Monday, August 18, 2008

Farewell Genuine Risk

The oldest living Kentucky Derby winner passed away earlier today at the age of 31 at the Firestone's farm in Upperville, VA. Trained by Leroy Jolley, Genuine Risk won the Kentucky Derby in 1980 - the first since Regret 65 years earlier. There was a good chance that Genuine Risk wouldn't run against boys despite a brilliant 2-year old campaign against fillies given Jolley's unique perspective. Jolley was the trainer of Foolish Pleasure, the colt that four years before matched strides with fabled filly Ruffian in a battle of the sexes match race that ended with Ruffian shattering her leg and having to be euthanized after coming out of anesthesia following surgery. But after dismantling Distaff challengers early in her three year old season, she entered and finished third in the Wood. With no stand out colt going to Kentucky, her connections sent her to Churchill. It's been widely reported that her final quarter was faster than every Derby winner in history other than Secretariat. She then finished second in both the Preakness and the Belmont making her not only the only filly to finish in the top three in all three Triple Crown races, but also making her case as the greatest filly of all time.

In the shed she only delivered two live foals, neither of whom ever raced. A dream mating to Secretariat resulted in a stillborn foal. While her failures as a broodmare were well documented, her greatness as a racehorse could not be disputed. Farewell, Risk. Racing lost a hero and legend today.

1 comment:

Lloyd said...

I still remember the race against Codex and Cordero's ridership. She was a great one and ranks right up there with my favorites racing ladies, Soviet Problem and Personal Ensign.

RIP Risk.