Brave Raj, a $300,000 horse who quickly earned more than $900,000 last year, may not run again after X-rays Friday showed that she had cracked both front knees.
The 2-year-old filly was injured Wednesday in a workout at Santa Anita, where two months ago she won the $1-million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes and probably clinched the division championship.
There is a possibility that pins could be inserted in both knees so that Brave Raj might try running again, but that would require a long recuperation. A more likely option is retiring her now for breeding purposes.
Trainer Mel Stute said he would have to discuss Brave Raj's future with Dolly Green, the Beverly Hills woman who bought the filly in May, shortly after she had won her first start.
After Green bought her, Brave Raj won two stakes at Del Mar, two more at Calder and then took the Breeders' Cup by 5 1/2 lengths over Tappiano, a New York horse who had been undefeated.
Stute, trying to make Brave Raj the first 2-year-old to earn $1 million, started her against colts in the $1-million Hollywood Futurity Dec. 14, but she finished fifth, ending the year with seven wins and one place in nine starts, and purses of $933,650, which is a record for 2-year-old fillies.
Stute said it was fortunate that he and an assistant, Gary Gregory, had picked out Brave Raj for Green when they did, because shortly after the purchase, the owner's advisers recommended that she cut back on her horse spending.
Brave Raj, a daughter of Rajab and Bravest Yet, is a Florida-bred who was originally sold at auction as an unraced 2-year-old for $24,000.
Horse Racing Notes Family Style, an Eclipse Award winner in 1985, and Life at the Top, who could win a championship for 1986, form a two-horse entry for trainer Wayne Lukas in today's La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita. Also in the field is Top Corsage, who last year had trouble winning in California but took four stakes in Illinois, Louisiana and Kentucky. . . . Strawberry Road II, who hasn't raced since finishing fifth in the Hollywood Invitational last May, will carry top weight of 122 pounds Sunday in the $100,000 San Gabriel Handicap at Santa Anita. The 13-horse field, in post-position order: Strawberry Road, Catane, Aventino, Nostalgia's Star, Conquering Hero, Nugget Point, Silveyville, Nasib, Will Dancer, Louis Le Grand, Over the Ocean, Inevitable Leader and Spellbound. . . . Bonne Ile, who won last year's Yellow Ribbon Invitational at Santa Anita, will run Sunday in the $200,000 La Prevoyante at Calder. Fernando Toro has the mount.