06/02/2002 11:00PM

Mr Purple dead at age 10

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INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Mr Purple, the winner of the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap at Santa Anita in 1996 and a sire in California in recent years, was euthanized last week at age 10 after suffering complications related to heart disease.

At the time of his death, Mr Purple was standing at Victory Rose Thoroughbreds in Vacaville, Calif., for a $10,000 fee.

Mr Purple was taken to the hospital May 29, and veterinarians diagnosed damaged heart valves. He was euthanized after his condition began to deteriorate, and a necropsy showed that he had a hole between the chambers of his heart.

Ellen Jackson, the farm's owner, said that Mr Purple suffered from blood infections before his death.

"We got 20 mares covered, but the last few he would try to cover and then get down," Jackson said. "It was like something was bothering him."

Owned by Alex Campbell Jr., Mr Purple won six of 21 starts and $1,133,538. From his limited books of mares, Mr Purple has sired the stakes winners Junior Deputy, a Grade 3-placed runner this year with more than $137,000 in earnings, and Purple Pleasure. Mr Purple was by Deputy Minister out of the Stop the Music mare Turk O Witz.

- additional reporting by Glenye Cain