Manual Genuine Risk: Thoroughbred Legends

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Firestone of Upperville, Virginia.

Regret: The Filly Who Made the Derby | America's Best Racing

Only 40 fillies have contested the Kentucky Derby. The colts running in Triple Crown races have been beaten 11 times by a filly, including the first time the Belmont ran in when Ruthless won. I have a room in my house, called the Genuine Risk Room, that has many portraits of the mare along with racing programs and a set of her shoes.

Diana and Bert Firestone were so kind to give me the shoes. I feel so lucky to have written the book about Genuine Risk.


She was a heckuva race mare and had such a great story — she danced every dance! Hallie and her husband, Thom J. Whether you watch them in pasture, ride them in dressage, event them, show them, gymkhana with them or race them, they have an elegance and athleticism that no other breed comes close to. It was only the beginning of her fertility troubles. Time after time she was bred, and time after time the pregnancies ended in heartbreak. Finally, on my birthday in , she delivered a little golden jewel of a foal, alive and healthy.


He looked just like his mother. With her breeding troubles in mind, they named him Genuine Reward. The story was national news, and the beautiful little foal was a media darling. Genuine Risk would only give birth to one more live foal. She lived a long and happy life and died peacefully in her paddock in Virginia at age Genuine Reward had minor soundness issues, and never made it to the races.

After being born into instant celebrity, he faded from public view. Until that morning one year ago, I had heard nothing about him in close to twenty years. When I saw the ad, I was at first delighted to see him, looking radiantly healthy. This was far below the price a slaughterhouse would pay for him, and it was very likely that such a low price would draw a "killer buyer," a person who prowls auctions and for-sale ads, sometimes under false pretenses, purchasing low-priced horses and sending them to be killed for meat.

I told him I'd pay for the horse and anything else necessary to get him from Wyoming to Kentucky, if Old Friends would take him.


Genuine Risk had given me so much joy, and had brought me into a lifetime of loving thoroughbred racing; to help her son find a safe and happy home was the least I could do for her. Michael said yes, and not long after, Genuine Reward arrived at Old Friends. He had been lavishly loved by his former owners, and looked so beautiful, much younger than his 22 years.

He was also, Michael told me, a complete sweetheart, and uncannily intelligent. Money figures again in post-racing careers. Mares only foal once a year, while stallions can breed regularly. In , owners and breeders hoped to strike genealogical gold by mating Genuine Risk with Triple Crown legend Secretariat.

The union would have produced the first offspring in history of two Kentucky Derby winners. Unfortunately, Genuine Risk gave birth to a stillborn and subsequent breeding efforts with Secretariat failed. Over the next 17 years, she only delivered two living colts, neither of which became a racer. View larger Puzzle archive.

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It was the 40th professional bout for the Ukrainian fighter who retained his WBC heavyweight title. Klitschko retired in with a record of , including 41 knockouts. Two years later, he was elected Mayor of Kiev, a position he still holds.