05/11/2003 11:00PM

Ridgewood Pearl dead at 11


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Ridgewood Pearl, who defeated males in winning the 1995 Breeders' Cup Mile, hemorrhaged and died after producing a dead foal in Ireland last week, the Racing Post reported Monday.

The mare was 11. The dead foal was by Bahri.

Ridgewood Pearl established herself as one of the world's top milers even before her Breeders' Cup victory with wins in the 1995 Irish 1000 Guineas, England's Corona-tion Stakes, and France's Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, all Group 1 races. In fact, she suffered only one loss during the 1995 season that culminated with her Breeders' Cup win. Bahri beat her by six lengths in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, one month before the Breeders' Cup.

But any doubts about the then 3-year-old filly's abilities against males were soon silenced on Breeders' Cup Day at Belmont, when she came home a two-length winner over 5-year-old Fastness. In addition to her Breeders' Cup win, she also was named highweight miler in France and Ireland that year, effectively earning championship status in those countries.

In her two seasons of racing, in 1994 and 1995, Ridgewood Pearl won 6 of 8 starts and never finished worse than third. She earned $1,179,650.

Trained by John Oxx, Ridgewood Pearl was a homebred for prominent Irish breeders Sean and Anne Coughlan, who also bred her sire, Group 2 winner Indian Ridge. Ridgewood Pearl is out of Ben's Pearl, who also produced Group 3 winner Ridgewood Ben from just two foals to race.

Sean Coughlan described Ridgewood Pearl as "the best horse in the world in 1995" and told Racing Post, "It's heartbreaking, but we'll never forget the days we had traveling the world with her."

Ridgewood Pearl's recent foals include a yearling by Rainbow Quest and a 2-year-old daughter of Daylami named Sacred Pearl, who is with trainer Oxx. Ridgewood Pearl also is the dam of winners Quest for a Star (Rainbow Quest) and Josh's Pearl (Sadler's Wells), and of the unraced Hermosa Pearl (Sadler's Wells).