01/22/2004 1:00AM

Be Gentle retired with injury


Be Gentle, the winner of three stakes in Kentucky last year, has been retired after she was found to have an ankle fracture, owner Tom Van Meter II said.

Be Gentle will be bred to A.P. Indy, Grand Slam, or Unbridled's Song, Van Meter said.

Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Be Gentle won 4 of 7 starts and $523,078. Her stakes wins came in the Grade 3 Debutante Stakes and Grade 2 Golden Rod Stakes at Churchill Downs and the Grade 2 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland.

Be Gentle finished 11th in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita in October, at 37-1. At Saratoga, she finished second in the Grade 1 Spinaway Stakes.

Following the Golden Rod on Nov. 29, Be Gentle was sent to Lukas's stable in California for a break. The injury was diagnosed when she resumed light exercise in December, Van Meter said.

A 3-year-old, Be Gentle is by Tale of the Cat.