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Exhilarated Retired

Published: June 7, 2019 3:27 pm ET

Last Comment: June 7, 2019 5:26 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Trot Insider has learned that 2018 O'Brien Award winner Exhilarated has been retired and will start a second career as a broodmare.

An absolute warhorse with her three straight 40-plus start seasons, Exhilarated won 38 races over her successful career. She first set foot on the racetrack almost six years ago to the day -- June 1, 2013 to be exact -- and amassed a stellar resume over that time punctuated by a bankroll exceeding $632,000.

Developed by Rob Fellows, Exhilarated was claimed in May 2015 for $22,500 by Auciello Stables. Since then, the daughter of Mach Three - Animated Art has battled fillies and mares across the continent. She spent most of her 2015 and 2016 seasons in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania but returned to Canada in early 2017. Exhilarated was a regular in the upper-level pacing distaff events over the last two seasons, racing against the sport's best in the Milton and Roses Are Red Stakes. Her 11-win campaign in 2018 placed her in O'Brien Award consideration, and the voters responded by naming Exhilarated Canada's Older Pacing Mare of the Year.

Left to right: Bill Dawson, Cindy Dawson, Donna Samis, Brian Samis, Kathryn Gilfoy, Jonathan Drury, Ashley Auciello, trainer and co-owner Carmen Auciello, Standardbred Canada Director Kent Oakes, Rocco Auciello, and Nancy Auciello.

Now nine, Exhilarated made 16 starts this season and picked up a pair of wins but trainer Carmen Auciello, who co-owns the mare with his father Rocco, told Trot Insider that it's time for his prized pupil to get some well-deserved rest.

"She’s been fighting a nagging knee injury and we felt it wasn’t something she’d be able to race on week in and week out for the rest of the year," said Auciello. "Our intention was to try to defend her O’Brien Award for 2019, and breed her next year, but it’s become pretty clear that she isn’t at the top of her game and that wasn’t going to happen."

Well aware that there's about a month left in breeding season, Auciello confirmed that he will try to get Exhilarated in foal with the stallion yet to be determined. He waxed poetic over Exhilarated in a post made to social media on Thursday.

"Very few horses in my career have given me and my family so much joy and excitement, and actually had the ability to change our lives! Not just with her earnings on the racetrack, but with her being recognized as the O’Brien Award winner for older pacing mares in 2018! In this business, you can work as hard as you possibly can, and do everything right, but without great horses, you will never win big stake races, and win O’Brien Awards. I am honoured to have ever been able to own and train a horse like Exhilarated, and can’t wait to train and race her babies!"

June 7, 2019 - 5:26 pmLay Lady Lay is also retired

Glen Lyons SAID...

Lay Lady Lay is also retired and looking forward to her new career as a broodmare.
Good luck Exhilareted. Maybe one of your foals and Lady's can match up again down the road.

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