02/10/2006 12:00AM

King's Swan, ruler of Big A, dies at 26

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Bob Coglianese/NYRA
Richard Dutrow Sr. trained King's Swan during his Aqueduct heyday.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - The King of Aqueduct is dead.

King's Swan, dubbed the "King of Aqueduct" for his great success at the Queens, N.Y., racetrack, had to be euthanized this week because of complications associated with a leg injury. He was 26.

According to Jean Lazio, King's Swan's former exercise rider, King's Swan shattered the ulna bone in his right foreleg last November after being kicked by another horse while being turned out in a paddock. The leg was placed in an equine sling, but when the injury wasn't healing properly King's Swan was sent to the Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center in New Jersey.

Surgeons at that clinic told Lazio that King's Swan would have so much arthritic pain following the surgery that he wouldn't be able to live comfortably. He was euthanized on Tuesday.

"He was a champion in every sense of the word," Lazio said Friday from her home in Pine Bush, N.Y. "He was a great horse on the track, a great horse off the track."

King's Swan made 69 of his 107 starts at Aqueduct, winning such major events as the Vosburgh, Aqueduct Handicap, and Bold Ruler, as well as the Stymie, Boojum, Assault (twice), and Westchester. He won the Grey Lag Handicap under 130 pounds. All of those stakes wins came after Richard Dutrow Sr. claimed King's Swan for $80,000 on Dec. 15, 1985.

In 1988, at age 8, King's Swan won the Grade 2 Tom Fool Handicap at Belmont over Gulch, who was voted champion sprinter that year.

King's Swan became such a popular horse that Aqueduct held a retirement ceremony for him on Dec. 22, 1990. Two weeks earlier, in his final race, King's Swan had finished fourth in the Gallant Fox Handicap.

Following his retirement, owners Alvin Akman, Herb Kushner, and Dutrow sent King's Swan to live on Lazio's parents' farm in Montgomery, N.Y.

"What makes King so special is everything you asked him to do he tried his best," Lazio said. "Even when he was laid up in the sling he really just tried; here he is, we put him in a sling, and he never questioned the sling. Most horses would have panicked, tried to climb out of it. He was like, 'I know you want me to stand in here till I get better, and this is what we're going to try.' . . . If he hadn't gotten kicked, he might have lived till he was 40."

Acey Deucey retired

Acey Deucey, the New York-bred filly who won the Grade 1 Prioress last summer, has been retired from racing, her trainer, John Morrison, said Friday.

Morrison said Acey Deucey did not come out of her last-place finish in the Correction Handicap on Feb. 4 that well, and owner Jeffrey Tucker did not want to miss the breeding season with her. Morrison said Tucker hoped to make a decision over the weekend as to which stallion Acey Deucey will be bred.

"She hit her hind pasterns in the race," Morrison said. "She's never done that before. She wasn't awful, but she's far from being as good as she had been."

had a very productive 3-year-old season last year, winning 4 of 8 starts including the Grade 2 Comely and the listed Dearly Precious in addition to the Prioress. Overall, Acey Deucey, a daughter of Abaginone-Misty Mountains, by Al Nasr, finished her career with a record of 5 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third from 12 starts. She earned $384,146.

Acey Deucey missed the second half of her 3-year-old season after getting injured in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga. Acey Deucey ran only twice after that, finishing seventh in the Garland of Roses and last in the Correction.

Snow could scrap Sunday's card

A storm that could bring as much as a foot of snow to the area is forecast for Sunday, putting the nine-race card in jeopardy. NYRA officials were expected to make a decision on Sunday's card by the end of racing on Saturday.

If the card were canceled, it would be run as drawn on Thursday.

If the card is run, the feature is an entry-level allowance race at 1 1/16 miles. Trainer Leah Gyarmati sends out a solid entry of Southack and Hunter's Tale. Mr. Malaprop could be the one to catch, but must overcome post 10.

Lopez sore after spill

David Lopez, a seven-pound apprentice, was suffering from general body soreness following a spill in Wednesday's third race. Lopez, 24, had no broken bones, but took off his three mounts on Friday and was to take off his two mounts on Saturday.

Jorge Velasquez, the Hall of Fame jockey who serves as Lopez's agent, is hopeful Lopez can return on Wednesday.

* Issac Baharona, a seven-pound apprentice, recorded his first victory in New York on Friday when he guided Delta Sea ($19) to a last-to-first victory in a 1 5/8-mile optional claiming race. Baharona, a 25-year-old native of El Salvador, began riding in May at Charles Town, where he won 18 races from 300 starts.