Triocala, a popular New York runner from the early 1980s, was euthanized Aug. 5 at Joe Bartone and Carl Lizza Jr.'s Highcliff Farm near Delanson, N.Y., because of congestive heart failure. According to the farm's Suzie O'Cain, the 27-year-old pensioned son of Tri Jet remained healthy and feisty up to his final days.
Bred in Florida by J.C. Dudley, Triocala raced his first two years for New York owner Viola Sommer, winning the 1980 Alsab and Morven Stakes as a 2-year-old and the 1981 Count Fleet and Rockaway Stakes. Lizza bought Triocala privately for $400,000 to serve as a rabbit for his prominent older runner Noble Nashua, but it became apparent that Triocala was too valuable to waste in that type of undertaking. Racing for Lizza's wife, Karen, Triocala won or placed in 19 races.
Triocala retired after the 1983 season with a record of 14 wins from 63 starts and earnings of $465,660. He followed Noble Nashua to stud at Schoenborn Brothers Farm in New York State and stood there several seasons before being moved to Highcliff.
As a stallion, Triocala developed a reputation for siring hard-knocking runners able to withstand years of training. Eight of his nine horses that won or placed in stakes started anywhere from 33 to 104 times. Triocala's son, Tri for the Gold, won seven stakes, including the Garden States Stakes (gr. III). Another son, stakes winner Judicious Account, captured 15 races in a two-year span, and stakes-placed Triodet won 25 races in his career. Triocala's career progeny earnings are $3.3 million.
O'Cain reported that one of Triocala's stallion contemporaries, Thunder Puddles, is doing well at the farm. Thunder Puddles, a 26-year-old son of Speak John out of the Delta Judge mare Big Puddles, won a pair of grade II stakes and sired 1992 Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Thunder Rumble.