08/27/2004 12:00AM

Disturbingthepeace, 6, likely to be retired

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DEL MAR, Calif. - Disturbingthepeace, the champion California-bred sprinter of 2002, is likely to be retired after running poorly in two starts this summer, trainer Darrell Vienna said Friday.

Wednesday at Del Mar, Disturbingthepeace finished fourth as the 8-5 favorite in an optional claimer at 6 1/2 furlongs. Disturbingthepeace was near the front for the first half-mile but faded through the stretch. He was eligible to be claimed for $40,000, but there were no takers.

Owned by David and Rita Milch and Bill and Donna Herrick, Disturbingthepeace, a 6-year-old gelding, has won 8 of 24 starts and $666,020. Earlier at the meeting, Disturbingthepeace finished ninth in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap, his first start of 2004.

"He just doesn't want to do it anymore," Vienna said. "He doesn't have his heart on it."

Vienna said he would recommend to the owners that Disturbingthepeace be retired from racing.

"He's certainly raceable, but I don't see any sense in racing him anymore," he said. "I expect when I forward that position, they'll accept it. They're horse lovers.

"I think he'd make a good performance horse. He doesn't have a debilitating injury or he wouldn't have been racing."

Disturbingthepeace had his best season in 2002, winning 6 of 9 starts and $452,780. He won six consecutive races that season - three allowance races and three Grade 2 handicaps, the Triple Bend at Hollywood and the Pat O'Brien and Bing Crosby at Del Mar. The streak ended that fall with a seventh-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Arlington Park.

Death sparks a call for West Nile vaccination

The recent death of a claiming horse at Golden Gate Fields from the West Nile virus has led California equine medical officials to urge owners to vaccinate their livestock.

Quick Nip, 5, finished sixth against $8,000 claimers at Hollywood Park on July 9 in her last start. The California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory at UC-Davis found that she had been infected with West Nile virus, and Quick Nip was euthanized at Golden Gate Fields on Aug. 10.

To protect horses, two vaccines are available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Unless there is a clear, unambiguous history of proper West Nile virus vaccination, any new horse coming under a trainer's care needs to be vaccinated," Dr. Rick Arthur, a practicing veterinarian in Southern California, said in a statement released by the California Horse Racing Board. "A properly vaccinated young horse, as we have in horse racing, is very unlikely to contract a clinical case of West Nile virus."

The CHRB statement said there have been positive tests for the West Nile virus in birds found at Los Alamitos and Santa Anita Park. Santa Anita Park could be particularly vulnerable to exposure because of its proximity to the Los Angeles County Arboretum, a haven for birds.

Most racehorses have been vaccinated for West Nile, which can cause swelling, paralysis, and death.

"There are probably some horses at racetracks and breeding farms that have not been vaccinated," said Dr. Ron Jensen, the CHRB's equine medical director. "Even those horses that have been vaccinated require booster shots each year."

Lake William, Grade 3 winner, dies

Lake William, the winner of the 2001 San Simeon Handicap at Santa Anita who stood his first season at stud earlier this year, died recently from complications of an ulcerated colon. Lake William was 8.

Earlier this year, Lake William was bred to 57 mares at Pepper Oaks Farm, near Santa Ynez, Calif. He stood for $2,500.

Lake William won 7 of 21 starts and $320,091, racing most of his career for Jerry and Ann Moss and trainer Richard Mandella. Aside from the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap, Lake William also won the Dayjur Handicap for turf sprinters at Hollywood Park.