12/15/2004 12:00AM

Turf Paradise track report


Black Bart, who suffered a fatal injury in last Saturday's Grade 2 Native Diver at Hollywood Park, was the 2003-04 horse of the meeting at Turf Paradise. A 5-year-old son of Stage Colony-Lyrical Pirate, Black Bart was second, chasing pacesetter and eventual winner Truly a Judge, when he took a bad step in midstretch and suffered a severe injury to his right hind leg. According to track stewards, Black Bart's injury was too severe to save him and he had to be euthanized.

A five-time stakes winner owned by Tom Metzger Sr. and trained by Troy Bainum, Black Bart was last season's top local horse, boasting stakes victories in the Blaze O'Brien and Down the Isle, as well as a second in the Turf Paradise Breeders' Cup Handicap. He then went to Hollywood Park, where he showed off his versatility by winning the Khaled on the turf, finishing third in the Ack Ack on the dirt, then coming back to take the 1 1/2-mile Quicken Tree on turf. A few starts later, he returned to Turf Paradise for the Nov. 6 Walter Cluer Memorial Handicap and won by seven lengths before going to back Hollywood for the Native Diver. He ended up with a record of 34-9-4-3 for nearly $350,000.