06/04/2003 12:00AM

Insurance claim filed on Scorpion

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Scorpion, a Grade 1 winner and first-year stallion, is subfertile, raising questions about his future at Vinery here.

Bates Newton, general manager of Vinery, said Wednesday that Scorpion, a 5-year-old Seattle Slew horse, had been booked this year to more than 100 mares but has gotten only 23 in foal. Scorpion was advertised this year with an $8,500 stud fee.

"There is an infertility policy in place," Newton said, "and a claim has been lodged."

Newton said that the young horse's future has not yet been decided. Insurers generally take over ownership of horses on whom they have paid a claim, which could lead to Scorpion's eventual sale.

Scorpion is a son of the stakes-placed Chief's Crown mare Petiteness and is her only stakes winner. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Scorpion scored a 12-1 upset victory in the 2001 Jim Dandy Stakes, defeating Free of Love.

A winner of four of his 19 career starts, Scorpion finished second in the 2000 Saratoga Special and third in the 2000 Futurity, Sanford, and Tremont Stakes for total career earnings of $555,749.