01/02/2003 12:00AM

Stallion Old Trieste, 8, euthanized

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Old Trieste, whose first foals averaged more than $100,000 at yearling auctions in 2002, was euthanized Jan. 2 after foundering, according to Jimmy Bell of Darley Stud's Jonabell Farm in Lexington.

"He developed an acute case of founder that then deteriorated, as those things can do," Bell said Thursday. "We decided that we had to do the humane thing for the horse."

An 8-year-old A.P. Indy stallion, Old Trieste stood at Jonabell throughout his brief stud career. He was to stand for $25,000 this year.

This fall, the stallion developed uveitis, an inflammation in the eye, which Bell said required an implant in the eye as part of its treatment. But Bell said it was not clear whether this had had any effect on the stallion's ultimate case of founder. Bell said the horse had not colicked before foundering.

"It's hard to determine a definitive explanation," Bell said when asked why the young stallion foundered. "It's tough and I'm saddened by it. This stallion had so much potential in front of him."

Cobra Farm owner Gary Biszantz purchased the Kentucky-bred Old Trieste privately as a foal, with his dam, Lovlier Linda, in 1995 after the death of the colt's breeder, W.R. Hawn.

Sent to trainer Mike Puype, the flashy chestnut colt showed talent as a juvenile when he finished second in Santa Anita's Grade 2 Norfolk Stakes. But he came to prominence the following year, winning four of his six starts, including the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes and Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap and the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap, in which he set what was then a stakes record of 1:41.80 for the 1 1/16 miles.

Old Trieste's 3-year-old campaign also featured a run at the Kentucky Derby. He raised eyebrows with a pre-Derby workout of 1:09 for six furlongs, .40 off the Churchill track record for the distance - but in the Derby he faded to 10th after leading on the backstretch.

Old Trieste bypassed the rest of the Triple Crown races and went on an impressive four-stakes win streak in California instead, winning the Affirmed by 4 1/2 lengths, the Swaps by 12 lengths, and the Del Mar Breeders' Cup by five. In his 4-year-old debut, he won the Grade 2 Californian Handicap by seven lengths. He finished third twice more, in the 1999 edition of the Del Mar Breeders' Cup and in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Santa Anita, and finally closed out his career with an eighth-place run in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Old Trieste was out of Lovlier Linda, a Grade 1-winning Vigors mare who also produced Group 3 winner Perigee Moon and stakes-placed winners Proud Danzig and Pro for Sure.

"I feel very fortunate to have raced a horse with such brilliance and class," Biszantz said in a statement issued by Jonabell. "We are blessed to have three crops to look forward to and I anticipate seeing several of his youngsters display the characteristics and talent that made Old Trieste such a special racehorse."

Old Trieste will be buried at Biszantz's Cobra Farm in Lexington.

Auction for Aiden attracts 50 sires

January is traditionally the season for mixed auctions, the sales that offer everything from yearlings and weanlings to racing and breeding prospects. Three major mixed auctions are scheduled to get underway soon - at Keeneland (Monday through Jan. 10), Ocala Breeders' Sales Company (Jan. 13-15), and Barretts (Jan. 21-22).

In the meantime, there is a different "mixed" auction underway online to benefit a child recovering from a liver transplant. The Internet-based "Auction for Aiden" offers stallions seasons for a range of breeds, from Welsh pony to the Danish Knabstrupper, all in the hopes of raising at least $250,000 to offset medical costs for 9-month-old Aiden Hawk. Hawk, son of hunter-jumper rider Lisa Hawk and her husband, Joe, received a liver transplant last month.

Among nearly 50 horses posted to auctionforaiden.org are five Thoroughbred sires: the Grade 1-winning millionaire Flying Pidgeon and Grade 3-placed Mr. Explosive, both in Pennsylvania; Prince Quick, a winner by Pleasant Colony's son Fast Forward who stands in North Carolina; and Tricon and Wynslew, sons of Seattle Slew standing in Indiana and Virginia, respectively. Minimum bids on these stallions range from only $250 for Wynslew to $750 for Mr. Explosive.

The auction closes in mid-January, the definitive closing date to be announced this week on the website.