At least one of Thoroughbred racing's queens isn't quite ready to abdicate her throne.
Champion Goldikova, who became the first horse to win three Breeders' Cup races when she captured the Mile for a third consecutive time Saturday, will remain in training next year to aim for an unprecedented four-peat, co-owner Gerard Wertheimer confirmed at the Keeneland November sale Monday.
"Yes, she is," said Wertheimer, who owns the 5-year-old daughter of Anabaa along with his brother Alain. He pointed to Saturday's race as the reason. "She won very well, she is doing so well. She's in very good condition."
Trained by Freddy Head, who also guided the champion mare Miesque to wins in the Mile in 1987 and '88 as a jockey, Goldikova won the Mile by 13/4 lengths over champion Gio Ponti at Churchill Downs with convincing ease. The small but powerful bay mare has earned 12 Grade I/Group I wins from 21 career starts — a European record — including eight triumphs against males.
"It is very difficult to say something about someone exceptional," Gerard Wertheimer said. "She is once-in-a-lifetime."
This season alone has seen Goldikova win five Grade I/Group I races including a victory during the Royal Ascot meeting in the Queen Anne Stakes.
While many of racing's most accomplished runners head to the breeding shed, Wertheimer said one of the reasons for keeping their star mare in training was so her fans could continue to enjoy her.
"I think it's very important that the public has a good horse like her for one more year," he said. "It's very important for the public to come in and see something like her."
Although Goldikova was overshadowed by Zenyatta's unsuccessful quest to win a second Breeders' Cup Classic and end her career 20-0, the reigning Eclipse Award winner for champion turf female has her own devoted following in Europe.
Goldikova was to ship back to Europe as early as Monday and is likely to have a similar campaign in 2011 as this year's.
"What's left to prove? To do the same thing," Wertheimer said. "It's like being on top of the clouds. It's like a dream."