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Tempera, 2-Year-Old Filly Champion, Euthanized

April 30, 2002|Bill Christine

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Tempera, winner of last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and one of the favorites for Friday's $500,000 Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, was euthanized at a clinic in nearby Lexington on Sunday night because of complications from a fever that was discovered Friday.

By Saturday, Tempera's condition hadn't improved and she was moved from Churchill to the Hagyard-Davidson-McGee Veterinary Clinic, 70 miles away. At the clinic, Tempera also developed colitis and laminitis, a circulatory hoof disease.

"Her condition deteriorated rapidly [Sunday], and nothing could be done to save her," said a statement from Sheik Mohammed's Dubai-based Goldolphin Racing Inc., which announced the horse's death Monday.

Tempera, a well-bred daughter of A.P. Indy and Colour Chart, a Mr. Prospector mare, began her career in California with trainer Eoin Harty. She won her first race in July at Hollywood Park and two races later won the Breeders' Cup race at Belmont Park to clinch the Eclipse Award for best 2-year-old filly.

Tempera, like all of Sheik Mohammed's 2-year-olds, was sent back to Dubai, where she finished second in a pair of races. After losing to stablemate Imperial Gesture on April 13, she was shipped to Kentucky to run in Friday's Oaks.

The mood was grim Monday around the barn at Churchill, where Tom Albertrani, an assistant trainer, is supervising Sheik Mohammed's horses. The stable still has Imperial Gesture to run in the Oaks and will run Essence Of Dubai on Saturday in the Kentucky Derby.

"It's pretty shocking to see how [Tempera's] condition changed within 24 hours," Albertrani said. "We took all the precautions. It's upsetting for everybody. It's very depressing. It's hard to explain how these things ever happen."

Tempera had three victories, two seconds and two thirds in seven starts and had earned $770,240.

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