Pensioned broodmare Illiterate, whose son Alphabet Soup beat Cigar in the 1996 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I), died Jan. 9 at age 31 at Roy Lerman's Lambholm South near Reddick Fla. She was buried at the farm.
Alphabet Soup was bred by Lerman in partnership in the name Southeast Associates. Racing for Georgia Ridder, the son of Cozzene won the Classic in a four-horse blanket finish at Woodbine in track-record time, nosing out Louis Quatorze, with Cigar and Mt Sassafras close behind. Alphabet Soup won six other stakes during his career and retired with $2,990,270 in earnings. He stands at Frank Stronach's Adena Springs Kentucky near Midway.
Bred by Willis E. Kuhn's Cotton Patch and a member of the first crop sired by Horse of the Year Arts and Letters, Illiterate proved to be a tough mare racing for Tartan Stable. As a 5-year-old in 1977, she won the Interborough Handicap (gr. III) and a division of the Affectionately Handicap (gr. III) among her 25 starts. In her four years of racing, she captured 10 of 67 races and earned $229,303.
Illiterate, who was produced from the Crafty Admiral mare Laurel Mae, produced a total of 11 foals, all of which won, including stakes-placed Starsawhirl. Southeast Associates had bought her privately in the late 1980s.