02/25/2005 1:00AM

International star All Along euthanized

File Photo
All Along was North America's Horse of the Year in 1983.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Hall of Famer All Along, 1983 Horse of the Year and a champion on two continents, was euthanized Feb. 23 due to the infirmities of old age, Three Chimneys Farm announced Friday. The Targowice mare was 26 and had been pensioned at the Midway, Ky., farm for the past two years.

All Along is most famous for the 41-day period that gave her the 1983 Horse of the Year title. During that period, she won France's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Canada's Rothmans International, the Turf Classic at Aqueduct, and the Washington, D.C., International at Laurel Park.

Campaigned by the Wildenstein family, All Along was also voted North America's champion turf mare and France's champion older runner in 1983.

"She took us - my father [Daniel], my brother [Guy], and myself - on a joyride like no other, culminating in an achievement we scarcely dared to dream about, which was Horse of the Year in America," Alec Wildenstein said in a statement released Friday by Three Chimneys. "Sad as it is to lose her, I am glad she had such a long and healthy life in return for all the happiness she gave us."

In announcing the mare's death, Three Chimneys president Dan Rosenberg said: "All Along was euthanized due to the infirmities of old age. You hear that phrase all the time, but I'd like to point out that the Wildensteins authorized us to treat her with thousands of dollars of drugs in the last month in our attempts to try to improve her quality of life. When it became clear that we could do no more, they willingly made the difficult decision for euthanasia."

Trained by Patrick Biancone, All Along became the world's richest mare during her career, earning $3,015,764 from a 21-9-4-2 record, according to Daily Racing Form statistics. All Along was an unusual Horse of the Year choice, given that she was the first female and first foreign-based horse to win the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year and the first runner to win it solely off turf starts. But her enormous transcontinental achievement, which included the sound defeat of male rivals, was unparalleled and had justifiably made her an international heroine.

Bred in France by Daniel Wildenstein in the name of Dayton Ltd., All Along was a daughter of the stakes-winning Vieux Manoir mare Agujita, who also produced the French stakes winner Abala and the stakes-placed Angel and Chocolate Avenue.

All Along became a sensation in France first. She won her first start, at Amiens, in 1982 in a dead heat with Tarbelissima, then followed up with two stakes victories and a second in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary. Sent to England for the Oaks, she finished sixth in one of her few disappointing performances. She also finished second that year in the Japan Cup, beaten by Half Iced.

At age 4, she launched the season that would make her famous. It started inauspiciously with three losses in France, but after taking the 1983 Arc she never looked back.

Her final season, in 1984, was less stellar. Although she never finished worse than fourth, she didn't win again, and was retired after narrowly losing to Lashkari in the 1984 Breeders' Cup Turf at Hollywood Park.

All Along was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 1990.

As a broodmare, All Along produced dual group winner Along All and French stakes winner and Group 3-placed Arnaqueur. Her last foal, an Atticus colt named Artist's Dream, is a 3-year-old who has yet to race.

All Along has been buried in the Old Bradley Place cemetery, where Maplejinsky, a Grade 1 winner and dam of champion Sky Beauty, and Igual, dam of Triple Crown winner Assault, are also buried.