07/09/2003 12:00AM

Kafwain's racing career over


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Kafwain, a multiple stakes winner who was withdrawn from the Kentucky Derby four days before the race because of injury, has been retired.

Richard Mulhall, the racing manager of Kafwain's owner, The Thoroughbred Corp., said Kafwain will be sent to stud in Kentucky, but that plans have yet to be finalized.

In late April at Churchill Downs, Kafwain was diagnosed with a tendon injury that was originally expected to keep him out of training for four to six months. But Mulhall said plans for a return have been abandoned.

"He could come back, but I don't believe that horses that get an injury like that come back as good as they were," Mulhall said.

Purchased for $720,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida 2-year-olds in training sale, Kafwain, won 4 of 11 starts and $715,848. A Cherokee Run colt trained by Bob Baffert, he won the Grade 3 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar over 6 1/2 furlongs and the Grade 2 Norfolk Stakes at 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita last year.

In three starts this year, he scored a convincing win in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes over seven furlongs at Santa Anita on Feb. 1, but was winless in his next two starts. He finished second in the Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds on March 9, but was later disqualified from purse earnings for testing positive for an excessive amount of clenbuterol, a medication used to aid horses with breathing problems.

He finished third in the Santa Anita Derby in his final start.

New French import due soon

Mulhall said that The Thoroughbred Corp. is bringing the French Group 1 winner Elusive City to California in coming weeks.

A 3-year-old, Elusive City is winless in two starts this year, having finished ninth in the French 2000 Guineas at Longchamp and sixth of 20 in the Group 2 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. Last year, Elusive City won the Group 1 Prix Morny over a straightaway six furlongs at Deauville, France, and finished third in the Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, England.

Mulhall did not say who would train Elusive City.