Lil E. Tee, the 1992 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner, was euthanized March 18 at Jim Plemmons’ Old Frankfort Stud near Frankfort, Ky., because of complications from an intestinal problem. The son of At the Threshold, out of the For The Moment mare Eileen’s Moment, was 20.
Bred in Pennsylvania by Larry Littman, Lil E. Tee captured the Run for the Roses for owner W. Cal Partee from a field that included international champion Arazi, the odds-on favorite. Trained by Lynn Whiting, Lil E. Tee won at 16-1 under Hall of Famer Pat Day.
Lil E. Tee prepped for the Run for the Roses at Oaklawn Park and at Turfway Park. He won the Jim Beam Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway and placed in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn.
Two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, Lil E. Tee finished fifth in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) as the 4-1 second choice in what would be his last start of the year. He underwent surgery for the removal of an ankle chip in June.
Returned to the races at 4, Lil E. Tee showed plenty of promise in a six-furlong triumph in 1:08.44 at Oaklawn Park. He then won the Razorback Handicap (gr. II) at the track and ran second in the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. I) in what proved to be his final start.
Lil E. Tee was retired that July because of an injury. He had won or placed in a dozen of 13 races and earned $1,437,506. He entered stud in 1994 for a fee of $7,500 at Old Frankfort, which was located at that time near Lexington. Partee had sold a 75% interest in Lil E. Tee to Plemmons and retained the rest.
As a stallion, Lil E. Tee sired 20 stakes winners, including multiple graded winner Mula Gula, whose efforts also included a third-place finish in the 2000 Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT). Lil E. Tee’s other stakes winners include graded winner Jim’smrtee. Lil E. Tee’s runners have earned $9.9 million.
Lil E. Tee was the only Pennsylvania-bred to win the Kentucky Derby before Smarty Jones captured the historic race in 2004.
Lil E. Tee initially raced for Al Jevremovic and was trained by Michael T. Trivigno. Partee acquired Lil E. Tee after the colt won by 11 1/2 lengths in his second start.
A book about Lil E. Tee’s journey to the classics, titled The Longest Shot, was written by John Eisenberg.