George Washington Filly Brings Back Memories

When I saw that my co-worker Ian Tapp of TrueNicks had posted this article about the upcoming career debut of Date With Destiny, the only foal sired by the deceased European champion George Washington, I had a lot of thoughts and memories that came rushing back.

In 2007, I was at Monmouth Park when George Washington was fatally injured in the Breeders’ Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I). It was one of the pivotal moments where I realized how harsh and unforgiving the industry can be. Just when you think you will never witness the unspeakable, it happens before your eyes. As a journalist, I thought George Washington’s breakdown would be covered much like any other significant incident involving a prominent American horse—like Barbaro, it would be a huge deal.

But for whatever reason it wasn’t. The TV stations skimmed over it, and even several stories I read that were written by American turf writers barely mentioned it, or gave it a mere sentence of explanation.

That’s when I wrote this impassioned Final Turn article, which received mixed responses, but I was glad I could at least get my thoughts out.

Anyway, I guess the point of this blog is should be more concentrated on how much I’m anticipating the first start of Date With Destiny. While it’s possible she may go to post in a six-furlong event at Newmarket July 9, it’s more likely the 2-year-old filly will make her first start at Newbury the same day in a seven-furlong maiden event, according to trainer Richard Hannon.

The appropriately named Date With Destiny is the only foal by George Washington due to his fertility problems as a stallion. Six other mares were confirmed to be in foal to George, but only one—The Rainbow Quest mare Flawlessly--produced a live offspring.

Date With Destiny as a weanling in 2008

A champion on the racetrack at 2 and 3 in Europe, George Washington was retired and sent to stud at Coolmore in Co. Tippery, Ireland in 2007. He was returned to training the same year after failing to get many mares in foal. The son of Danehill—Bordighera, by Alysheba placed in two group I races in France prior to his ill-fated Breeders’ Cup run.

George Washington, by Trevor Jones

Date With Destiny, bred by Azienda Agricola Loreto Luciani, and foaled and raised at the Irish National Stud near Kildare, is a half sister to group III winner and millionaire producer Ombre Legere (by Double Bed).

The bay filly, who fetched 280,000 Euros as a weanling, was most recently bought for $534,677 by Peter Doyle Bloodstock at the Tattersalls October yearling sale. She is owned by prominent English horsewoman Julie Wood.

Date With Destiny at Tattersalls, photo by Tattersalls

 

George Washington Slideshow
George Washington George Washington

I will always remember the champagne toast that some of my European colleagues, who were visibly distraught, and myself raised to George on that fateful Breeders’ Cup night. Here’s to hoping this is the first of many races in which Date With Destiny will carry on her great sire’s legacy.

UPDATE: Date With Destiny has been confirmed for the July 9 Newbury race, which is slated to go off at 1:20 p.m. EDT. Watch it on HRTV! Read more comments from her trainer here.

 ANOTHER UPDATE: She won!! Date With Destiny broke her maiden in impressive fashion at Newbury, defeating Zanazzi by 1 1/2 lengths. Ridden by jockey Richard Hughes, Date With Destiny, the 9-2 second choice, broke slowly, but quickly recovered to lead inside the eighth pole. She completed the seven-furlong contest over good to firm ground in 1:26.73. 

I was off Friday and Saturday, so I apologize for not updating right away, but what a race!! Did anyone else watch? Where do you all think she should go next?

 

121 Comments

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RGGC

I was a volunteer that day, working the BC and I remember saying to a co-worker,"my God, we got thru the entire two days without a breakdown. How great is that?" Then the BC Classic went off and as Curlin ran under the wire, I noticed some folks looking up the track. There stood brave poor George Washington holding his injured leg off the ground with  the rest of the field sweeping by. The jock had dismounted and was waiting for the outriders to help him.  One young gal asked me why were they bringing out the brown curtain and I asked her how many times have you been to a racetrack? She said this was her first time. I told her what was going to happen and she became distressed. I told her saddly it was the only humane thing to do. As we watched the tropy presentation in the winners circle going on, down the stretch we saw the saddest part of our wonderful sport happening at the same time.

A couple of people clapped as the horse ambulance went by, and before I could ask why they were clapping a woman said, "hopefully he can still hear us honor him one last time. I thought, that might be possible.  I turned and tearfully joined in.

Thanks for remembering a brave and gallant racehorse . May his daughter keep his memory alive.

07 Jul 2010 5:29 PM
Dona

I too was stunned when George Washington went down but the way he was ignored by the eventual winners, the track and the press was unforgivable. I was so heart broken and kept loking for someone to express grief for his lose but so little was said. It always helps us to accept their fate when others pave the way with an acknowlwdgment such as in the winners circle when Eight Bells went down. George Washington deserved better and so did his many international fans. I will try and follow his offspring and wish her well. Such a beautiful filly which is quite fitting for georgous George.  

07 Jul 2010 5:30 PM
anna

and hopefully more than anything to have several foals to keep him alive once and forever.

07 Jul 2010 5:41 PM
Megan

What a beautiful filly she is!

