08/06/2009 11:00PM

Iza Valentine dead at age 33


Iza Valentine, dam of multiple Grade 1 winner and millionaire Fran's Valentine and 10 other winners, has died at age 33.

A Bicker mare and a California Broodmare of the Year, she died at the Our Mims Retirement Haven at Ahwenasa Farm near Paris, Ky. She was one of the first mares to retire under the Our Mims program, which houses a number of prominent former broodmares.

"Sure, she was 33 years old, but up until a few weeks ago, you would never have known it," said the farm's manager, Jeanne Mirabito.

Iza Valentine, a daughter of the Count of Honor mare Countess Market, earned just $65,900 from five wins in 25 starts but was stakes-placed twice. She became a highly successful broodmare, starting with her first foal, the Saros filly Fran's Valentine. That runner won seven graded stakes, including the 1985 Kentucky Oaks and the Hollywood Oaks in track-record time.

Iza Valentine produced 11 winners from 11 starters, and her best were by Saros. That pairing also produced Grade 2 winner Iz a Saros, Grade 2-placed Crissy Aya, and the stakes-placed Recommendation. Iza Valentine also produced Carsonality, a stakes winner by Carson City.