08/25/2003 11:00PM

Vindication fee set at $50k

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Hill 'n' Dale Farm in Lexington, Ky., has announced that undefeated champion juvenile Vindica-tion, who retired to stud earlier this summer after attempting to come back from an injured suspensory ligament, will stand his first season for $50,000.

A Seattle Slew colt owned by Satish and Anne Sanan, Vindication injured the suspensory ligament in his left foreleg during a workout in January while preparing for the 2003 Triple Crown. He underwent intensive therapy for the first half of the year at his owners' Padua Stables in Florida and appeared ready for the comeback trail when returned to trainer Bob Baffert's Southern California barn in early August.

This fall's Breeders' Cup Classic was Vindication's target, but the Sanans and Baffert decided to retire thim when they determined here wasn't enough time to prepare him for that appointment. The Sanans' stud agreement with Hill 'n' Dale had stipulated that Vindication retire immediately after the Breeders' Cup.

Vindication, a son of the Grade 3-winning Strawberry Road mare Strawberry Reason, was undefeated in four starts with $680,950 in earnings.