07 Jul 2010 6:01 PM
Jeannine Rinaldi

Thank you for the article and great pictures.  It was a horrible tragedy and he is missed by many, but never forgotten.  Date With Destiny is absolutely stunning.  I can't wait to see her perform on the racetrack.

07 Jul 2010 6:01 PM
Darlene

I was deeply saddened with the passing of George Washington I have a picture of him in my house to honor his memory. I hope his daughter becomes a champion but more important I hope she stays safe on the track.  

07 Jul 2010 6:19 PM
No Class

Thank you for your post and bringing back memories of George Washington.  Hoping his filly continues on in his hoofsteps - they are big prints to fill.

07 Jul 2010 6:22 PM
susan

I read your article with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat, just like I did when I read your Final Turns article 3 years ago. How people can be so callous and uncaring about the breakdown of that magnificent horse stuns and saddens me. Like you, I expected the media to give George Washington the tribute he deserved.  Shame on everyone in the industry who just brushed off this tragedy. Thank you for remembering and honoring him; and here's hoping his beautiful daughter will carry on with his legacy. Race on, George.

07 Jul 2010 6:27 PM
sandieh

I followed George Washington from the time that he was bred by the Jackson family and I was watching when he went down at the Breeders Cup. At that time I beleive that George Washington had a new owner, however, I know that the Jacksons were heartbroken.I just cried in disbelief.

Now, how very precious that we will be able to enjoy seeing his daughter grow and develope into a beautiful racehorse. May she be blessed with good health and success!

Date with Destiny, you can stay in my barn, anytime!

07 Jul 2010 6:44 PM
BarbaroLover

I remember reading your article when you first wrote it, and I agree with you.

Nobody seemed to care that George broke down. After the race, I didn't even know an accident had happened because the media was only focused on Curlin. It was disappointing how no one seemed to care about such a great European champion who had died. It wasn't until I got home that I read George broke down, and I don't know how long I cried for. Although I'm a Canadian, I love racing around the world and I was a fan of George for a long time. Another thing that bothered me is how everyone immediately started blaming the owners and trainers for George's death, when it was no one's fault. The horse deserved to be in the race and run with the best, and it was just a freak accident.

This horse had a presence and beauty that he translated into dominance on the track. He was a great horse, and although I never got to see him and didn't know him, he is in my heart. I love ya George Washington, and I'll remember you.

07 Jul 2010 6:46 PM
ruffianruns

I think he passed his good looks on!

George Washington's story is so heartbreaking.  I just read your "Bye George" article and if many Americans and the media reacted indifferently, then that is REALLY tragic.  I didn't follow racing then as much as I do now, so I don't really know anything about it.

GW's death must have contributed to many Euros feeling that the American dirt surface is too dangerous.  I've read blog comments by some really bitter and angry sounding Euros about the Breeder's Cup and dirt and drugs and American racing in general.

I hope Date With Destiny does well!

07 Jul 2010 6:48 PM
slee

George Washington was a wonderfully classy horse, and the picture of Date with Destiny on the Pedigree Query page shows an astonishingly beautiful filly.

I was amazed at the lack of coverage in the aftermath of George Washington's injury and death.  It was almost like it didn't happen, like some bad dream.  I wonder if it was too soon after Barbaro's death for it to be "a story", or if it was because he raced overseas, or because, unlike Barbaro, there was no hope of recovery.  Maybe a little of each?

But has that changed?  I watch races now and see a horse pulled up and the announcer acknowledges the fact, but there's no announcement afterwards.  Rarely you hear "he walked off under his own power" or maybe "he was vanned off".  But euthanized on the track?  Not a word.  Let us know.  Let us be sad.  Let us, as you did, toast the memories, and, if necessary, make changes to keep other horses and jockeys safe, but silence tells us nothing.

07 Jul 2010 6:56 PM
Anna

Thanks for the article. He will be remembered!

07 Jul 2010 7:01 PM
CarrieLLewis

Esther,

I certainly understand your feelings on George Washington's fate. Time would fail to tell of all the horse's I've mourned over the years. The list goes all the way back to Ruffian and includes Go For Wand and a number of others whose images I can still see in my memory. I can't imagine what it must be like to see something like that in person.

Date With Destiny certainly has the looks to carry on her Daddy's legacy. I don't remember much about George Washington, but I can see his likeness in the comparison photos.

Here's wishing her and her connection the best of wishes and a safe trip on July 9.

07 Jul 2010 7:09 PM
k.w.j......n.c.

I saw the breeders cup that day and tears came out,i wish good luck to the filly i think she will be better than people think good luck girl iwill be watching you.

07 Jul 2010 7:17 PM
Cheryl (Alex'sBigFan)

Oh my gosh, reading this all my memories of that fateful day came rushing back as well.  There was a deluge of 4 days of rain prior to the BC that year that Monmouth handled extremely well. I was standing right there when GW broke down in the stretch.  I was beside myself trying to see Curlin the winner, trying desperately to say farewell to my beloved Hard Spun, who was off to Darley after the BC, but yet I stayed frozen in front of the fallen hero, GW.  The ambulance drove away and we cheered not knowing who was in it or what fate he had suffered.  The brown sheets were up, which surely meant gloom and I felt nauseated.

