GENUINE RISK — Derby’s Grand Dame Dies at 31

Genuine Risk at 30 in 2007, relaxing at Newstead Farm/photo from NewYorkTimes

Genuine Risk at 30 in 2007, relaxing at Newstead Farm/photo from NewYorkTimes

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.



Filed under Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby, obituary

2 responses to “GENUINE RISK — Derby’s Grand Dame Dies at 31

  1. Thanks for the plug on that message board.
    I just wish I had something meaningful to post. My blog looks pretty boring right now.

  2. Pingback: Celebrating the Life of the Genuine Risk

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