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US Champion The Wicked North put down

MULTIPLE Grade 1 winner The Wicked North, the 1994 Eclipse Award-winning champion older male, was put down on Thursday at the Hagyard Equine Medical Center in Kentucky due to complications from an intestinal lipoma strangulation.

The 22-year-old son of Far North had lived in retirement at the Old Friends retirement facility in Kentucky since 2008.

Trained by David Bernstein on behalf of Philip Hersh, The Wicked North won eight races, including the Grade 1 Californian Stakes, in which he set a track record, and Grade 1 Oaklawn Handicap. He was also first past the post in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap but demoted to fourth due to interference. An injury sustained in the Hollywood Gold Cup forced his retirement to stud.

The Wicked North sired two stakes winners during seasons spent standing in California, New York and Kentucky. His stud career was cut short in 2006 by a near-fatal bout of EPM (equine protozoal myeloencephalitis.

Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, paid tribute to The Wicked North. He said: "He was a great champion. He was fine last night, but Kent Ralstin, our assistant farm manager, discovered his discomfort early this morning. The Wicked North had a ton of class. And it was all on display at the end."




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