View Full Version : Winning Colors dies

Mega Rock
Feb. 18, 2008, 08:05 PM
Champion........ Winning Colors died. Winner of the 1988 Kentucky Derby. RIP girl.........:cry:


Feb. 18, 2008, 08:16 PM
She was a very good and sweet girl.

Feb. 18, 2008, 08:25 PM
She was one of my all time favorite race horses.


Feb. 18, 2008, 08:39 PM
Very sad to lose her. :sadsmile:

Feb. 18, 2008, 08:53 PM
Awww... sad to hear the news. I loved watching her run. It's hard to believe she was 23... it doesn't seem like that long ago.

RIP Winning Colors

Feb. 18, 2008, 08:56 PM
I wouldve stated her passing a bit differently, but that's just me.

Winning Colors was euthanized Sunday morning, Feb 17th, at Lexington's Hagyard Equine Medical Institute after complications from colic. The Eclipse winning gal who produced just 10 foals was buried at Greentree Farm in Lexington.

youtube.com 1988 Santa Anita Derby - Winning Colors utterly crushes the boys (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M7rZyFfi4M)

She was just the 3rd filly to win the SA Derby, 1st since 1959; ultimately 3/5th of a second off the stakes record.

youtube.com ABC post-race kudos to Winning Colors after the Santa Anita Derby (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MYSZMr54YM)

youtube.com 1988 Kentucky Derby - Winning Colors in perfect form (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykEb2qZ-aDA&feature=related) - becoming the 3rd and last filly to win

youtube.com 1988 Preakness post race interview with Gary Stevens (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_fw3c_nbSA&feature=related) - a speed duel gone bad

She'll be missed as she was a great old gal who had some explosive speed as shown at Santa Anita and Kentucky Derby. You'll be missed :(

Feb. 18, 2008, 09:02 PM
The Eclipse winning gal who produced just 10 foals...

'Just' 10 foals?

Only a man -- or perhaps, a Mormon -- could make that statement.


Feb. 18, 2008, 09:08 PM
'Just' 10 foals?

Only a man -- or perhaps, a Mormon -- could make that statement.

Funny. I intended to post that she produced just one black type from her 10 foals

Feb. 18, 2008, 09:36 PM
I just took a look at her production. Most of her ten offspring are in Japan, but she's got a daughter at Darley, Ireland, and granddaughters in India and the Czech Republic. I'm sure she has descendants all over the world. I know she's had one race in South Africa, and has got one doing something in Australia.

Maybe she wasn't as big a bust in the shed as it seemed. She had one Mr. P daughter who made over 500k in Japan, and another who make over 200k and was or is in Japan.

Feb. 19, 2008, 10:58 AM
Comments from D. Wayne although not necessarily made in reaction to her death (http://www.drf.com/news/article/92386.html):

"That's a special horse in our history and our legacy," said Lukas, who was assisted by his son Jeff when he trained Winning Colors. "She was the first one that kind of put us over the top, and started our Derby run. And I think she was the one probably kept Gene Klein interested all those years - his favorite and mine, and certainly Jeff's too. Of all the horses that we've had in our stable, and we've been blessed with some good ones, that was probably the one that was closest to Jeff."

One off spring to Storm Cat:

Winning Colors went through the auction ring once more, at the 1994 Keeneland November sale. Offered in foal to Storm Cat, she brought $2 million from the British Bloodstock Agency (England), with Gainesway acting as agent. The Storm Cat filly, later named Stormin Winnie, never raced.

Perhaps one of most epic filly duels seen in Breeders' Cup history with a photo finish:

1988 BC Distaff Winning Colors vs. Personal Ensign (3 min 33 sec) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oILJ6IYoZso)

Feb. 19, 2008, 11:16 AM
A bit of an aside regarding her grave from the Courier-Journal (http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080219/SPORTS08/802190446/1002/SPORTS):

Winning Colors was buried at owner Gainesway Farm's Greentree division in Lexington, near the graves of such greats as La Troienne and Tom Fool. Regret is buried nearby on a different part of the Gainesway property. Winning Colors' grave is not open to the public.

Feb. 19, 2008, 11:22 AM

Feb. 19, 2008, 11:37 AM
So sad to hear colic claims another one.

She was a personal favorite of mine. :(

Feb. 19, 2008, 11:58 AM
I remember being nine years old and screaming "Girls Win!" as Winning Colors crossed the wire first in the Derby. It's one of my favorite Derby memories.

