06/22/2006 12:00AM

Paseana dead at age 18

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Hall of Fame mare Paseana, North America's champion older female in 1992 and 1993, has died in Argentina at age 18.

Owner Sidney Craig said Thursday that he was notified by the farm Haras san Ignacio de la Hoya, where Paseana boarded, that the mare had died of natural causes on Monday. An Argentine-bred, Paseana was foaled on the Southern Hemisphere breeding calendar on Aug. 23, 1987.

The mare was the first horse Craig and his wife, Jenny, imported from Argentina. Paseana arrived in North America in 1991 after the Craigs purchased her privately, and she quickly became a fan favorite.

"She always gave her all," Craig said.

Paseana won 10 North American Grade 1 races from 1992 to 1994, including the 1992 Breeders' Cup Distaff, back-to-back Apple Blossom and Milady handicaps, and a pair of Santa Margarita Invitationals. While in Argentina, she also won that nation's Grade 1 Gran Premio Enrique Acebal. When she retired, Paseana's race record stood at 19-10-2 from 36 starts. Seventeen of her 19 victories came in stakes company, and she had amassed a $3,317,427 bankroll. She was voted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.

But Paseana was plagued with fertility problems and only produced one foal, the Lode filly Paseana's Girl. Craig said that Paseana's Girl, now a 6-year-old, is in California as part of the Craigs' broodmare band. She is in foal to Candy Ride, also an Argentine-bred, and has a Candy Ride yearling this year.

"My fondest memory was winning the Breeders' Cup and her making the Hall of Fame," Craig said of Paseana. "She was my very favorite until Candy Ride came along. . . . They were toe and toe, the two of them."