Grade I Winner Left Bank Dead

Grade I Winner Left Bank Dead
Photo: Barbara D. Livingston
Left Bank just prior to the 2001 running of the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Michael Tabor's Left Bank, who won this year's Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga over a particularly strong field, died Oct. 7 from complications brought on following colic surgery.

A week after Left Bank won the Aug. 3 Whitney in track-record-equaling time, the 5-year-old son of French Deputy out of the Dr. Blum mare Marshesseaux showed signs of distress. He was treated at trainer Todd Pletcher's barn, then sent to Tufts New England Veterinary Medical Center's Hospital for Large Animals for emergency abdominal surgery. Dr. Carl Kirker-Head, the head of section of the Large Animal Hospital, performed the surgery. Left Bank later left the clinic and arrived at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., the end of August to begin recuperating. Tabor is an associate of Ashford's parent company, Irish-based Coolmore Stud.

Bred by Fletcher Gray and John Youngblood, Left Bank stepped into Eclipse Award contention with his Whitney triumph over a Street Cry, Lido Palace, Macho Uno, Unshaded, and Saint Verre and moved up to third on the NTRA poll. His earlier wins this year came in the seven-furlong Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II) in track-record time of 1:20.17 at Belmont Park and in the Bold Ruler Handicap (gr. III).

Left Bank's career record of 14 wins from 24 starts and earnings of $1,402,806 included victories last year in the Cigar Mile Handicap (gr. I) and Vosburgh Stakes (gr. I) and a triumph in the 2000 Discovery Handicap (gr. III).

Pletcher has been hit hard the last several months. He suffered the losses in August of grade II-winning 2-year-old filly Freedom's Daughter and promising 3-year-old Warners.

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