1980 Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risk died at her home in Virginia today. She was 31, and the oldest living Derby winner. The daughter of Exclusive Native competed in all 3 Triple Crown races that year, finishing 2nd in both the Preakness and Belmont.
She produced only 2 foals, neither of whom raced, but she has left a lasting legacy on the turf. Her Derby win was the 1st for a filly since Regret in 1915, and no other filly would win again until Winning Colors in ’88. She ran a hard-fought battle in the Preakness against Codex, where many fans felt rough riding by Codex’s jockey cost Genny the race. I just rewatched the race, and while Codex swung out wayy wide on the final turn, it didn’t look like he bumped or touched the filly. The biggest question I have from seeing it is how good would Codex have been if he hadn’t drifted out? The filly still put in a valiant effort to place. Her runner-up finish to Temperance Hill was also spectacular, as those two struggled in the slop to pass Rockhill Native. On a fast track, would Genny have been the 80’s Rags?
At 4, Genuine Risk raced 3 times in allowance company before a knee injury led to her retirement. Her broodmare career was anticlamatic: she produced only 2 foals after many unsuccessful tries, including a cover by Secretariat. Genuine Reward, her first foal by Rahy, was born in 1993; he now stands at stud in Wyoming.
Genuine Risk lived her final years at Bert Firestone’s Newstead Farm in VA. She was a grand dame of the turf and will be missed.
The torch has now been passed to Alysheba, who, at 24, is the Oldest Living Kentucky Derby Winner.