Standout filly Simply Ravishing returned to training late last month, ending her quick retirement after she failed to get into foal to Into Mischief this spring.

Simply Ravishing-Back in training
The pinnacle of Simply Ravishing’s career came when she and Luis Saez captured the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Churchill Downs last October. The 3-year-old filly came out of a three-month retirement after not going into foal with Into Mischief (Image: Coady Photography)

Trainer Kenny McPeek announced via Twitter that the Grade 1-winning filly will return to racing in the Aug. 4 Statue of Liberty Division at Saratoga. That one-mile restricted-stakes turf race is for 3-year-old filly offspring of New York-based stallions. Because her father, the late stallion Laoban, stood in New York when she was foaled, Simply Ravishing is eligible for this race.

McPeek posted a video on Twitter of Simply Ravishing working out on Saratoga’s Oklahoma training track. The 3-year-old posted two bullet workouts since returning to McPeek’s care. She breezed three furlongs in 35.86 seconds on June 26, the fastest of 14 at that distance that day. Simply Ravishing followed that up with a July 3, four-furlong breeze in 48.08 seconds. That was the fastest of 25 at that distance that day.

Simply Ravishing’s impromptu retirement after April’s Grade 1 Ashland Oaks at Keeneland caught many by surprise. It followed a disappointing sixth in that final Kentucky Oaks tune-up race. Simply Ravishing finished last in that effort with a career-worst 68 Equibase Speed Figure that marked a 21-point drop from her previous effort.

Simply Ravishing suffered three straight speed-figure drops

That was a fourth in the Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes at the end of 2020. The Ashland marked Simply Ravishing’s lone 2021 start. And her fourth in the Nov. 28 Golden Rod came with an 89 Equibase that reflected a seven-point drop from her fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Simply Ravishing’s fourth-place, 96 Equibase from the Breeders’ Cup marked a six-point drop from her career-best 102 Equibase in her previous start. That was her victory in the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland last October. Simply Ravishing’s 6 1/4-length Alcibiades win was her third consecutive victory opening her career. Earlier, she won a maiden special weight and the Black-Type PG Johnson Stakes, both at Saratoga.

That Simply Ravishing’s speed figures dropped 34 points in three races provided her connections cause for concern. Especially in a one-time, A-list 3-year-old filly.

Physical issues explained part of her struggles

McPeek explained part of the reason for that in the spring when he reported that Simply Ravishing suffered from a breathing issue.

“We stopped on her after the Ashland and decided to breed her to Into Mischief, unfortunately she did not get into foal this spring,” McPeek tweeted, by way of explanation. “Maybe too soon off the track. After some rest @Magdalena Farm, she had so much energy, we brought her back. Breathing issue resolved too.”

Simply Ravishing had banked $422,200 in her six starts, three of which put her in the winner’s circle.

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