By Ray Paulick
Flanders, the 1994 Eclipse Award-winning juvenile filly who defeated stablemate Serena's Song in one of the most exciting editions of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies ever run, was euthanized in mid-February after complications arose following a paddock accident in December at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky.
The daughter of Seeking the Gold out of the Storm Bird mare Starlet Storm had been purchased by Coolmore boss John Magnier for $400,000 from the Overbrook Farm dispersal, with Eaton Sales as agent, during the Keeneland November breeding stock sale in 2009. She was 18 at the time of her death.
Bred and owned by the late William T. Young's Overbrook Farm and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Flanders finished first in all five of her starts at two, including four Grade 1 races—the Spinaway, Matron, Frizette and Juvenile Fillies. A positive test for the therapeutic medication isoxsuprine, used for circulation problems in a horse's foot—disqualified Flanders from her victory in the Matron.
While she finished first by a combined margin of 36 1/2 lengths in her first four races (including a 21-length win in the Frizette), it was her duel against Serena's Song–who went on to win an Eclipse Award the following year and later induction into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame—that endeared Flanders to so many racing fans and horsemen. Hooked throughout the 1 1/16-mile Juvenile Fillies by Serena's Song and appearing beaten in the final furlong, Flanders dug down and battled back to win by a head over her stablemate in what proved to be her final race. She pulled up lame under jockey Pat Day after the finish and never made it back to the winner's circle. Flanders had surgery the following day for a displaced condylar fracture of the cannon bone and an axial fracture of the sesamoid in her right front ankle. She was subsequently retired to Overbrook Farm.
Click here to see a video of the Flanders-Serena's Song duel in the Breeders' Cup.
Flanders' first foal, Surfside, a daughter of Seattle Slew went on to be a multiple Grade 1 winner and champion 3-year-old filly of 2000. She produced several other winners, including Battle Plan, a 5-year-old son of Empire Maker who has won three of four starts for trainer Todd Pletcher and is aiming for the Oaklawn Park Handicap this spring following an impressive allowance win at Gulfstream Park Feb. 18. He is one of a small number of horses bred by Overbrook that were not included in the dispersal.
Flanders produced a Bernardini colt last month, but developed complications from the paddock accident and could not be saved. Thoroughbred Times reported she developed laminitis. The colt has been placed with a nursemare.
“Flanders was a gorgeous mare,” said Chris Young, the grandson of William T. Young who manages the remaining Overbrook horses. “She was one of my absolute favorites—probably had the best personality of any mare I've ever been around. I understand she was the one mare John Magnier really wanted from our dispersal, and it's really a shame they lost her.”
Copyright © 2010, The Paulick Report
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