We held vigil until that ambulance drove away.  Weeks later I saw a photo of it all.  It was eerily remininscent of George Washington crossing the Delaware, the Monmouth slop was the Delaware River, GW (the horse) was standing there gallant as men gathered around him unfurling our flag (the

brown sheets).  That famous painting was somehow captured in that photo; I don't know who the photographer was but research it and you will see what I mean.

And yes it was a shame how it was hardly mentioned anywhere.  I expected a tribute to GW by BC on their website.  Never happened.  I am happy to hear he has the one offspring.  I hope she is as great as he was.  He was Europe's champion, a beautiful looking horse, and no one even cared.

07 Jul 2010 7:18 PM
Footlick

I'm not sure how many Americans will have memories of George Washington as the brilliant miler that he was because they just didn't ever see him at his best.  He was one of those horses who beat themselves more than the competition beat him.  At his best he was devastating, at least IMO.

07 Jul 2010 7:37 PM
Ida Lee

I thought I was through shedding tears for George but apparently not. I'll admit that I was cheering for Curlin in the BC but when I realized what happened to Gorgeous George, I could not stop screaming. I was absolutely horrified.  That this gorgeous animal should die like he did, in the mud on the track in a foreign country, well even now I cry like a baby thinking about it. I will never get over his death, not ever. I still have his picture on my computer and smile sometimes when I look at his picture with his very manly whiskers. He was just stunning. I'll keep an eye on his little girl and will pray that she stay safe no matter what she does. For sure, Date with Destiny got her daddy's beautiful looks. She is gorgeous.

07 Jul 2010 7:38 PM
Laraine Murray

I watched on television the running of the race that George Washington broke down in. I cried when I realized that it was a horrific injury. I kept the newspaper article to be reminded of that day and that I will never forget about him.

Maybe the reporters did not care about him, but I did.

07 Jul 2010 7:42 PM
Cheryl (Alex'sBigFan)

I found the photo on the net I was just referring to.  It is by

AP Photo / Frank Franklin II.

The website it is posted on is

www.horseswild.com.  There are 10 men gathered around GW holding his leg up on the track and hoisting the brown sheets.  He looks so gallant going down in defeat.

Please let me know what you think.

07 Jul 2010 7:43 PM
Arlene

The problem is, no one likes to mention or cover a breakdown on the "big day" of racing. (think Pine Island)But to ignore how the Europeans felt about their "Georgie"..it was a reporting crime..to not recognize how much this horse meant to them..alas..like "our" Barbaro. It was cruel to the sensibilities of those whom we invite from abroad..and who share the joys and the risks of "the game". One never wants to lose a warrior on foreign turf (or dirt as this may be) I still follow racing, but am always aware of what I consider/know as the yuk factor.

07 Jul 2010 7:48 PM
shuttleworth

I hope this little filly stays safe... her sire was surely a beautiful horse! RIP Geo. Washington...

07 Jul 2010 7:59 PM
MaryinFlorida

I was glad to see your article. I just read the "Final Turn" piece. I remember when George Washington was put down on the track and I agree, it was mentioned as a common, unimportant event. That really stayed with me and several months later I googled & read up on Gorgeous George. I agree, not enough was said about him. Do you think it was because Barbaro's death had been so painful that they did not think it would do the racing industry any good to dwell on GW's breakdown and death? By the way, today marks 35 years since Ruffian was euthanized.

Thanks for the article.

07 Jul 2010 8:04 PM
Mokey

To be honest, I'm not shocked they glossed over it. After the photos and replays of Go For Wand's break down, I think during the race was trying to get over it's known "break downs". I still remember that filly who flipped over backwards and caught her foot in the fence at Belmont. The Breeder's Cup finished showing her eating hay in her stall, then in the morning finding out she was put down because of a head injury.

07 Jul 2010 8:08 PM
Stephanie

Thank you for this writing. I was also ashamed with American journalists who just glossed over GWs' unfortunate breakdown like it was no big deal. I will be rooting for DWD in all her starts and hope they've caught lighting in a bottle.

07 Jul 2010 8:23 PM
eastcoastracehorseartist

I was at Monmouth in 2007 and left quickly to catch the bus and ferry back to Manhattan--and only on the bus did I learn "something" happened at the end of the race as the winner was being lauded--when I got home found the news on the net of George's dreadful fate--and wondered why did no one seemingly want to report this--

Thank you for writing a beautiful tribute for this wonderful athlete.

Watching Date with Destiny with hope and a tear in my eye.

07 Jul 2010 8:35 PM
Dawn in MN

I remember.  I remember wondering what kind of greed would bring a retired horse back to racing because of infertility?  

I remember being horrified.  I spent the entire Breeders Cup day riveted to the television my heart in my throat.  The mud, the terrible conditions, and then George Washington, beautiful George down on the muddy track.  I later learned that he got one mare in foal, and that a filly was born.  I'm not sure how to feel about Date With Destiny's debut.  She is a Thoroughbred race horse, and they are bred to run.  They run faster and further than the horse evolved to run.  Their beauty and power, the excitement that the sound of their hooves coming around the final turn generates keeps me coming back to the races, even when it breaks my heart.