Barbara Livingston has re-arranged her gallery (http://www.barbaralivingston.com/gallery/onthefarm/) to highlight her photos of the mare. This one (http://www.barbaralivingston.com/gallery/onthefarm/WinningColors1BL) is lovely.

Feb. 19, 2008, 01:12 PM
and the first one was in '88. I was there when Personal Ensign beat her by an eyelash, and even tho I followed racing passively, [before computers and didn't subscribe to DRF], I had never heard of Personal Ensign. That loss robbed Winning Colors of a lot of honor that should have been hers.
Sad cheers for her. Like so many stallions, she was perhaps better on the track.

Feb. 19, 2008, 01:30 PM
I have some very special memories of Winning Colors as I got to be her groom for a day as I was the then swing groom. That was my first time ever working for Wayne. When it came time to doing her up, Jeff stayed in the stable with me to make sure I didn't screw anything up. Actually Jeff was pretty good towards me. She was just an amazing mare and had so much presence about her.

Take Care Ole Girl,

Feb. 19, 2008, 01:35 PM
I remember being nine years old and screaming "Girls Win!" as Winning Colors crossed the wire first in the Derby. It's one of my favorite Derby memories.

Barbara Livingston has re-arranged her gallery (http://www.barbaralivingston.com/gallery/onthefarm/) to highlight her photos of the mare. This one (http://www.barbaralivingston.com/gallery/onthefarm/WinningColors1BL) is lovely.

Lovely pics. Sad loss of a nice mamma :)

Feb. 19, 2008, 01:56 PM
One would always hope that a nice mare who gave so many thrills to all of us would live to old age, in a happy place. She deserved to be cared for all of her days. So sad to hear that Colic claimed her at age 19.

A great mare is now at peace.

Feb. 19, 2008, 03:05 PM
One would always hope that a nice mare who gave so many thrills to all of us would live to old age, in a happy place. She deserved to be cared for all of her days. So sad to hear that Colic claimed her at age 19.

A great mare is now at peace.

Er, that would be 23. She was the same age as my Bashful mare. RIP, old girl.

Feb. 19, 2008, 04:20 PM
23 years and 3 days as she was born on Valentines Day in 1985 ...

Feb. 19, 2008, 08:59 PM
was privileged enough to see this great horse run. go fillies !!!!

Feb. 19, 2008, 10:43 PM
The Daily Racing Form was able to interview Jeff Lukas on Tuesday to ask about his recollections of Winning Colors. (An interview with his dad in Octob 2007 said that Jeff misses being around horses but returning to a career with them wasn't possible)

DRF 2-19-08 "Remembering Winning Colors" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/92406.html)

But beyond the obvious centers of racing interest, the news of her death hit with particular impact in the little southeastern Oklahoma town of Atoka, pop. 2,988, because one of those residents is Jeff Lukas.

It was Lukas, as chief assistant to his father, who was at the center of the Winning Colors story from the time she hit the track at Saratoga, in the summer of 1987. Jeff Lukas ran the stable's East Coast operation. He wintered in California alongside Wayne at Santa Anita. And then, when the Triple Crown approached, Jeff decamped for Churchill Downs with the colts - or fillies - who were pointing for the classics.

"She was always a big, tall, long-striding filly - an extremely well-structured individual," Jeff Lukas said by phone on Tuesday afternoon. "The thing about her was just controlling her. She was not the kind that would easily settle down. We had to keep her from doing too much, because she tried to put a lot into her training that wasn't necessary.

"We always took her out in the first set every day when it was quieter, with not as much traffic," Lukas continued. "And as far as her exercise rider, that was also an important consideration. When we left Santa Anita for Louisville, she got tough training at Churchill, to the point a change needed to be made. So for the last 10 days before the Derby, Dallas Stewart galloped her. He could gallop a tough horse, and he got her to settle down. That was a key factor to her being able to run her race at Churchill.

"Then on the day of the Derby, it was a matter of getting her to the paddock, getting the saddle on and then getting her to the track quietly."

As for the Breeders' Cup, Jeff had to deal with a disappointing effort by Winning Colors in the Spinster Stakes, her last start before a showdown with Personal Ensign.

"When she did not run her race at Keeneland, we brought her back to Churchill," Jeff said. "After she worked, it was something I'll never forget, calling my father and saying, 'Dad, don't worry about the Spinster. She loves this track and she will run her race.'"

