08/07/2009 12:00AM

Stallion stolen, killed in Peru

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Drilling for Oil, a Grade 3 winner who arrived in Peru earlier this month to take up stud duty, has died there after being stolen and apparently butchered by the thieves for meat. A Giant's Causeway horse, Drilling for Oil was 6.

South America's Turf Diario reported that the horse was stolen Tuesday from a farm near Canete owned by Hiad Hamide. The thieves allegedly turned several other horses loose on the stud farm to distract farm personnel, then abducted the stallion from his barn. Drilling for Oil's remains were found several kilometers away.

Seventeen horses of various breeds have been found similarly butchered in south Florida between January and Aug. 5. The Miami-Dade police department has said they believe the horses are being targeted for a black market for horse meat.

Racing for Lansdon Robbins III and Bruce Lunsford, Drilling for Oil won the Grade 3 Louisville Handicap in 2007. He also finished second in the Prairie Bayou and third in the Grade 3 Elkhorn. He came back in 2008 to finish second in the Elkhorn, upgraded to Grade 2 that year, and the Grade 3 Pan American Handicap. Drilling for Oil earned $266,756 from 3 wins in 17 lifetime starts.

"It's hard to believe anything like this would happen," Lunsford said. "It's the most unusual thing that's happened to me since I've been in the horse business. He was a big, big horse, and apparently they think that's the reason they took him instead of the other horses. To be in a position where this is done by premeditated consequence like this, it's hard for me to accept."

Drilling for Oil was out of stakes winner Won't She Tell, by Banner Sport.