07 Jul 2010 8:38 PM
amy

Here's hoping the same thing-I hope she has inherited her sire's same class and heart that he had

Fill your Date with Destiny and be a shining star sweet filly

07 Jul 2010 8:43 PM
Robin from Maryland

What a nice surprise to hear that George was a daddy.  Here's hoping that Date With Destiny has inherited much from her sire - all of his "guts" and stamina.  I will be following her closely.  Godspeed DWD!!!

07 Jul 2010 9:23 PM
ruth meador

she is a beatiful horse and she looks just her dad and i am sure she as successfull on the race track jus like her dad and who knows she may even win the breeders cup classic.

07 Jul 2010 9:29 PM
Anna

I remember your Final Turn essay and am so glad that there is another reminder now of George Washington's greatness.  I hope this filly has a successful and safe career!

07 Jul 2010 9:43 PM
Alex

Well, of course George Washington's fate was not as well-covered by the news; talk about a slap in the face for the industry! When Barbaro went down, he was a superstar trying to capture the second leg of the Triple Crown with colorful, genuine owners behind him. George Washington was plucked from his peaceful retirement because he was unable to perform in the breeding shed the way that his giant, faceless owners would have preferred. He was put into a race on a track and track surface that he did not care for, and died running in a race that shouln't have even been on the radar for him.

I love the sport of horse racing with all of my heart, but what happened to George Washington still angers me as something that is just plain wrong with the whole game.

07 Jul 2010 9:50 PM
tvnewsbadge

I agree. it was shameful the sportin' press ignored George Washington, even more shameful the way they continue to do so.

07 Jul 2010 10:03 PM
Don in Massachusetts

I agree that handsome George Washington's breakdown at a Breeders' Cup race was largely ignored by the media! It was more like a "out of sight, out of mind" mentality.

I hope and pray that his daughter, Date With Destiny, remains happy and healthy, and given until her third year before she begins racing in order to carry on her sire's memory and wonderful legacy!

07 Jul 2010 10:11 PM
Nancy

I remember watching the Breeders Cup race  2007 and was so upset on what happened to George Washington. I am glad at least he has filly that may carry on his genes. God Bless George Washington. Go Date with Destiny and win girl.

07 Jul 2010 10:13 PM
dms

I too was at Monmouth Park in 2007 and unfortunately saw George Washington breakdown right in front of me. It's something I will never forget. I didn't know that much about racing when I went to the Breeder's Cup but a British man sitting next to me said George was one of his favorite horses and was looking forward to seeing him. He told me about his fertility problems and that's why he was back racing. The weather had been so rainy and I thought it was lucky that there hadn't been any serious injuries. Then this happened at the very end of the Classic when the sun was finally coming out. The British man was upset and said George was unlucky. It made me sick and took the wind out of Curlin's great win. And it will always be what I think of first from an otherwise great event. When I heard that he had a foal on the way I was so happy, like he was my own horse. George had gotten lucky in the end! I'm looking forward to seeing Date With Destiny run and remembering George happily through her.

07 Jul 2010 10:16 PM
afleetalexforever

Kudos to you for this article on this beautiful lady, and the thoughts and memories that it brings back of Gorgeous George.  He was a sight to behold, a consummate professional, I hated hearing that he was having fertility problems because I pretty much understood that this could lead to him being thrust back into training.  There is nothing wrong with that but mentally this could have changed things, putting him on dirt when that wasn't his niche is or was my major issue with his connections. Hopefully though Date with destiny will have a long successful career and produce some top quality foals.

07 Jul 2010 10:18 PM
Livi

I had chosen George Washington to be one of the placers in the Classic then and when I heard he broke down I cried. I found a very sad picture of him with his injury on the track and used it for my project in school on the good and the bad in horse racing. A lot of people were actually sad by the picture. He was very good and I hope this filly carries on to win this race and many more and for a safe career. I love her name too!

07 Jul 2010 10:23 PM
MJ

I am so excited to see this race.  I pray for a safe and successful race for her.

The Fans of Barbaro were distraught the night George died.  We have not forgotten him and celebrate his daughters next steps.  She has many fans at alexbrownracing.com

07 Jul 2010 10:24 PM
Ames

Thank you. George was a brilliant horse and it was terrible when he broke down. Your tribute is well deserved. He is missed.

07 Jul 2010 10:44 PM
Yvonne and Maurice Kirby

Hi - We also were at the Breeders Cup at Monmouth.  I was unable to see Curlin win the race because of the breakdown of George Washington.  I was heartbroken and cried.  I was waiting for a match between Barbaro and George Washington on grass overseas.  I too could not believe that there was very little coverage of the death of this great champion and was upset that a celebration was held in the winners circle with George Washington being euthanized a few feet away.  I was also upset that they did not try to get George Washington off the horribly muddy field and take him back to the stable area where he could have been shown some love before being euthanized instead of being put down in the mud.  I am thrilled to hear that his offspring, Date with Destiny, will be running this week and will definitely watch her race.  Thank you so much for remembering George Washington and letting us know about his daughter.

