World champion trotter Ourasi, who captured France's famed Prix d'Amerique four times over his illustrious career, died Saturday, Jan. 12, in Normandy at the age of 33.
Ourasi won the Prix d'Amerique in 1986-87-88 before being upset in 1989. He came back as a 10 year old to win the 1990 renewal of the prestigious trotting event. Although he had been trained and driven by Jean-Rene Gougeon, Ourasi won his last Prix d'Amerique with Gougeon's brother, Minou, driving after he suffered a stroke just prior to the race.
Ourasi's only U.S. start came in the 1998 March of Dimes Trot at Garden State Park where his main rival was Mack Lobell. However, it was Sugarcane Hanover who won the race with Ourasi finishing second. According to U.S. Trotting Association records, Ourasi retired with career earnings of $4,010,105.
Ourasi went on to a stallion career but infertility problems led to him producing only 38 foals before being retired.
Pierre Lamy, director of the farm where Ourasi died, was quoted as saying, "It is a very sad day...He had eaten nothing for four days and was not lying down for fear that he wouldn't be able to get up again.
"It has been several days that he has visibly declined. The decision (to put him down) was not an easy one but he was suffering at the end. We were obliged to help him. It is very hard, very tough," he added.