08/20/2007 11:00PM

Life's Magic dies; won '85 BC Distaff


Life's Magic, the winner of the 1985 Breeders' Cup Distaff, died of natural causes on Tuesday at Trackside Farm outside of Lexington, Ky., according to one of the mare's owners and the owner of Trackside. Life's Magic was 26.

Life's Magic died "peacefully in her sleep," according to Rob Whiteley, the owner of Liberation Farm and a co-owner of Life's Magic. Tom Evans, the owner of Trackside Farm, said the Life's Magic walked to the barn near her paddock on Tuesday morning and then laid down.

"She wasn't in any distress," Evans said. "She had that look in her eye, and it was the look that said she didn't want to go on anymore."

Voted champion 3-year-old filly of 1984 and the champion handicap mare of 1985, Life's Magic won five Grade 1 races and finished second or third in 15 other Grade 1's. She finished eighth in the 1984 Kentucky Derby as part of a favored entry with filly Althea, who finished 19th.

Overall, Life's Magic won 8 of her 32 races, closing her career with a 6o1/4-length win in the 1985 Breeders' Cup Distaff, a race in which she had finished second as a 3-year-old. D. Wayne Lukas trained Life's Magic throughout her career.

Life's Magic was by Cox's Ridge out of the Tom Rolfe mare Fire Water. She was bred by Doug C. Parrish III and Mr. and Mrs. Doug Parish, and was first owned by Mel Hatley. Later, Eugene Klein purchased an interest in the mare, and then bought out Hatley.

Life's Magic never produced a son or daughter who came close to replicating her form on the racetrack.

Whiteley, who called himself a big fan of the mare when she was racing, put together a partnership to purchase her when she was offered for sale at the 2001 Keeneland November sale, and then went to $75,000 to buy her.

"We stretched to get her," Whiteley said. "Somebody told me that's a lot of money to pay for a 20-year-old mare. I said that it's nothing for Life's Magic."

Life's Magic had been pensioned since 2003, after giving birth to a colt by Silver Deputy who was named Simon Pure. The colt sold for $665,000 as a yearling.