Today Jeff, now 50, is currently working for a bank owned by a family friend.

Feb. 20, 2008, 08:16 AM
RIP, beautiful girl.

It was the first Kentucky Derby I ever watched. First time I had a Mint Julep. The drinks went to our heads and we were jumping up and down, hugging, and shouting "Girl Power" :lol:!

It was also the same year (1988) my own beautiful girl (of the equine species) was born. Time flies.

Feb. 20, 2008, 04:31 PM
1988 Kentucky Derby:

1988 BC Distaff:

Feb. 22, 2008, 02:23 PM
Many Blessings to a great Filly... Winning Colors may you gallop proudly over the rainbow bridge and into greener pastures. You will always bee in our memories.

Barn Brats Horse Themed Glassware

Mar. 12, 2008, 03:59 PM
An interesting bit that was part of the Winning Color's story: Union Tribune March 10, 2008 "Winning Colors had major ties with San Diego" (http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/20080310-9999-1s10horsecol.html)

The victory was a major moment in the life of several members of Lukas' stable crew.

Knowing of their boss' plan and seeing firsthand the filly's development, they pooled money and went to the Caliente racebook in Tijuana in late 1987 and got close-to-triple-figure odds on her in the Kentucky Derby Futures pool. The following May they cashed out somewhere in the low-six-figure range.

Now that is confidence in what you have in the stable yard and richlly rewarded.

Gary Stevens.. told viewers that the photo-finish picture [of Winning Colors and Personal Ensign in the BC] is the only one on the walls of his home of a race that he didn't win.

Jun. 20, 2008, 10:08 PM
I don't think this was otherwise noted when it occured last week:

Herald-Leader June 14, 2008 "Winning Colors filly wins debut" (http://www.kentucky.com/302/story/433562.html)

Ocean Colors, a 2-year-old daughter of 1988 Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors, made her racing debut one to remember by scoring a front-running 51/4-length victory over Jehan in Friday's fourth race at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, Ocean Colors covered the five furlongs over a fast main track in a meet-best 57.08 seconds in defeating six other 2-year-old fillies.

”She sure has a lot of class,“ Asmussen said. ”I didn't know she'd be that fast from the (starting) gate. Who knows how good she might be?“

Winning Colors, the third filly to win the Kentucky Derby, died this year on Feb. 17 following complications from colic.

Ocean Colors, sired by Orientate, is the next-to-last foal produced by Winning Colors. Her last foal is a yearling filly by Mr. Greeley.

Youtube has the replay 6/13/2008 Race 4 (http://youtube.com/watch?v=ZxAoWY1zTT4&feature=user) but like all the Churchill races on youtube.com they are messed up :(

Jul. 23, 2008, 01:29 AM
More on Ocean Colors in the Saratoga 140th meet thread but I thought I'd stick this here ..

New York Times July 23, 2008 "With Win, Filly Would Lift a Broodmare’s Legacy" (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/23/sports/othersports/23racing.html?ref=othersports)


Now she has the chance to do even more, to win a stakes race and to start rewriting Winning Colors’ history as a broodmare.

“This filly is not just a nice horse; she’s more than that,” said D. Wayne Lukas, who trained Winning Colors and Ocean Colors’s sire, Orientate.

Lukas watched intently as Ocean Colors trained and then raced at Churchill Downs, where she was based before shipping to Saratoga. She made her debut June 13 in a five-furlong maiden race and romped by five and a quarter lengths.

“I watched her train all spring at Churchill because I have a vested interest,” he said. “She’s very impressive. I was impressed with her race and very impressed with the way she worked.”

Winning Colors was retired in 1989 after her 4-year-old season. Owned throughout her racing career by Eugene Klein, she was sold shortly after her retirement for $4.1 million to Gainesway Bloodstock Services. Gainesway controlled her breeding career until her death.

The win by Ocean Colors was the first by any son or daughter of Winning Colors since 2001, when a filly named Northwest Colors won a maiden race at Arlington Park. But, like most of her siblings, Northwest Colors never amounted to much.

“It’s ironic that Winning Colors has not produced a major player of any type,” Lukas said. “When we retired her, I thought she was on her way to being broodmare of the year. She was so strong and big and had so much talent.”

I'll be watching - and betting on - her! Go Ocean Colors!