07/11/2003 12:00AM

Wayward Lass dead at 25


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Wayward Lass, North America's champion

3-year-old filly of 1981, died in late June at Contemporary Stallions in Coxsackie, N.Y., farm owner Gus Schoenborn Jr. confirmed.

The mare was 25 and was carrying a City Zip foal. Farm staff found her dead in her stall in June, and Schoenborn said the cause of death appeared to be a heart attack.

"She died in her sleep," Schoenborn said. "There was no struggle. Before her death, she had looked the best she ever did."

Wayward Lass, a daughter of Hail the Pirates and the Third Martini mare Young Mistress, was bred by Horatio Luro and campaigned by Carl Lizza's Flying Zee Stable. She failed to win her maiden in her first eight tries, but in her championship year she won the Grade 1 Mother Goose, Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks (by disqualification), Grade 3 Ruthless Stakes, Busanda, and Searching.

Wayward Lass produced 14 foals, nine of them winners.

Carlos Martin trains the last of Wayward Lass's foals, the 2-year-old Rodeo filly Wayward Liz.