bowie-based Dance to Bristol, who completed her career with a sixth place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) earlier this month.
The filly was on hand in the winners’ circle, as were her owner, trainer and rider. It was an emotional scene and they were warmly received by numerous admirers.
Owned by Taneytown resident Susan Wantz and trained by Ollie Figgins III, Dance to Bristol enjoyed a stellar 4-year-old campaign with victories in seven of her 10 starts this year, including three graded stakes.
The daughter of Speightstown and jockey Xavier Perez reeled off seven straight victories from February through August, including a win in the Skipat Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Preakness weekend and three graded races in New York: Bed Of Roses (G3), Honorable Miss (G2) and Ballerina (G1).
“This is a very special and emotional day for all of us,” said Figgins. “She was up for every challenge we gave her. She was a great horse to train and it was a pleasure to have her in my barn.”
“It’s hard for me, knowing this is the last day we will see her,” said Perez. “She was amazing. She took me to places I had never been. I had my first graded race experience and Breeders’ Cup with her. I’m going to miss her.”
Dance To Bristol finished her career with 10 wins and eight second place finishes in 20 career starts for earnings of $980,880. She raced nine times in Maryland with five victories and four runner-up finishes. She broke her maiden on Oct. 29, 2011 at Laurel Park and also captured the 2012 Marshua Stakes at the central Maryland track.
Next week, Dance to Bristol leaves for Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington, Kentucky to start her new career as a broodmare.
“She’s a wonderful horse and she’s going to be bred to War Front,” said Wantz. “We did what was best for her. It was a really hard decision. Everyone wanted her. We knew we weren’t going to sell her. We wanted to have a say. She couldn’t leave the country. She couldn’t be resold. We’re looking forward to seeing her beautiful babies.”