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OAK TREE AT SANTA ANITA : Turf Queen Flawlessly Retired


Flawlessly, the two-time Eclipse Award winner as the nation's top female grass performer, has been retired.

Charlie Whittingham, who trained the 6-year-old mare for most of her 28-race career, said she will probably leave next week for Ballindaggin Farm in Lexington, Ky., where she will serve as a broodmare.

"There comes a time when it had to happen and we just felt it wasn't worth taking a chance of getting her hurt by racing her again," Whittingham said. "She's a mare who has never been easy on herself. She tries so hard all the time, so she's got some wear and tear. You'd hate to take her out there one day and have something happen."

Second to Hatoof in the Beverly D. at Arlington Park in her last start on Aug. 27, Flawlessly was being pointed toward a possible fourth consecutive victory in the Matriarch on Nov. 27 at Hollywood Park before the decision was made to retire her.

With 18 victories, four seconds and three thirds, Flawlessly ranks eighth on the all-time earnings list for female runners. She finished with $2,572,538, putting her behind Trinycarol, Triptych, Bayakoa, Paseana, All Along, Lady's Secret and Dance Smartly.

Owned by Louis and Patrice Wolfson's Harbor View Farm, Flawlessly's only victory this year came in the Ramona Handicap at Del Mar, a race she won three consecutive years. Besides the Beverly D., she was third in both the Beverly Hills and Gamely Handicaps at Hollywood Park.


When it comes to the Breeders' Cup Distaff, Lakeway is the forgotten filly.

All of the attention recently has focused on Sky Beauty, the Shug McGaughey-trained duo of Heavenly Prize and Dispute and defending champion Hollywood Wildcat.

Three months ago, Lakeway was all the rage, and deservedly so. The 3-year-old daughter of Seattle Slew won Grade I stakes at Santa Anita, Hollywood Park and Belmont Park and would have won another at Churchill Downs (the Kentucky Oaks) had not Kent Desormeaux been outridden by Eddie Delahoussaye.

Then came the stumble at Saratoga. Heavily favored against six others in the Alabama, Lakeway offered no resistance when challenged by Heavenly Prize and finished second, beaten by seven lengths.

"We shipped in there just before the race and she looked great and acted great and everything," trainer Gary Jones said. "But then she ran terrible. We scoped her and we found all kinds of pus and mucous in her throat. She's had trouble with allergies and they all kicked up on her. Going from Hollywood Park to Saratoga, it's a totally different environment.

"We hurried to get her back home and she was very sick when she got back. Basically, it developed into pneumonia."

But Jones said Lakeway rebounded from the illness quickly, and Friday morning at Hollywood Park she worked seven furlongs in 1:24 2/5 under Desormeaux. Jones said she galloped out a mile in 1:37 3/5.

Horse Racing Notes

Gary Jones will saddle Inner City, the 2-1 favorite, in today's feature, the $75,000 Henry P. Russell Handicap at 1 1/4 miles on the turf. Impressive in his American debut when he rallied from last to win by a length on June 29 at Hollywood Park, the 5-year-old Bob Back horse was on target for the Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar, then, if all went well, he was going to be supplemented to the Arlington Million. A nervous horse, Inner City became very rattled by a severe lightning and thunder storm the night before the Eddie Read and had to be scratched. Brought back in an allowance race 10 days later, the Irish-bred wanted no part of the starting gate. "He went nuts," Jones said. "You could hear him screaming in the grandstand. He was fighting and everything. He was just nuts." Schooled extensively in the gate, Inner City showed marked improvement in his next start, finishing third in the How Now Handicap on Sept. 2.

Leading rider Corey Nakatani was sidelined Friday because of what was called a mild concussion. Nakatani, who turned 24 Friday, was injured when thrown from Nonprodutiveasset after the 4-year-old had worked seven furlongs Friday morning. Kent Desormeaux was sidelined for the second consecutive afternoon because of illness.

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