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Grade 2 Winner and Near-Millionaire Wakanaka Retired

Graded stakes winner Wakanaka  has retired from racing according to Barry Irwin of Team Valor International and will take up a new career as a broodmare in Kentucky. Owned in partnership with Gary Barber, the 6-year-old mare earned $914,075 through 23 starts, winning eight times with six seconds and two thirds.

A daughter of 2012 Irish Two Thousand Guineas (G1) winner Power , Wakanaka was bred by Jean Brennan and prospected by Irwin in Italy.

After winning the 2021 Italian One Thousand Guineas (G3), Wakanaka moved to the United States and joined the barn of Bill Mott. She finished sixth to future champion Regal Glory  in her U.S. debut, the 2022 Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf Invitational Stakes (G3T) at Gulfstream Park.

After two graded stakes placings, Wakanaka finished second behind Regal Glory and ahead of future four-time grade 1 winner In Italian  in the 2022 Just a Game Stakes (G1T) at Belmont Park.

Wakanaka earned her first North American victory in the 2022 Dance Smartly Stakes (G2T) at Woodbine, defeating eventual two-time grade 1 winner Fev Rover  by 1 3/4 lengths.

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Video: Dance Smartly S. (G2T)

Wakanaka closed out 2022 with a three-quarter-length win in the Fall Harvest Stakes at Keeneland on Breeders’ Cup Saturday, displaying her signature closing kick for the final victory of her career.

In 2023, Wakanaka added another grade 1 placing and two graded stakes placings. Transferred to trainer Michael McCarthy for 2024, she finished sixth in the Las Cienegas Stakes (G3T) at Santa Anita Park Jan. 14.

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