10/08/2001 12:00AM

John's Call, 'Pleasure,' are retired


ELMONT, N.Y. - John's Call, the 10-year-old gelding who won two Grade 1 stakes at age 9, was retired from racing Monday after bleeding through Lasix while finishing last in Sunday's Sycamore Breeders' Cup Handicap at Keeneland.

It was the third consecutive poor performance for John's Call, who began the year with a victory in the Cape Henlopen Stakes at Delaware.

News of John's Call's retirement came a day after both Beautiful Pleasure, the champion older mare of 1999, and A P Valentine, the 2000 Champagne winner, were retired after poor performances in weekend stakes.

John's Call, a son of Lord at War owned by Douglas Joyce's Trillium Stables, endeared himself to the racing world by winning three of six starts as an 9-year-old, including the Sword Dancer at Saratoga and the Turf Classic at Belmont, both Grade 1 invitational events. He ran a terrific race in the Breeders' Cup Turf, finishing third, beaten only one-half length by Kalanisi. Following that, he finished ninth in the Japan Cup.

John's Call bled for the first time when he finished last in this year's Sword Dancer. He raced on Lasix in his last two races, but trainer Tom Voss said it only made things worse.

"He was having an adverse reaction to it," Voss said.

John's Call retires with a record of 16-11-3 from 40 starts and with earnings of $1,571,080. He won seven stakes. Voss said John's Call will remain at his Maryland farm and be used as a fox hunter.

"He took me places I'd never been before. It was just wonderful," Voss said. "I think where we went wrong is we should have never gone to Japan. He seemed to be knocked out when we got back."

Beautiful Pleasure, the 1999 champion older filly, finished sixth, beaten 15 lengths by Exogenous in Saturday's Beldame Stakes. It was her fourth loss in as many starts this year and her sixth consecutive defeat dating to Aug. 25, 2000.

"She is officially retired," trainer John Ward said Sunday afternoon.

"We had a carefully planned schedule of progressions and she was meeting each one of the progressions. In the Personal Ensign" ? where Beautiful Pleasure finished second - "it looked like we were on track. In the Beldame, it looked we were off track. We just thought it best to go ahead and retire her."

Beautiful Pleasure, a daughter of Maudlin-Beautiful Bid, by Baldski, won 10 of 24 starts including six Grade 1 races. She retires with earnings of $2,734,078 for John and Debby Oxley.

Trainer Nick Zito said A P Valentine bled while finishing sixth, 29 1/2 lengths behind Aptitude in Saturday's $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup.

He was scheduled to ship to Coolmore Stud in Lexington, Ky., where he will stand at stud next year. Coolmore purchased A P Valentine, a son of A P Indy-Twenty Eight Carat, by Alydar, for a reported $15 million before last year's Breeders' Cup.

A P Valentine, who won the Grade 1 Champagne as a 2-year-old but never won another stakes, retired with a record of 3-2-2 from 13 starts and earnings of $864,170. Racing for basketball coach Rick Pitino's Ol' Memorial Stable, A P Valentine finished second in both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.