11/10/2006 12:00AM

Bowl Game euthanized

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Bowl Game, the champion turf male of 1979, died Friday at age 32 in Paeonian Springs, Va. The gelding, believed to be the oldest living North American champion, was euthanized because of the infirmities of old age at a farm owned by the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's president, Johnathan Miller. Bowl Game had been under the foundation's care since 1998.

"He was out in the pasture and got two-thirds of the way up the hill and just lay down," Miller said in a foundation release. "He was in some distress, and it was clear to us that the time had come."

In four seasons at the track for Greentree Stable, Bowl Game won 11 of 23 starts, including four Grade 1's: the 1978 Gulfstream Park Handicap and the 1979 Turf Classic, Washington, D.C., International, and Man o' War Stakes. In taking the Turf Classic he also set a 12-furlong course record of 2:28.20. He retired in 1980 at age 6 with earnings of $907,083.

Bowl Game was a bay son of Tom Rolfe and the Round Table mare Around the Roses.

Bowl Game will be buried at Miller's Virginia farm.