08/20/2002 11:00PM

Warners, Pletcher colt, dead


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Trainer Todd Pletcher was dealt another blow when Warners, suffering from laminitis, was euthanized on Tuesday evening.

It was the second horse from Pletcher's stable to die in the last nine days. Freedom's Daughter, who won the Grade 2 Schuylerville on opening day, died suddenly on Aug. 12 from what was believed to be colitis X, a disease that wreaks havoc with a horse's lower intestinal tract.

On Aug. 15, Warners showed symptoms similar to those of Freedom's Daughter, including diarrhea, and was sent immediately to the nearby Saratoga Equine Veterinary Services Clinic. Laminitis, a condition that affects the hooves, is a common complication from intestinal tract infections.

"The laminitis was a complication from whatever else he had," Pletcher said Wednesday morning. "They will do an autopsy. At this point, they don't know more."

Warners was under the care of Dr. Axel Sondhof at the Saratoga Equine Veterinary Services Clinic. Sondhof was not available for comment.

Another Pletcher trainee, Left Bank, is recovering from emergency colic surgery he had on Aug. 10.

Warners, who was purchased for $1,050,000, raced for Eugene and Laura Melnyk and had earnings of $101,000. After winning an allowance race here by eight lengths on Aug. 10, Warners was being pointed to Saturday's Grade 1 King's Bishop.