Yvonne and Maurice Kirby

07 Jul 2010 10:46 PM
John T

Thank-you for the article on the only live foal by George Washington

Date With Destiny.Gorgeous George

may not have made it as a stallion,

but he sure did as a racehorse.Who can ever forget his electrifing run in the Queen Elizabeth 11 Stakes at Ascot before that final journey at Monmouth Park.

07 Jul 2010 10:56 PM
shesfast

Great article! I havn't forgotten George, and I have been waiting to hear about his only foal. She looks very much like her sire. I wish the best to her. I hope she has a decent racing career and an even more stellar career as a broodmare <3.

07 Jul 2010 11:33 PM
Convene

I'll be interested to see how she does too. Georgie was a neat horse - unique and absolutely an individual. His loss was a tragedy. However one thing about it has bothered me ever since I saw his name in the entries for the Classic that year: how can anyone send to a race of that calibre a horse 6 months or so away from stud duty not yet having won a race - at home, on turf - when the Classic is a dirt race against some of the world's best horses? I don't think I will ever forgive his connections for doing that. Couldn't they even have waited until he returned to his earlier form - or at the very least have run him in a turf race? He'd run on turf all his life! Sorry to sound so bitter but heck, I am! I expect someone out their will now throw mud at me but I don't care. Georgie was set up for that disaster and he deserved better from the people who had his life in their hands. He wasn't ready. Now, of course, he never will be. I hope his daughter runs the legs off everything out there and makes sure no one will ever forget how someone failed her bold-hearted champion sire.

07 Jul 2010 11:53 PM
Wilson

Here's to Gorgeous George! That was, indeed, a tragic Breeder's Cup race...and, George will always be missed.

Hopefully his only offspring will carry on his tradition of success and beauty!

07 Jul 2010 11:59 PM
Kevin

Every time I view the 2007 BC Classic race replay, the only horse my eyes follow is George Washington. I get very emotional when racehorses breakdown on the track (even the $5,000 claimer).  But the lack of attention given to the loss of that magnificent racehorse during and after the broadcast was embarrassing.  I believe, when we begin broadcasting and reporting on the true stars of horseracing (the horses....not the jockeys), then we will capture that larger sporting audience that we so desperately need. George deserved so much better!  And thank you for reporting on his only offspring.

08 Jul 2010 12:14 AM
gammyp6

There is a reason he was called "Gorgeous George". Thank you Esther for this update on his daughter. I too was bewildered over the lack of coverage for this great champion. However, our friends across the pond gave him the accolades he deserved. I would like to give a shout out to Global Hunter and wish him a full recovery. Keep up the good work!!

08 Jul 2010 2:20 AM
PNewmarket

A lovely piece on a wonderful horse.

George Wahsington, as quirky as he was, was a much admired and loved horse across Europe.  His sad demise that fateful day at Monmouth Park left a bitter taste in the mouth and, I'm sorry to say, saw Breeders' Cup, and American racing in general, take a huge fall in the estimations of many racefans in Europe.

That aside, the weight of expectation on DATE WITH DESTINY is massive, but whatever her performances on the racecourse her residual value as a broodmare will not fall owing to her rarity value - like the proverbial rocking horse droppings!

08 Jul 2010 6:19 AM
Lynne Veitch

Best of luck to this fine filly.

08 Jul 2010 6:23 AM
PNewmarket

I forgot to mention in my previous post that the filly has been declared for the race at Newbury tomorrow, which goes off at 6.20pm local time.

www.racingpost.com/.../card.sd

08 Jul 2010 6:26 AM
A Canadian's Comments

Esther, I have read many of your articles and not commented, but when I read this one, I simply had to. It's a well-written article, a beautiful tribute to George, and is, as usual, insightful, caring and informative. After reading it, I, for one, look forward to following the career of Date with Destiny. She certainly has very large hooves to fill. Keep up the really good writing. I think a bit of Steve Haskin has rubbed off on you.

08 Jul 2010 6:52 AM
Bellwether

WHAT A SIGHT HE WAS...HOPE HIS GIRL CAN FLY...LONG LIVE THE KING!!!...ty...

08 Jul 2010 6:54 AM
Melissa Pappas

Lovely story. I, too, was horrified with the loss of George Washington. Let's all hope Date with Destiny has a successful career - both on the track and as a broodmare.

08 Jul 2010 7:42 AM
warning drums

Thank you for remembering Gorgeous George and for the photos of his lone progeny. Simply put, he was the most the most beautiful animal. Ever.

08 Jul 2010 8:09 AM
AK Raines

I didn't even watch the live broadcast of the BC Classic at Monmouth because I had been fearing a breakdown in that muck for both days of the event.  I tuned in to the replay when I heard that Curlin had won, not realizing what awaited -- seeing the drape covering the sad end of ny favorite in the race, George Washington. Yet it was barely mentioned. It seems to me that every runner who is lost on the track (the superstars, the claimers, the old ones, the babies, those who break down in training) should at least be acknowledged when we lose them. It bothers me that the commentators on the racing networks and those covering major events on broadcast and cable can be so dismissive of the animals they don't consider "worthy" as they pass by us (each possibly for the last time in the post parade). Each and every one gives their heart -- and too many their lives -- for "the sport." The horses are what many of us care about, and racing might do better with the public if they remembered that every day.

