03/26/2004 12:00AM

For broodmare Evil Elaine, name didn't fit


LEXINGTON, Ky. - When Evil Elaine, whose son Favorite Trick was named juvenile champion and Horse of the Year in 1997, died on March 22, she left a great legacy at Summer Wind Farm in Georgetown, Ky.

Karen Bailey, daughter of farm owners Jane and Frank Lyon Jr., will always be thankful for that.

When Bailey's family opened Summer Wind in 1995, they started with Bailey's three show horses. The Lyons had just moved to Kentucky from Arkansas, and Bailey joined them after attending graduate school at Vanderbilt. Just two years later, thanks to the broodmares Evil Elaine and Ingot Way, the farm would be on the commercial breeding map in a very big way.

Summer Wind bought both mares privately, and the Lyons' timing when they purchased Evil Elaine was impeccable: They struck the deal the night before the 1997 Breeders' Cup. The next afternoon, her son Favorite Trick won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and clinched his Horse of the Year title. Hours later, Ingot Way's most famous son, Skip Away, won the Classic.

"Words cannot describe how we felt that day," recalled Karen Bailey, who watched the 1997 Breeders' Cup simulcast with her mother at Keeneland. "We were ecstatic."

That ecstasy translated into some heady publicity, and then into huge opportunities in the sale ring. Ingot Way's 1997 foal, a Skip Trial colt named Skipingo, brought $300,000 at the Keeneland September sale the following year, and her 1998 foal, a Seeking the Gold colt named Seeking the Way, brought $450,000 at the 1999 Keeneland July auction. And the results were even better for Evil Elaine's foals: Her 1998 Grindstone filly, Tricky Elaine, brought $450,000 at the 1999 July sale, and her 2002 Unbridled filly, Unbridled Evil, fetched a $2.4 million bid from Demi O'Byrne at the 2003 September auction.

"It was good for the mares to get the recognition they deserved," Bailey said. "They were not typical blue-blood mares. They put us on the map. And I think what they also did was give us confidence that we were on the right track. It kind of shows you that the mares you're buying are fitting the program you're trying to establish."

But both mares meant far more to Bailey than financial assets. They were her great favorites.

Ingot Way died in 2002 at age 21, and losing 20-year-old Evil Elaine was an especially hard blow to Bailey.

"She was kind, gracious, and beautiful," Bailey said sadly. "And she was expressive and affectionate. When you'd come into her stall, she'd always put her nose on your cheek and just breathe on you. Even toward the end, when she became uncomfortable, I can't remember one day that she was ever mean or laid her ears back at anyone. People asked me, 'How did this mare get the name Evil Elaine?' "

When the mare foundered after surgery to fuse her hind ankle joints, Bailey asked veterinarians at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital to block the nerves in the mare's legs, so that she would not be in pain, and then she brought Evil Elaine home to be euthanized at Summer Wind.

"I promised her I'd bring her back home, and I kept that promise," Bailey said. "I wanted to hold her head, to let her know that she was home and that she was loved."

Bailey had Evil Elaine buried next to Ingot Way, under an old tree at Summer Wind.

"I go by there every day, and it's hard," she said. "It will probably get easier. But I miss her every day."

Etc. . . .

* Triumph Racing Stable announced Friday that it has privately purchased Chilean stakes winner Hipocrite in a deal brokered by Joe Brocklebank of Erin-American Bloodstock. Triumph, a new racing partnership venture based in New York, will campaign the 3-year-old Hussonet filly in the United States. Hipocrite is a daughter of the Worldwatch mare Wild Figure.

* Rood and Riddle will hold an equine-health seminar on April 22 at the Kentucky Horse Park's South Theater. The seminar, which will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. and has a $5 admission, will include presentations on treadmill examinations of the upper airway; magnetic resonance imaging; and sport-horse medication rules. Presenters will include Dr. Chris Newton, Dr. Scott Hopper, Dr. J. Brett Woodie, and Dr. Kent Allen.