Dual GI Breeders' Cup Mile Winner, Da Hoss (Gone West–Jolly Saint, by Welsh Saint) died at the Kentucky Horse Park Jan. 2. At the age of 30, the gelding passed away due to infirmities of old age. Da Hoss had been living at the Kentucky Horse Park since January 2000.
“We will miss Da Hoss greatly. He was a fan favorite as he proved that spirit can triumph over adversity,” said Nicole Rivera, Interim Deputy Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park. “I would like to extend a special thank you to Rob Willis and the Hall of Champions staff for the great care and affection they showed Da Hoss during his time here at the park.”
Foaled on Jan. 18, 1992, Wall Street Racing Da Hoss as a Keeneland September yearling for $6,000. After racing as a 2-year-old for trainer Kevin Eikleberry and Wall Street Racing, an 85% interest in Da Hoss was sold to Prestonwood Farm. He was shipped to Fair Hill training center to start training with Michael Dickinson and Joan Wakefield.
Only one five horses to win the Breeders' Cup Mile twice, and the only horse to win twice in non-consecutive years, Da Hoss annexed the turf test in 1996 and 1998, the second after returning from an injury. His inspiring finish in the 1998 Mile produced one of Tom Durkin's most memorable race calls, as he exclaimed: “The greatest comeback since Lazarus!”
Added trainer Michael Dickinson of Tapeta Farm, “We all loved him. He was our horse of a lifetime. He brought us so many highs, even with his problems, we knew he would never let us down. He gave his all and loved to win. He was spoiled but deserved to be. He loved going out in one of his grass fields with his best friend Boomer for two or three hours every day. He knew he was special. It was comforting to know he was always well looked after by everyone at the Kentucky Horse Park where he enjoyed a wonderful retirement.”
Da Hoss shared the Kentucky Horse Park Hall of Champions with other Champion horses, including Thoroughbreds Go For Gin, Funny Cide and Point Given, Standardbred pacers Western Dreamer and Won the West, and Standardbred trotter Mr. Muscleman.
Da Hoss will be buried in the Memorial Walk of Champions.
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