07/17/2002 11:00PM

El Condor Pasa dead of colic

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El Condor Pasa, a two-time champion in Japan, died of colic at Shadai Farm in Japan on Wednesday morning.

A 7-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Kingmambo, El Condor Pasa was named top Japanese 3-year-old of 1998 after winning the Japan Cup by 2 1/2 lengths. Sent to France by owner Takashi Watanabe for his 4-year-old season, El Condor Pasa won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and the Group 2 Prix Foy in preparing for his major objective under trainer Yoshitaka Ninomiya, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

It was at Longchamp on Oct. 3, 1999 that El Condor Pasa gave one of the bravest performances in the 80-year history of the Arc de Triomphe. Put immediately on the lead by Matayoshi Ebina, he opened up three lengths on the field entering the stretch and appeared on the verge of a major surprise, only to be caught at the sixteenth pole by European champion Montjeu. His efforts in France were enough, however, for him to be named Horse of the Year in Japan.

El Condor Pasa, whose first foals are yearlings of 2002, won eight of 11 lifetime starts for earnings of $3,553,047.