01/31/2005 1:00AM

Sir Cherokee retired to stud

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Sir Cherokee, whose biggest victories came in the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby and Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap, has been retired and will enter stud this year at Pope McLean's Crestwood Farm in Lexington, Ky., said his trainer, Mike Tomlinson.

Sir Cherokee's fee will be $7,500.

A 5-year-old son of Cherokee Run, Sir Cherokee campaigned for his owner and breeder, Kenneth Jones's Domino Stud, which will retain ownership of the horse at stud.

had a record of 6-3-2 from 19 starts and earnings of $628,296 before being retired after a ninth-place finish in the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 26. In that race, Sir Cherokee fractured a sesamoid in his right front leg. Surgery was not required, said Tomlinson.

In 2003, Sir Cherokee upset the Arkansas Derby at 55-1. He advanced to the Kentucky Derby, but was declared from the race two days out because of a minor injury. Sir Cherokee returned at 4 and was a smashing winner of the $100,000 Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston Race Park, and earned a career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 107 for his victory in the Ack Ack. He also placed in the Grade 3 Ben Ali last year.

Cherokee Run is out of the Last Tycoon mare La Cucina, whose other foals include the graded-stakes-placed Torrential filly Lady Linda.