06/13/2005 12:00AM

Seeking the Pearl found dead


European champion Seeking the Pearl, the first Japanese-trained horse to win a European Group 1 race, has died in Versailles, Ky., at Lane's End Farm.

An 11-year-old Seeking the Gold mare, Seeking the Pearl was found dead in her pasture on June 10. The exact cause of her death is unknown, according to Reynolds Bell, bloodstock manager for the Jayeff "B" Stables of Richard Santulli and George Prussin. Bell said that the mare showed no signs of injury or struggle, indicating her death had been sudden, perhaps caused by lightning.

Seeking the Pearl, a daughter of the Seattle Slew mare Page Proof, was carrying a Giant's Causeway foal when she died.

Bred by Lazy Lane Stables in Virginia, Seeking the Pearl won the French Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest in 1998 for trainer Hideyuki Mori and was named France's top mare over five to seven furlongs that year. On her retirement in 1999 she held the earnings record for a mare with $4,021,716.