Prodigious Stallion Holy Bull Euthanized

After a brilliant career that sparkled just about as much as his brilliant grey coat, the fabulous Holy Bull was euthanized after a tough battle with the infirmities of old age at the age of 26.


The news was announced by Jonabell Farm, where Holy Bull stood as a stallion and then retired after his racing career in 1995.


Jimmy Bell, the President of Godolphin USA, made the announcement.  “If you were putting together your fantasy horse stable for the last 25 years, you’d have to have Holy Bull in your top five,” said Bell, according to a press release released by the farm.  “Horses like Holy Bull just don’t come along that often.  I’ve always said, he wasn’t a specialist – short, grass, long, or dirt.  Just a fantastic racehourse.  You can’t mention his name without using such words as ‘fighter, determination, and guts.”


One of Holy Bull’s most dominating and exciting victories came in the Woodward Stakes, but long before that he became recognized as a brilliant competitor and racehorse.  He won all four races as a 2-year-old including the Grade 1 Futurity Stakes at Belmont Park.  At 3, he won five Grade 1 events – including the Travers, the Woodward, the Met Mile, the Haskell Invitational and the Florida Derby.  For his efforts, he was voted as the best 3YO, and, also, captured Horse of the Year honors.


He retired with an overall record of 13 wins in 16 starts and earning of $2,48 million.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.


As a stallion, he sired the likes of Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Macho Uno.



The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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