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Gulfstream Today 12.29.2012
Lead: SKS Stable’s 1981 Florida Derby (G1) hero Lord Avie died Friday night at Blue Ridge Farm in Upperville, Va. at age 34. He was the oldest living Eclipse Award winner until his passing.
Retired trainer Dan Perlsweig, 85, recommended his purchase for $37,000 at the Hialeah 2-year-old sales in 1980 and developed him to win the Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park and Young America (G1) at Meadowlands to seal an Eclipse Award season.
“He was the horse of a lifetime for me,” said Perlsweig, a regular visitor to the Gulfstream backstretch during the winter to visit longtime friends. “He gave me a lot of pleasure and opened many doors for me and my family.”
Syndicated in January of 1981 for $10 million, the bay son of Lord Gaylord out of Avie, by Gallant Man went on to post victories in the Hutcheson Stakes and Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, the latter a stunning performance under jockey Chris McCarron that immediately cast him as the clear favorite for the Kentucky Derby (G1).
However, a suspensory problem took him off the Triple Crown trail. He returned that summer to finish second in the Haskell Invitational (G1) at Monmouth Park and rallied from far back to finish third in the Travers Stakes (G1) on a ‘sloppy’ Saratoga track. Lord Avie was retired after winning eight of 16 starts for earnings of $705,000.
Lord Avie began his stud career at Spendthrift Farm before being relocated to William S. Farish’s Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Ky. He sired 74 stakes winner, including Avies Copy, third in the 1987 Kentucky Derby, French champion filly Ode, two-time Grade 1 winner Magical Maiden and long-distance star Cloudy’s Knight. Lord Avie was pensioned after the 2002 breeding season and spent his final years at Blue Ridge.
Perlsweig visited Lord Avie in retirement at least once every year, first in Kentucky and later in Virginia when multiple Eclipse Award-winning photographer Barbara Livingston captured a remarkable image of the two together at Blue Ridge in April this year.
Who’s Hot: Jockey John Velazquez and trainer Todd Pletcher teamed up to win two races – the second with Pepe and sixth with Harborinthetempest. Trainer Marty Wolfson won two races with Indiano scoring in the $100,000 Mr. Prospector Stakes (G3) in the fifth and Swagger Jack in the eighth. Owner-trainer Steve Dwoskin also won a pair with Brother Pat capturing the seventh race and Cutie’s Rosie the nightcap. Jockey Jose Lezcano also made two trips to the winners circle on a day of doubles for horsemen, riding the winners of the first and fourth races.
Rainbow 6 Hit Again: For the second consecutive day, Gulfstream's 10-cent Rainbow 6 was hit. The winner of the only winning ticket Saturday won $35,859.76. The ticket was purchased at Catskill OTB. The Rainbow 6 was hit Friday for $41,813.78.