View Full Version : Kona Gold gone !

Sep. 25, 2009, 05:17 PM
It's up on Bloodhorse

Sep. 25, 2009, 05:30 PM
Kona Gold, the champion sprinter in 2000 after he won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) in 1:07.77 to set a track record at Churchill Downs, died on Friday morning after suffering a spiral fracture on his radius while exercising in his paddock at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The 15-year-old gelded son of Java Gold arrived at the Horse Park in 2008 after beginning his retirement as a stable pony in the barn of his trainer and co-owner Bruce Headley. Kona Gold retired in 2003 after a career in which he won 14 of 30 races, including 11 stakes, and earned $2,293,384.

Kathy Hopkins of the Horse Park said that Headley, who is in Lexington for the Keeneland September yearling sale, was immediately notified of the injury and was conferred with throughout the process of first treating Kona Gold and then making the decision to euthanize the champion.

Headley took exceptional pride in Kona Gold, who he bought for $35,000 at the 1995 Keeneland September yearling sale. His California license plate was registered as “107 3” to commemorate Kona Gold’s time in winning the Sprint over 13 rivals.

“Unfortunately, he had one of those freaky accidents exercising in the paddock,” Hopkins said. “He planted his foot down and fractured his radius. It’s nothing you can predict or prevent. He was just a happy horse playing.”

Kona Gold’s other Grade 1 win came in the 2001 San Carlos Handicap, though he won graded stakes races in five different seasons from age five through nine.

Blinkers On
Sep. 25, 2009, 08:49 PM
Bruce loved that horse. A shame no matter which way you look at it.

Sep. 25, 2009, 09:00 PM
Very sad. Once of my very best horse racing moments was watching him win the Bing Crosby at Del Mar. After the race the jockey paraded him before the grandstand and the crowd just exploded. He was a real fan favorite.

ASB Stars
Sep. 26, 2009, 08:36 AM
How bloody awful for all who loved him...


Godspeed, beautiful boy....

Sep. 26, 2009, 08:38 AM
Oh Kona. You will be missed. RIP.

Sep. 26, 2009, 03:34 PM
i had spoken to bruce briefly after he was being turned into the pony and bruce was so excited about it.

took my daughter to see him during breyerfest and i'm glad she got to give him a pat. i always did love this horse as a runner

Sep. 30, 2009, 12:10 PM
The Blood Horse web site has a nice video about him filmed at the horse park last year.
What a nice horse - very sad...