02/03/2018 6:28PM

Grade 1 winner Private Zone, 9, euthanized in Kentucky

Barbara D. Livingston
Private Zone's first Grade 1 victory in the U.S. was the 2013 Vosburgh at Belmont.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Private Zone was euthanized on Saturday morning, Old Friends Equine Retirement has confirmed. The Macho Uno gelding, who had been a resident of the Georgetown, Ky., Thoroughbred retirement farm since April 2017, was 9.

Private Zone had been at the Park Equine Hospital in Versailles, Ky., being treated for the gastrointestinal condition duodenitis/proximal jejunitis, for about two weeks. Also known as anterior enteritis, the condition causes stasis of the intestine and the hypersecretion of fluid in the area, which can lead to large volumes of gastric reflux, changes in blood pressure, dehydration, and, ultimately, shock. Complications from the condition led to Private Zone's death.

"This is a small intestinal colic characterized by inactivity of the small intestine and large amounts of reflux from the stomach," attending veterinarian Dr. Bryan Waldridge explained.

Private Zone, who was bred in Ontario by Adena Springs, began his career in Panama, winning 4 of his first 9 starts, including the Group 1 Clasico Francisco Arias Paredes y Alberto Arias Espinos. He was later purchased by former jockey Rene Douglas and campaigned by his Good Friends partnership under the care of several trainers, including Doug O'Neill, Alfredo Velazquez, Jorge Navarro, and Brian Lynch.

Private Zone posted the first of his four Grade 1 victories in the U.S. in the 2013 Vosburgh Invitational at Belmont. He repeated in the race the following year in his second start off a long layoff, and later that fall added the Cigar Mile by five lengths over two-time Breeders' Cup winner Secret Circle. He rounded out the quartet with the 2015 Forego Stakes at Saratoga.

Private Zone also won the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes and the Grade 3 Belmont Spring Championship in 2015. His eight graded stakes placings included a runner-up effort in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Keeneland, beaten three-quarters of a length by champion Runhappy, and a third in the 2014 Sprint at Santa Anita, bested less than two lengths by Work All Week and Secret Circle. The gelding retired with a record of 33-10-9-3 and $2,924,620 in earnings.

"We were so grateful when the owners of Private Zone retired him to us, and that only increases our sadness that he died this morning," Old Friends president Michael Blowen said. "He was a marvelous animal, and we are thankful to everyone who cared for him at Park Equine. Private Zone was a fighter to the end, trying to help us help him."