10/04/2002 12:00AM

Squirtle Squirt bound for Asia

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Squirtle Squirt's owner, David Lanzman, signed a private deal with Japanese buyers Friday to send the champion sprinter to stud in Asia.

The Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association will take possession of Squirtle Squirt provided a second attempt at a quarantine-related blood test comes back clean.

"I signed the deal this morning," Lanzman said.

Lanzman said that Squirtle Squirt's trainer, Bobby Frankel, had told him that the test in question "has never, in all his years in the business, come back bad, and when they took the blood it got screwed up. They're doing that test again. I don't even know what it is, but it's some blood test that has to do with importing him to Japan. Bobby told me not to even worry about it, so I'm not.

"The money is in escrow, and it's all contingent on that one test coming back all right. That should be next Friday."

Lanzman did not disclose the purchase price for Squirtle Squirt, a 4-year-old Marquetry colt out of the Lost Code mare Lost the Code.

If the deal is completed as expected, Squirtle Squirt would leave for stud duty in Japan on Oct. 26, the day he would have been defending his Breeders' Cup Sprint title if he hadn't been sold.