Updated on 09/15/2011 12:26PM

Steinlen, turf champion, is euthanized at age 18


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Champion and millionaire was euthanized on June 9 after breaking a hind leg in a paddock accident at John Harris's Harris Farms near Coalinga, Calif., farm officials said Tuesday. Steinlen was 18.

Steinlen, North America's champion turf male in 1989, was moved from Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Ky., to Harris Farms in 1996. Owner Daniel Wildenstein eventually sold him to Harris Farms.

Wildenstein bred Steinlen, a son of Habitat and the Jim French mare Southern Seas, in England. Racing for his breeder, Steinlen started his career at 3 in France, where he won a pair of stakes. Wildenstein shipped him to California in 1987, but the then-4-year-old made an unimpressive American debut, finishing seventh in his lone start that year, for trainer Bobby Frankel.

Steinlen was moved to D. Wayne Lukas's barn, and, in 1988, emerged as a top runner on grass, winning six of 13 races, including four stakes.

But 1989 was his banner season, with victories in a trio of Grade 1 races - the Arlington Million, Breeders' Cup Mile, and Bernard Baruch Handicap - and earning him the divisional title. He won his fourth and final Grade 1 race, the Hollywood Turf Handicap, in 1990.

Retired at the end of the 1990 season, Steinlen has a record of 45-20-10-7 and earnings of $3,300,340. He won 14 stakes, a dozen of them graded, and set two course records. His 1988 record 1:34.80 for a mile at Santa Anita was lowered soon afterward to 1:34.20, and Steinlen returned to equal the new mark in 1989. In 1990, he set a new course record of 1:52 for 1 3/16 miles at Atlantic City.

Steinlen is the sire of eight crops to race to date including the graded stakes winner Miss Union Avenue. He has progeny earnings of more than $2.4 million.

Steinlen was buried at Harris Farms, where he stood this year for a fee of $1,000.