09/06/2007 12:00AM

Banker's Jet euthanized at age 25


Eight-time stakes-winner Banker's Jet, an earner of $679,381 who was rescued from neglect and became a mascot for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, has died at age 25. He had been living in retirement at the Connecticut farm of the foundtion's treasurer, Raymond Roy.

Banker's Jet had a career highlighted by his victory in the 1987 A Phenomenon Stakes at Saratoga and a second-place finish in the Grade 2 Fall Highweight Handicap at Belmont the same season. He ran 106 times, winning 28 of those races. But his career ended sadly when he broke down while finishing third in a $5,000 claiming race at The Meadowlands in 1991. The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation later took him in after he was found starving and near death at a riding stable near Albany, N.Y.

"His plight, his brave fight for survival, and his subsequent recovery touched thousands and introduced many to the horrors that can befall a Thoroughbred after their racing days end," a foundation statement announcing his death said.

Banker's Jet was euthanized July 23 because of problems associated with arthritis in his forelegs.

Banker's Jet, a Florida-bred, was by Tri Jet out of the Final Ruling mare Weezie.