Here's hoping the beautiful Date With Destiny has a safe and successful racing career and then passes georgeous George's genes on to a new generation.

Thanks for a wonderful post!

08 Jul 2010 8:55 AM
Nancy

As I watched the fanfair in the winner's circle after Beautiful George broke down, all I could see was Adain's pain as he walked through the tunnel....and how we, as American hosts, were beyond appology.  Loud, boustrious, no  respect for anything other than ourselves.  I was mortified for Americans as a nation and as horsemen.

And I thought of the lad, the fellow who rubbed George.  In Europe you ride what you rub.   Riding is great fun and gets the glory but I've always felt the most important person in a racehorses' life is his groom.  You get close, to the bone, you know each other like no one else.  I'm sure the lad who rubbed and galloped George will never forget than day and how his big horse was virtually considered an also ran the day he was put down.

08 Jul 2010 9:20 AM
PNewmarket

I feel it is unfair for people to criticize the Coolmore team for running George Washington.  They weren't to know what would happen and on his previous form he was more than entitled to take his place.  Do not forget that he had placed at G1 level after going back into training.

As for those questioning why the horse was racing at all, he was a RACE horse.  The only other alternative (after proving almost totally infertile)  was to leave him a field, bored mindless for the next 20 or so years.

GW had a temper, as he demonstrated on more than one occasion.  He would not have suited retraining for another discipline.

Ballydoyle have been desperatly unlucky at Breeders' Cup over the years - losing George Washington and Landseer, as well as seeing Giant's Causeway beaten by such a short margain - it is a credit to their sportsmanship that they keep going back year after year.

08 Jul 2010 10:17 AM
Carleen in CA

George Washington is gone, but in many hearts, he will never be forgotten.

For the beautiful filly he left us all to watch, may she run swift and safe to live a long and productive life.

08 Jul 2010 10:24 AM
catsvx

Thank you for making me cry yet again! She is beautiful! Every bit as gorgeous as her father. Be safe and happy. God Bless!

08 Jul 2010 10:43 AM
pete

Beautiful George Washington being a turf horse, should have NEVER ran in the slop at the Breeder's Cup

08 Jul 2010 11:33 AM
BlueHen

I had never seen George Washington until that fateful day.  We were watching the BC races on TV and when my daughter and I saw him in the post parade, we thought he was so beautiful, we made him our choice for the race.  As I recall, they didn't really discuss it on the TV, which was weird.  My daughter named a multicolored toy horse after him (because of his varied coat), so he lives on in our house. :)  May his daughter have a safe and fruitful career!

08 Jul 2010 12:05 PM
Terry

I do wonder just what the lovely Date With Destiny's value will be as a broodmare. Her sire, beautiful and brilliant as he was, was infertile and broke down. Those are not good things in a Thoroughbred. There are few low-fertility stallions whose bloodlines keep going very long. The Tetrarch was one of the few exceptions.

08 Jul 2010 12:10 PM
Tales Untold 2010

I will never forget George Washington!!!! so happy that he gave a filly to carry on his name/ bloodline. ... What a loss to horseracing....

Date With Destiny is a beautiful young horse and I will be watching for her races...

08 Jul 2010 12:44 PM
WinnahPickah

I was at the BC '07 and I handicapped the classic by immediately throwing out George Washington. Too bad the owners didn't see the obvious!

I hit the exacta, but felt awful.

I thought MP did the best they could with what they had. To have a breakdown in the last race on those surfaces must've been so frustrating for the MP staff.

If you thought the dirt track was bad the turf course was even worse(IMO).

08 Jul 2010 12:55 PM
WinnahPickah

PNewmarket,

I respectfully disagree. The '07 classic had some damn good dirt horses. You enter a turfer in that situation and your hoping for alot of random variables to go your way.

Even if MP was dry and fast, the track never, EVER sets up for a closer.

08 Jul 2010 1:00 PM
Denise

I was at the Breeder's Cup that day.  Due to the pouring rain, it was the only race that we watched from our seats.  My friend and I left the BC heartbroken and in tears.  George Washington deserved better.  He will always be remembered and may his daughter have a successful and SAFE career.  She is beautiful!

08 Jul 2010 1:11 PM
Nancy

Thank you for your column remembering George Washington.  He deserved better than he got on that last day of his life.  I haven't forgotten him and never will.  He was a great race horse.  I have created a 'Remembrance' list of those who those who have died due to injury or illness and his name is there along with Lost In The Fog, Barbaro, Pine Island, Electrocutionist, Saint Liam, Lawyer Ron.... I read their names when I sit down at my computer.  Unfortunately, the list is growing.  I would love it if I never had to add another name to it.

May the racing Gods bless Date With Destiny with a wonderful career and long life and keep George Washington's legacy alive with many foals when she retires.

She is a lovely filly and appears to have a very nice shoulder and quarters in the picture above.

