07/11/2005 11:00PM

Egg Head euthanized at 3

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Egg Head, one of the up-and-coming members of the 3-year-old division, was euthanized on Monday after succumbing to a case of founder.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, who also owned part-interest in the colt, said Egg Head became lame in behind just before a scheduled work two weeks ago, and his condition steadily deteriorated.

"His hock blew up and we started to treat it immediately," McLaughlin said. "We stayed on it, but the problem never got better, eventually spread to his other hock, after which he began to founder. We still have no real clue what caused it."

McLaughlin was part of a group that purchased a 45 percent interest in Egg Head, a son of Honor Grades, from owner Harvey Clark shortly after the colt's 9 1/2-length victory in Delaware Park's Francis "Jock" LaBelle Memorial Stakes on May 7. That victory earned Egg Head a Beyer Speed Figure of 112. In his previous start, Egg Head had won a second-level allowance race by 11 lengths at Philadelphia Park, earning a Beyer of 103.

made his first start for McLaughlin in the Grade 2 Riva Ridge Stakes at Belmont Park on June 11, finishing second, just 1 1/4 lengths behind the undefeated Lost in the Fog. It is the closest Lost in the Fog has come to being defeated in eight career starts. Egg Head, who began his career with trainer Lynda Knee, won four of seven starts overall and earned $145,420.

"This is devastating," McLaughlin said from Belmont on Tuesday. "These things don't happen very often, and in this case it's really a shame, because Egg Head was one of the best horses I've ever trained, and Mr. Clark is such a great owner."