Sad news out of Kentucky this evening as 1988 Kentucky Derby champion Winning Colors was euthanized due to complications from colic. At the time of her death, she was in foal to Mr. Greenley. Growing up as I did in the most recent “golden era” of racing—the 1970s and 1980s—this big gray filly was obviously a favorite of mine, along with Genuine Risk, the chestnut filly who won the Derby in 1980. For now, Genuine Risk is still with us, but it makes me sad to have Winning Colors pass away. She did not have a great deal of success as a broodmare, although some of her progeny did well in Japan. A daughter of the Irish-bred stallion Caro (from whom she inherited her gray coat), Winning Color’s dam—the stakes-winning Bold Hour mare All Rainbows—was a half-sister of 1974 filly Triple Crown winner Chris Evert (Swoon’s Son). She had one full-brother, Caro Dubbio, who won seven races in Italy before entering stud duty there.
For those who never experienced the thrill of Winning Colors, here are video highlights of her career…rest in peace, sweet champion. May you always race on the lead!
1988 Santa Anita Derby
1988 Kentucky Derby (listen to that crowd!)
1988 Preakness, where they didn’t let her take a big early lead and carried her wide as often as possible—she finished third
1988 Belmont—Risen Star made his move exiting the backstretch and never looked back
1988 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, against the undefeated older champion Personal Ensign: