Genuine Risk was a chestnut mare who won the 1980 Kentucky Derby and was the first filly to ever finish in the money in all three U.S. Triple Crown races. Ridden by Jacinto Vasquez, she finished second in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. She was foaled in Kentucky.
Genuine Risk was only the second filly to win the Kentucky Derby. The first was Regret, winning the 1915 Derby 65 years earlier. Since then, only one other filly, Winning Colors, has won, taking the 1988 Kentucky Derby.
Genuine Risk's first mating was to the Triple Crown winner Secretariat in 1982. The resulting foal expected in 1983 would have made history as the first offspring of two Kentucky Derby winners. Genuine Risk, however, delivered a stillborn colt. Though scheduled to be bred to Nijinsky II in 1983, she was rebred to Secretariat without success.
Over the next 17 years, she produced only two living foals: Genuine Reward, a chestnut colt by Rahy in 1993, and Count Our Blessing, a chestnut colt by Chief Honcho foaled in 1996. Neither colt ever raced. Genuine Reward went to stud in 1997 and stands in Wyoming. Count Our Blessing was eventually gelded and is currently a show horse under the name of Westley.
Honors and Retirement
Genuine Risk was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1986. In the Blood-Horse magazine List of the Top 100 Racehorses of the 20th Century, she is ranked #91.
Retired from breeding in 2000 after losing several foals or failing to conceive, she spent the rest of her life at the Firestone's Newstead Farm in Upperville, Virginia. During Memorial Day Weekend in 2007, several hundred visitors visited Genuine Risk at Newstead during the annual Hunt Country Stable Tour, on what was to be her last public appearance.
At the age of 31, she died in her paddock at the Firestone family's Virginia-based Newstead Farm on Monday, August 18, 2008.
Racing Yacht Names After Genuine Risk
The first boat to win the Chicago Yacht Club's 100th Race to Mackinac, a 333-mile course up Lake Michigan from Chicago to Mackinac Island, was the Genuine Risk with a time of 35 hours 8 minutes. The boat, owned by Randall Pittman, was so named in honor of the aforementioned race horse. "All my boats are named after race horses," says Randall. "Whirlaway, Genuine Risk, Ruffian. I see a parallel between race horses and racing sailboats -- all have grace, power and speed."