Nicosia, Alice Chandler's mare of 34 years, was euthanized last week at Mill Ridge Farm near Lexington. Chandler, who owns Mill Ridge with her husband, Dr. John Chandler, bred Nicosia and trained her for the last part of the filly's racing career.
Chandler saddled Nicosia to consecutive wins at Arlington Park in 1976 in the $100,000-added Sheridan Handicap and a division of the Matron Handicap (gr. IIT). Nicosia equaled Tom Rolfe's track-record of 2:00 3/5 for 1 1/4 miles in the Sheridan. The Matron win came about two weeks later.
Nicosia, a daughter of Gallant Romeo, began her racing career as a 3-year-old in 1975 for trainer J.S. Dunn. She won the Hollywood Oaks (gr. II) under Bill Shoemaker and the Ruthless Stakes in New York. She later was trained by Frank Whiteley Jr. before Chandler took charge.
Chandler, whose husband came up with the name Nicosia because it sounded nice, privately bought Nicosia's dam, Nicoma (by Nashua), after the mare's racing career. Nicoma produced additional graded stakes winners Rastaferian and Tisab for Chandler. Nicoma later became the name of the Lexington bloodstock agency run by Chandler's son, Headley.
Nicosia produced nine named foals, only four of which won, including stakes winner Soti. She is buried at Mill Ridge.