08 Jul 2010 1:14 PM
Karen in Indiana

O.K., I can't even think about him without tears welling up. What spirit he had! Here is a video that captures the heart of him:

www.youtube.com/watch

08 Jul 2010 1:22 PM
helsbelles

I makes me sick that people are capable of celebrating their victory in the winner's circle, knowing that a tragedy has befallen a horse and his/her connections.  I will never forget Gorgeous George.

08 Jul 2010 1:32 PM
Deb

The first time I laid eyes on George was the first time I saw him on tv in the Breeders Cup. He was my horse, he had that special look that some do and I felt it. When he broke down, I was stunned, and then to hear of his history and see his trainer and groom, the way they looked, it was so very sad.  I wish George could have had more time and I have been waiting for his daughter to come about or hoping she would.

I can hardly wait to watch her run.

Thank you for the wonderful article on such a wonderful horse.

I hope the Blood Horse keeps up with her racing.

08 Jul 2010 1:53 PM
MdReynolds

thanks for the memories of George Washington. I was a fan prior to the BC Classic at Monmouth & was devastated over his breakdown. I'm delighted to see he has left part of himself behind & what a beautiful filly she is! He was an absolutely gorgeous horse & had such heart!

08 Jul 2010 2:03 PM
Rachel

Livi, you're post really touched me.

His death being ignored by the track and the press was unforgivable

08 Jul 2010 2:15 PM
Rita

Yes George Washington did not receive all of the media attention that Barbaro had.  Unfortunately he was very overlooked & forgotten back then but by the numerous comments I see here he was very much loved & never forgotten. We are Americans & we love our horse heroes, as they are the only true athletes to walk/run on this earth.

08 Jul 2010 2:44 PM
Bellwether

LOTTA GREAT RACE HORSE FANS HEAR!!!...JUST BEAUTIFUL...ty...

08 Jul 2010 4:23 PM
will

I was appalled on that Breeder's Cup day when George Washington's fate (and courage and beauty) were not acknowledged.  I contacted the editor of the Blood-Horse and received no reply.  Somehow, Esther, I missed the Final Turn article.  You are right on, shame on the Americans that day.

08 Jul 2010 4:51 PM
WWSTP

I remember that day so well - such a huge mix of elation for Curlin, and such pain and sorrow for George Washington and all who loved him.  The lack of coverage was not only surprising but embarrassing - that we here in the US could not give due recognition to such a fine, accomplished European horse and the horrendous loss so many felt.  Date with Destiny is aptly named, and I wish her a stellar career.  She is a beauty!!

08 Jul 2010 5:28 PM
goodwin

Again...how many Grade/Group 1 races does a horse have to win to earn a retirement? George should have never been there that day.

Hopefully, at least one of these big time, big horse owners is listening...

08 Jul 2010 6:31 PM
Ida Lee

When I wrote my comments on Gorgeous George yesterday, I thought I was one of the few who actually cared about him. In a way, I feel so much better knowing that so many people took time to read about this beloved horse and that their hearts also broke at his lose. Thank you for that racing fans. He so deserves to be remembered with the fondness expressed here.

08 Jul 2010 7:56 PM
Cris

I was at Breeders Cup that Day. The shame is not the press coverage, but rather the owners that put him in a race he did not belong in. Why can't horses be allowed to retire? Are the owners afraid that they might have to spend some of the money the horse won for them on the horse? My wish is all the best for the filly and I hope when it is time for her to retire we all pay attention and make sure she has a wonderful forever home. In this way we can pay tribute to her sire. She can feel all the love that is meant for him. Where did they bury him anyway?

08 Jul 2010 7:59 PM
PMAC14

Her name is what really intrigues me.  Does she have a "Date With Destiny"   One can only hope.  RIP! George

08 Jul 2010 8:11 PM
Michelle

George Washington was one of the most beautiful horses I have ever seen!  A great racehorse too.  He deserved so much better.  I feel guilty for loving this sport every time I see one of these horses break down (can't help it).  I think the media ignores the break downs because they feel that we the public cannot handle it.  They think if they just ignore it we will forget about it.  I wish that the commentators would provide updates on the horses but they just don't want us to know the truth because the sport is hurting so badly they can't afford to lose any more fans.  I also believe since Eight Belles that they tend to van off the horses and not put them down on the track as much.  We can't handle it.  

08 Jul 2010 9:53 PM
Christine

Thank you so much for the update. I was so disapointed with the lack of coverage for George Washington. I did send in a complaint, he was skipped over, and that hardly seemed fair for such a couragous horse. I will be glad to see this filly run, I hope her great sucess!!!

08 Jul 2010 11:29 PM
nina

Beautiful George will be in my heart always. It was disgraceful the way the "media" treated the incident.

09 Jul 2010 12:44 AM
Amy

Sometimes the agony of loss in an industry like racing, requires it to be unsympathetic. If too much emotion emits, than we all fall apart. Not an excuse, nor condemnation, but perhaps a reason why so little coverage.

