09/18/2001 11:00PM

Jane Lunger dies at 87


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Jane duPont Lunger, breeder and owner of Hall of Fame filly Go for Wand, died of cancer Tuesday morning at her home in Wilmington, Del. She was 87.

Lunger was introduced to racing in 1936, when her husband, Harry Lunger, bought her first runner. She bred or campaigned numerous stakes-winners in the name of Christiana Stable. Among her most notable runners were stakes-winners Broom Dance, Croquis, Cyane, Endine, Light Hearted, Linkage, Miss Ferdinand, Salem, Thinking Cap, and Tingle Stone.

But her favorite, and the best horse she ever raced, was two-time champion Go for Wand. The filly was a daughter of Lunger's prize broodmare, the stakes-winner Obeah, who also produced Grade 2 winners Discorama and Dance Spell and stakes-winner Black Powder for Lunger. Trained by Bill Badgett, Go for Wand captured eight races, including seven Grade 1 contests in 1989 and 1990. She earned honors as 1989 champion juvenile filly and 1990 champion 3-year-old filly.

Sadly, the filly suffered a fatal breakdown while battling Bayakoa during the running of the 1990 Breeders' Cup Distaff at Belmont Park. In a sporting gesture in support of the event, Mrs. Lunger remained in her Belmont box for the remainder of the races.

"Her great pride was to have bred Go for Wand," said her son-in-law, Richard Jones. "She and her late husband Harry, who died in the1970's, were very proud of racing homebred horses, though they would buy some well-bred fillies from time to time. I think she was particularly fond of their trainers: Jack Healy, Henry Clark, Jim Maloney, and, more recently, Bill Badgett and James Murphy."

Lunger boarded her broodmares at Claiborne Farm, Manchester Farm, and Threave Main Stud in Kentucky.