Rosalind, Ashland Stakes, Keeneland, April 5th 2014
Trained by Kenny McPeek, Sire: Broken Vow, Dam: Critics Acclaim by Theatrical
Ray Struder is living proof of the powerful, emotional attachment a fan can have to a Thoroughbred. The 51-year-old native of Tennessee named his all-filly stable Landaluce Educe, which is Latin for Landaluce remembered.
Following a football injury in high school, Struder moved cross country to attend San Diego State University. Every day in the summer he rode the city bus to Del Mar. On Sept. 5, 1982, he saw trainer D. Wayne Lukas’s unbeaten two-year-old filly Landaluce capture the Grade 2 Del Mar Debutante by 6 ½ lengths at odds of 3-10. Struder was so impressed that he traveled to Santa Anita to see her next start in the Grade 3 Anoakia Stakes, a race she captured by 10 lengths at 1-10.
In her following start, Landaluce won the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita by two lengths at odds of 1-20. But the filly who would be named an Eclipse Award winner contracted a bacterial infection in November. She died in Lukas’s arms a month later.
“Few things get to me emotionally, but I was surprised how heartbroken I was by her death, and especially for a horse I never met,” Struder said. “I would think about her and the two races I saw all the time.”
Struder never forgot the champion filly. “I wanted to be a Thoroughbred owner since I was 19 years old,” he said. “It took me close to 30 years.” He knew what he wanted to name his stable the whole time.
Struder’s business success with his engineering firm in Tennessee freed him to buy his first horse in 2010 with trainer Kenny McPeek. They would team up to buy 10 more. Four of the 11 have raced in graded stakes. Struder entered the game with a plan: buy quality fillies and develop a broodmare band.
Rosalind, whom he purchased for $70,000 as a yearling, may be the leader of the band. She nearly gave Struder a victory in the Breeders’ Cup last year, when she was a fast-finishing third by a half-length in the Grade 1 Juvenile Filly.
Now she’s given Struder his first Grade I, conjuring memories of another Grade I filly Struder fell in love with and still honors so many years later.