10/18/2006 11:00PM

El Gran Senor euthanized

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El Gran Senor, the English and Irish champion in 1983 and 1984, was euthanized Wednesday at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky., at the age of 25 because of the infirmities of old age, Ashford's general manager, Dermot Ryan, said Thursday.

El Gran Senor, a son of Northern Dancer, had been at Ashford since 1985, his second year at stud. While standing at the farm, he experienced fertility problems, but ultimately sired 55 stakes winner from 333 starters. He was pensioned after the 2000 breeding season because of his fertility problems.

"All the experts in the business could never pinpoint exactly what was behind his problems," Ryan said.

El Gran Senor, who was out of the Buckpasser mare Sex Appeal, won 7 of 8 starts, including the 1983 Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes as a 2-year-old and the English 2000 Guineas and the Irish Derby as a 3-year-old. He was owned by Robert Sangster and trained by Vincent O'Brien.

Among his best progeny was the North American champion sprinter in 1996, Lit de Justice, and the 1992 winner of the 2000 Guineas in both England and Ireland, Rodrigo de Triano. One of his daughters, the Grade 1 winner Toussaud, produced four Grade 1 winners, including Empire Maker, the winner of the 2003 Belmont Stakes.

Mare reports show fewer stallions

Fewer stallions covered more mares in 2006 compared with 2005, according to revised statistics released by the Jockey Club on Thursday, consistent with recent trends in the Thoroughbred breeding industry.

According to the statistics, 3,053 stallions covered 59,434 mares in North America this year, compared with 3,097 stallions and 58,739 mares in 2005 at this time last year. The Jockey Club said that it expects another 800 to 1,000 reports of mares bred to be submitted through the remainder of the year.

The decline in the number of active stallions was 1.4 percent, compared with a decline of 4.4 percent last year. On average, the number of mares bred by a stallion has been increasing over the past 10 years, while the number of stallions has been decreasing.

Aragorn to stand at Lane's End

Aragorn, winner of four consecutive graded stakes, will enter stud duty in 2007 at Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., the farm announced Thursday.

Sired by Giant's Causeway, Aragorn was bred in Ireland by the Ballygallon Stud of Belinda and Roy Strudwick, who also raced him. He has been trained by Neil Drysdale since coming to the United States in September 2005 after five starts in England and Ireland. Aragorn's final start is scheduled for this year's Breeders' Cup Mile.

A stud fee will be announced at a future date.

* Praying for Cash, second to Bluegrass Cat in this year's Haskell Invitational, has been retired with a record of 3-2-1 from

8 starts. Stud plans have not been finalized.