06/14/2006 11:00PM

Dave's Friend euthanized at 31

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Dave's Friend, a millionaire graded-stakes winner, has died at age 31, according to Franks Farm representative Barbara Doughty. A Friend's Choice gelding, reputed to be a favorite of his late owner and breeder, John Franks, Dave's Friend had been living as a pensioner at the Shreveport, La., farm owned by Franks's widow.

He was euthanized Wednesday because of the infirmities of old age, Doughty said.

Dave's Friend began his career in 1978 at age 2, winning his first start by 12 lengths at Pimlico. He got his first stakes score in the Grade 3 Patriot Stakes at Keystone that year. By the time he retired in 1986, Dave's Friend had run 76 times, winning 35 races, 17 of them stakes. He earned $1,709,915 from a record of 35-16-8. In addition to the seven-furlong Patriot, he also captured the Grade 3, 1 1/8-mile Marylander Handicap at Pimlico in 1978, setting track records in both.

Dave's Friend was a son of Friend's Choice and the Duc de Fer mare Duc's Tina.