Strike the Gold

Strike the Gold

Grand Sire:
Raise a Native
Majestic Gold
Dam Sire:
Hatchet Man
Birth Date:
Calumet Farm
BCC Stable
Nick Zito

Major Race Wins
Kentucky Derby (1991)
Blue Grass Stakes (1991)
Pimlico Special (1992)
Nassau County Handicap (1992)

Strike the Gold is an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known for winning the 1991 Kentucky Derby. Upon the death of 1987 Derby winner Alysheba in March 2009, Strike the Gold became the oldest living Kentucky Derby winner.

A son of U.S. Racing Hall of Famer, Alydar, Strike the Gold was purchased in 1990 for $500,000 from breeder Calumet Farm by B. Giles Brophy, William J. Condren, and Joseph M. Cornacchia who raced him under the name BCC Stable. Competing at age three in the Florida Derby, their promising colt finished second behind the 1990 U.S. Champion 2-Yr-Old Colt Fly So Free but ahead of third-place Hansel. Two weeks later in mid April, Strike the Gold won the Blue Grass Stakes. However, for the first leg of the U.S. Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby, Hansel was the betting favorite with Fly So Free the second choice. Both horses disappointed; Fly So Free finishing fifth and Hansel tenth to winner Strike the Gold. Second place went to the still lightly regarded, but future great, Best Pal. Mane Minister finished third as he would in all three of the Triple Crown races.

Strike the Gold wound up sixth in the Preakness Stakes in a race won by Hansel. In the Belmont Stakes, Strike the Gold drew the outside post and at one point in the race was twenty lengths back of the frontrunner. He fought back to battle Hansel in the homestretch ending up a head behind in second place. Later that year, Strike the Gold finished third in both the Jim Dandy Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. In all, after his Kentucky Derby win, Strike the Gold lost twelve straight starts which resulted in a bitter dispute between his three owners over his handling by trainer Nick Zito. In May 1992, the four-year-old horse was sold at auction for $2.9 million, bought by William J. Condren and Joseph M. Cornacchia, two of the original three partners. Just five days after the sale, with Zito still as their trainer of choice, Strike the Gold rebounded to win the Pimlico Special over Fly So Free and five other top horses. A few weeks later he scored another victory in the Nassau County Handicap over Pleasant Tap then the two horses reversed their positions in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

Raced at age five in 1993, Strike the Gold's best showing was a third in the Nassau County Handicap that he had won the previous year. In mid season he was retired to breeding duty at Ben P. Walden Jr.'s Vinery near Midway, Kentucky but his progeny never met with much racing success. By 1997 his stud fee stood at only $15,000 and in 1999 he was sold to the Jockey Club of Turkey to serve as a stallion at the Turkish National Stud. There his mating with Free Trade, a daughter of Shareef Dancer, produced the 2001 colt Sabirli who set records in Turkish sprint and mile races and earned more than US$ 5,5 million.

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