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Hall of Fame steeplechaser Flatterer dies at 35

Hall of Fame steeplechaser Flatterer, who had been the oldest living Eclipse Award winner, has died at the age of 35. According to a report on thisishorseracing.com, the four-time Eclipse Award champion was euthanized Tuesday at owner/breeder Bill Pape's Unionville, Pennsylvania, farm.

Pape bred Flatterer in partnership with Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard, who conditioned the great 'chaser throughout his career. The son of Mo Bay switched from flat racing to fences in 1983 and took his new discipline by storm. He became the first steeplechasing Triple Crown winner by sweeping the American Grand National, Temple Gwathmey and Colonial Cup, and thereby earned the first of his series of four consecutive Eclipse Awards.

In 1984, Flatterer successfully defended his Colonial Cup title and added three other stakes victories, including the New York Turf Writers' Cup. He made it a Colonial Cup three-peat in 1985, while winning the Temple Gwathmey for the second time.

Flatterer's 1986 highlights included an unprecedented fourth straight Colonial Cup, by a resounding 17 lengths; the establishment of a new American weight-carrying record of 176 pounds when romping in the National Hunt Cup; and a gallant second when invading France's famous Auteuil Racecourse.

Back on his international travels in 1987, Flatterer was once more a terrific runner-up, this time in the Waterford Crystal Champion Hurdle during the Cheltenham Festival in March. That May, he earned his final stakes laurel in the Iroquois. After his summer holiday, Flatterer returned to crush an allowance in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase. But unfortunately, in the Breeders' Cup, he bowed a tendon, retired from the course, and from racing altogether.

Flatterer, who for a time ranked as America's richest steeplechaser with earnings of $421,146, compiled an overall mark of 52-24-8-5, $534,854. The dark bay gelding also set five track records -- two over the Belmont turf, as well as at Atlanta, Camden and Great Meadow.


 

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