Landaluce Burial Memorial and Tributes

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Landaluce (1980-1982) was, for the briefest of moments, a champion American Thoroughbred race horse. Landaluce was out of the first crop sired by the great Seattle Slew, 1977s Horse of the Year and the 10th winner of America's Triple Crown. Her dam was Strip Poker, by Bold Bidder, who was sired by Bold Ruler. Bred by Francis Kernan in Kentucky on Spendthrift Farm, the yearling Landaluce was chosen at auction for buyers L. R. French and Barry Beal by the Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Her price tag was $650,000. He said he noticed her tremendous heart girth. But he also went on a buying spree that year, buying 24 horses for a total of 6 million dollars. Beal and French named their new filly after a guide on a Spanish ranch they'd once visited, Francisco Landaluce. Landaluce turned out to be an immediate sensation. Racing only at two, during that one year she started five times, winning five times. Her combined winning margin was 46 ½ lengths, 21 of those lengths coming in the Grade II Hollywood Lassie Stakes. She debuted at Hollywood Park Racetrack on July 3, 1982 in a 6 furlong Maiden Special Weight in the very impressive time of 1:08 1/5. (The horse who placed seven lengths behind her, Some Kinda Flirt, won her next race by a huge margin, just as Landaluce had completely and easily outdistanced her.) Her jockey was the Hall of Famer, Laffit Pincay, Jr.. Riding her once, Pincay chose to continue riding her. As he said, Normally, I am not a superstitious man, but I walk around these days hoping nothing happens to her. When I see Wayne Lukas walking towards me, my instinct is to turn away. I am afraid he is going to tell me something has gone wrong. I never want to hear that she has turned a hair. Only one week later on the 10th of July she took the 6 furlong Hollywood Lassie in 1:08. Coming into the stretch after battling with the undefeated Barzell, Pincay tapped her on the shoulder and she exploded into another gear on top of another gear. The tape of the race was watched over and over by racing officials as well as by Lukas and the trainers of her competitors. The evidence was irrefutable. She blew away her rivals. Landaluce's margin of victory remains the greatest ever run in any race, stakes or otherwise, by a two-year-old at Hollywood Park. Her own father at two, Seattle Slew, had taken a race by 9 and 3/4ths lengths. Secretariat had won a race by eight lengths. But Landaluce had won by 21 lengths. Her time is said to be fastest clocking ever for a juvenile filly in a one turn 6 furlong race. Lukas was quoted as saying, You search and you look, and then all of a sudden, it comes, that star, and you know you have been blessed with something special. At Del Mar Racetrack on September 5th, she easily outran the field by 6½ lengths in the one mile Del Mar Debutante Stakes, and in the process came close to equaling the stakes record. And then she went to Santa Anita Park for the October 11th running of the 7 furlong Grade II Anoakia Stakes. Again she won easily, outstripping her competition by ten lengths. Her last race and victory (not that anyone knew it; what they knew is that she might be voted Horse of the Year if things continued as they had begun), was the one and one sixteenth mile Grade I Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita. Once again, she won easily. Lukas was now pointing her towards the Grade I Hollywood Starlet Stakes scheduled to run on November 28th. But on November 22nd, she became ill. Lukas, knowing it was a virus, was still hopeful shed make the Starlet. But Landaluce had Colitis X, a disease that struck Swale, another Seattle Slew offspring. At that point Lukas hoped shed make the Hollywood Futurity. One more day, and all anyone could do was to try and save her life. Steadily weakening from the blood clots formed by a severe bacterial invasion, she died with her head in Lukas arms on December 11, 1982. Landaluce was awarded the American Champion Two-Year-Old Filly for 1982. It was given posthumously. The Hollywood Lassie Stakes was renamed the Landaluce Stakes in her honor and she was buried in the infield at Hollywood Park.

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