01/26/2006 12:00AM

Wild Wonder dies at age 12

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Successful young sire Wild Wonder, sire of Grade 1-winning 2-year-old filly Wild Fit, died Wednesday at Buck Bond Farm. A preliminary necropsy report indicates that the 12-year-old stallion died of a ruptured aorta, according to Buck Pond owner Doug Arnold.

Wild Wonder had been due to stand this season at Buck Pond for a $7,500 fee. Buck Pond recently had sold a three-quarter interest in the Wild Again horse to undisclosed investors, a move that had helped fill the stallion's book quickly for the coming season.

"He was a horse who had a lot of upside," said Buck Pond manager Travis White.

Wild Wonder collapsed at the farm and died instantly Wednesday, White said.

A multiple graded stakes-winner, Wild Wonder earned $639,036 from a career record of 20-9-5-4. He won or placed in 16 stakes and set a track record of 1:33.20 for a mile at Emerald Downs in the 1998 Longacres Mile, a Grade 3 event.

In addition to Wild Fit, Wild Wonder also is the sire of last year's Grade 2 winner Fusaichi Rock Star. He has so far sired five crops, four of which have reached the races, and at the time of his death had more than $2.5 million in progeny earnings.