Champion Mercedes Won Dead

Mercedes Won, a grade I winner and Canadian champion, was euthanized Oct. 16 because of cancer and the infirmities of old age. The 20-year-old son of Air Forbes Won had been pensioned since 2002 at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences Ranch at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

Mercedes Won was a Canada's champion 2-year-old male and a grade I winner in the U.S. at that age. He captured the Grey (gr. III) and Swynford Stakes at Woodbine, and took the Hopeful (gr. I) and Sanford (gr. II) Stakes at Saratoga.

At three, Mercedes Won established himself as a top contender for the spring classics with a five-length victory in the Florida Derby (gr. I). He skipped the classics, but raced until the fall, winning the Crittenden Stakes by eight lengths at Finger Lakes in the summer. The following year at Finger Lakes, he won the Rochester Cup Handicap.

Bred in Kentucky by Oscar T. Penn Jr., Mercedes Won proved exceptionally durable in his four years of racing for owner Christopher T. Spencer. Trained by Arnold Fink for all but his first start, Mercedes Won started 52 times, winning or placing in 18 stakes and earning $1,087,435. He won a dozen races.

Mercedes Won, who entered stud at Michael Sherman's Farnsworth Farms in Florida, sired seven stakes winners, including 2006 added-money winner Elite Mercedes. Three of his runners were champions in the Dominican Republic. Mercedes Won, who was produced from the Roman Line mare Bye Bye Mercedes, also stood in Iowa at Rail Head Ranch and Rockin' River Ranch.