Brave Raj, who was champion 2-year-old filly of 1986, was euthanized Jan. 28 after aborting a Gulch filly a week earlier. The 22-year-old daughter of Rajab was owned by Warren Rosenthal and kept at his Patchen Wilkes Farm near Lexington.
"The preliminary reports look like it was a broken blood vessel," said farm manager Barry Ezrine. "She was a good, tough old mare. She produced some good foals."
Bred in Florida by Dr. W.S. Karutz, Brave Raj clinched 2-year-old honors with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) for owner Dolly Green and trainer Melvin Stute. Green had bought Brave Raj privately for $300,000 after the filly won her debut by 7 1/2 lengths in May for Al-Ben Partnership. He was trained at that time by Ben Perkins Jr.
Brave Raj, who was produced from the Bravo mare Bravest Yet, won five stakes that year and her earnings of $933,650 were a record for a juvenile filly. She tried males in the Hollywood Futurity (gr. I), but finished fifth behind winner Temperate Sil and runner-up Alysheba.
Brave Raj came up lame following a Dec. 31 workout in Southern California and had surgery done on both knees. She was retired from racing later that year with a record of six wins from nine starts, all as a 2-year-old.
As a broodmare for Rosenthal, Brave Raj produced 13 named foals, 10 of which were winners. Her offspring included stakes winners Bravo Bull and Russian Tango, dam of grade II winner Eurosilver. Another daughter is the dam of Canadian grade II winner Muntej.