ANNA’S BANDIT RETIRED
No Guts No Glory Farm’s 7-year-old mare Anna’s Bandit, whose resume includes 11 stakes wins at three different tracks in two states as well as purse earnings of $806,655 over six seasons, has been retired from racing and will become a broodmare.
Bred and owned and trained by Maryland-based John ‘Jerry’ Robb and his wife, Gina, and ridden in 33 of her 39 lifetime starts by Xavier Perez, Anna’s Bandit retires with a career record of 17 wins, five seconds and eight thirds.
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The Maryland Jockey Club will honor Anna’s Bandit with a retirement ceremony between races during the 37th Jim McKay Maryland Million Day program Oct. 23 at Laurel Park.
“We’re very excited. It’s always hard, especially with a horse like Anna that’s done so much, that you have to make this decision,” Gina Robb said. We couldn’t be prouder of her. Now she’s coming home and I’m so grateful, I really am.
“She means the world to us. She’s like one of our children, basically. I think anybody who breeds horses can kind of relate to that, especially when it’s a mom and pop kind of thing like we are,” she added. “We’re a little operation. They’re all there with us on the farm, and bringing her home to the farm that we built means so much to us. I’m really happy for her that she had such an incredible career, and now she’s able to start over in a new chapter.”
In her most recent race, the daughter of Great Notion out of the No Armistice mare Onearmedbandit ran fifth in a six-furlong optional claiming allowance July 26 at Colonial Downs behind fellow multiple stakes winner Never Enough Time.
“We were pretty much decided that this was going to be her last year regardless, it didn’t matter if she was good, bad or indifferent,” Gina Robb said. “She came out of that Colonial race a little tired, and we were kind of shaking our heads because we thought it was one of her easier spots.
“When she came back from Colonial we just kind of didn’t like the way she was going,” she added. “She doesn’t have anything major where we had to stop her, but I think in all of our minds and our hearts and how much she means to us, we really didn’t want to take any more chances.”
Perez, who reached 1,000th career wins in June at Delaware Park, rode Anna’s Bandit to 14 wins, four seconds and seven thirds and all but $114,540 of her purse earnings. Other jockeys to ride Anna’s Bandit were Eric Camacho and Katie Davis in 2016 and 2017 and Gerald Almodovar in the May 29, 2020 Original Gold at Charles Town, her last win.
“She deserves it,” Perez said of retirement. “She doesn’t owe anything to anybody. She did her job and she made us proud. She’s safe and where she belongs. I’m happy for her.”
In 2019, Anna’s Bandit won nine of 11 starts and more than $400,000 in purses, tying for the most wins of any horse in North America. Her career stakes wins included the 2018 and 2019 Conniver, 2019 Maryland Million Distaff and 2019 Politely at Laurel Park and 2019 Timonium Distaff.
In West Virginia, where she was bred, Anna’s Bandit won the Down Town Allen and Sadie Hawkins in 2018; Original Gold, Sadie Hawkins and West Virgina Cavada Breeders’ Classic in 2019; and Original Gold in 2020.
Her Maryland Million win came just a week after Anna’s Bandit won the Cavada, a feat Gina Robb felt was at the top of a laundry list of accomplishments.
“That one year that when she won all those stakes, it was kind of like a blur,” she said. “After she won the West Virginia-bred race and came back in seven days … I have the goosebumps thinking of it. That had to be the most incredible of all the races.”
Anna’s Bandit also placed in 10 other stakes, including a third behind Majestic Reason and Victim of Love in the 2020 Runhappy Barbara Fritchie (G3), her lone graded-stakes attempt. Majestic Reason was a three-time stakes winner that was retired following the race, while Victim of Love went on to win back-to-back editions of the Vagrancy (G3) in 2020 and 2021 and run third in the 2020 Ballerina (G1).
“She’s amazing. She’s always going to be one of the best horses I ever rode, or anybody rode,” Perez said. “They don’t come around too often. You have to be lucky and be in the right place at the right time. It worked out for me.”
Anna’s Bandit’s success has been nothing short of remarkable. She showed she was special early on, debuting with a 6 ¾-length maiden special weight triumph May 6, 2016 at Laurel and jumping straight into stakes company. She finished third in the Astoria at Belmont and second in the Debutante at Churchill Downs, the latter in July, before going to the sidelines.
She went 14 ½ months between races, the result of multiple operations to repair leg injuries that went undiagnosed during her formative years.
Anna’s Bandit was limited to four starts in 2020, due to both the coronavirus pandemic that paused live racing in Maryland for 2 ½ months from mid-March to late May, and a minor foot issue in late summer that prompted Robb to give her the rest of the year off. She began this year running fifth in the June 13 Shine Again at historic Pimlico Race Course and second in the July 10 Dashing Beauty at Delaware.
Plans call for Anna’s Bandit to be bred in 2022, though the details have yet to be worked out.
“We are just trying to get over the fact that she’s retired. We do have time to discuss where we’re going on February 15th, because we plan on trying to get her in foal early,” Gina Robb said. “We would like to ship her and bring her home and not have her stay anywhere else. I don’t know that I’m ready to let her go. I’m just getting her back.
“I think the first year we might keep her local, to a Maryland sire or on the East Coast, somewhere close so we can ship and go and keep her home where I don’t have to worry about anything else. I’m very excited to be a part of her broodmare career, and to have her first foal on this farm is going to be one remarkable day.”
Anna’s Bandit Gallery