Santa Barbara, one of Ballydoyle's brightest talents, has died after a pelvic injury worsened the night of Sept. 22, trainer Aidan O'Brien revealed.
Always held in the highest regard by connections, the exciting daughter of Camelot was ruled out of a tilt at the Breeders' Cup earlier this week. The top 3-year-old was being treated for a fractured pelvis but was unable to be saved after further complications occurred.
Bred by Aidan and wife Annemarie O'Brien's Whisperview Trading operation, Santa Barbara impressed when landing back-to-back scores in the United States this summer. She captured the Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes (G1T) at Belmont Park against her age group, then won the Beverly D. Stakes (G1T) against older mares at Arlington International Racecourse.
O'Brien told the Racing Post Sept. 23: "Santa Barbara fractured her pelvis and unfortunately the fracture displaced overnight. It's obviously a real shame for everyone. She was a very talented filly."
A half sister to Breeders' Cup winners Iridessa and Order of Australia, Santa Barbara was memorably sent off 5-2 joint-favorite for the QIPCO One Thousand Guineas (G1) after winning a Curragh maiden on her only start as a 2-year-old.
She finished fourth to stablemate Mother Earth at Newmarket before failing to stay when fifth behind Snowfall in the Cazoo Oaks (G1) and then ran Thundering Nights close in the Al Wasmiyah Stud Pretty Polly Stakes (G1) when second at the Curragh.
Santa Barbara raced for Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Westerberg, the racing operation of Georg von Opel. In just six lifetime starts—of which she won three—Santa Barbara earned $731,938.