10/23/2008 12:00AM

Alysheba returning to Kentucky


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Alysheba, twice a champion and the 1988 Horse of the Year, has retired from breeding in Saudi Arabia and will return to Kentucky this month as a gift from his owner, King Abdullah.

A 24-year-old son of Alydar, Alysheba will reside at the Kentucky Horse Park, which plans a public welcome for him on Oct. 31 at 1:15 in its Hall of Champions. Alysheba, winner of the 1987 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and the 1988 Breeders' Cup Classic, will live in the stall formerly occupied by John Henry. The stall is located across the barn aisle from the stall housing Cigar, who broke Alysheba's lifetime earnings record.

Alysheba has stood at King Abdullah's Janadria Farm since 2000. He stood his first years at Will Farish's Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky.

Frank McGovern, general manager of the royal stables, said that King Abdullah chose the Kentucky Horse Park partly because it allowed easy access to the stallion's fans.

Trained by Jack Van Berg for Dorothy and Pamela Scharbauer, Alysheba earned $6,679,242. In addition to his classic and Breeders' Cup victories, he won seven other stakes, six of them Grade 1 events. After his 1987 Derby and Preakness wins and a second-place finish to Ferdinand in that year's Breeders' Cup Classic, Alysheba was voted champion 3-year-old male. He earned the older-male championship and Horse of the Year title the following season after winning the Classic and the Santa Anita, Woodward, Iselin, San Bernardino, and Meadowlands Cup handicaps, as well as the Strub Stakes.

Preston Madden bred Alysheba from his Lt. Stevens mare Bel Sheba.

Alysheba has spent a two-month quarantine in Dubai. Because he has been accustomed to a hotter climate, Hall of Champions staff will use the heater already installed in John Henry's stall to keep him warm enough while he grows a winter coat.