09 Jul 2010 6:59 AM
Convene

Yes, Georgie was a racehorse and what else would he do? But bringing a horse back from stud duty can be a long process that includes mental and physical reconditioning and, as he was not going to be retired to stud again, it would seem prudent to have let him "prove" his form/fitness on his habitual turf before sending him overseas to race the world in a dirt race. My criticism isn't that he competed; it's that he competed THEN. He'd been a winner before stud duty. If he were my horse, I'd want to see him start winning again before I put him into something as competitive as a Breeder's Cup. The odds are he could have run the following year and hey - he might have cleaned everyone's clocks! I respect the Coolmore team mightily - they most always seem to do right by their horses - but they rolled the dice and lost with Georgie. Life is a learning process and hopefully they won't take the chance again.

09 Jul 2010 8:24 AM
bowlofflowers

I agree with Alex.  I never thought it was right to race GW on dirt when he did not care for it.  And to run in the slop of that BC day!  I think he could have been given a second career off the track when he prooved to not be a fertile stallion.  Hadn't he made enough money for the owners?  And I thought his death deserved more media coverage.  He was a gorgeous talented horse who deserved better.  I will enjoy following Date With Destiny - may she be safe and sound

09 Jul 2010 8:47 AM
SusanW

In all fairness about the tragic passing of George Washington and the lack of media coverage...I remember the media outlets received deservedly harsh comments about their repeated replays of Barbaro's breakdown, and I honestly think they won't touch coverage now, or don't know how to handle it.  

09 Jul 2010 9:24 AM
Swale1984

Cheryl, thank you for that very poetic description of George Washington's final moments.  After viewing the photo, I see that same comparison to the painting.  I was still reeling from the loss of Barbaro when GW broke down, and aside from concern for the horse, my first thoughts were for his breeders, Roy and Gretchen Jackson.  They'd gone from such a high, having owned and bred a Kentucky Derby winner AND bred the 2000 Guineas winner (George Washington) on the same day, to seeing them both suffer catastrophic injuries on the track.  

Here is hoping that Date with Destiny has a career with a much safer, happier ending than her gorgeous sire.

09 Jul 2010 9:27 AM
LACS70

Wow...even as a weanling this filly shows the same class and confidence that her sire showed the world in life and when facing death. May she have a long, productive career on the track and off so that GW's bloodline will continue.

09 Jul 2010 9:44 AM
Carol

I also was at Monmouth when George Washington broke down & to my surprise most of the fans never even knew what happened. A day later his passing was nothing more than a blip to racing.

What has upset me even more is why he was even running in the Classic.

The year before he ran in the Classic at Churchill, where he was so fractious in the paddock, it required several outriders and their horses to keep him from hurting himself or someone  in the croud. George Washington placed 5th that year.

This horse was a top turf miler, why would anyone put such a beautiful horse where he did not belong. The Classic was over a mile & on dirt, why not the Turf Mile race instead.

At Monmouth it had rained both Friday & Saturday & the track was sloppy, for a horse who ran on turf it was crazy to expect him to be able to navagiate that track.

One of the first rules of racing is to place a horse in the right race where he can win, whether it be a claiming race race or a G1 race.

It still upsets me to this day to think such a beautiful talented horse like George Washington was expected to fly across the oean & race on a track that he was not prepared for.

09 Jul 2010 10:01 AM
brett x

All  can say is THANK YOU. A great horse.That is all that needs to be said. He needs to be remembered.

09 Jul 2010 10:02 AM
Ragsy

It was simply devestating to see the magnificient Champion George Washington lose his life with not a comment, guess I missed the article.  The filly is so much like her father, simply Beautiful God Bless Her, may she be successful in all that she does..

09 Jul 2010 10:10 AM
Ragsy

Pete

so very right you are, I still have a heavy heart reguarding those owners, shame on them..a turf horse on dirt in the slop shame on them.

09 Jul 2010 10:15 AM
Lynn

She is truly her fathers' daughter. Gorgeous filly! Hope she stays safe.

George Washington deserved more acknowledgement that sad day. He was a lovely, courageous, classy horse

09 Jul 2010 12:38 PM
Karen in Indiana

She runs like her daddy!!!

I had no problem picking her out in the crowd. She looks like him and runs like him - head up in the air and when it came down, she flew. Wonder if she has his other quirks.

09 Jul 2010 1:32 PM
pete

SHE WON !! You go girl !Gorgeous George is smiling down on her today !She appears to have her sires heart..what a day.George's legacy lives on.

09 Jul 2010 1:37 PM
Ragsy

I will forever add this horse to my prayers that success will follow her throughout her life..

  Date With Destiny   won her race its just super!!!

09 Jul 2010 1:50 PM
TURF DR.

The fact the GW was a horse from over seas may have played into the lack of press. Although the REAL horse fans will never forget GW. And lets all hope that Date with Destiny does have her date.... Only time will tell.

09 Jul 2010 3:22 PM
Catherine Owen

SHE WON!!! Date With Destiny won her first start this afternoon!!! Way to go pretty girl!  She is gorgeous!

09 Jul 2010 3:48 PM
PMAC14

Can anyone tell me where I can watch a replay!

09 Jul 2010 4:40 PM
dms

Congratulations to Date With Destiny! She is her father's daughter. Here's wishing her a happy healthy career.

09 Jul 2010 8:33 PM
Phil McSween

So glad to hear that Gorgeous George's daughter won her debut.   Amazing.  

And i'm so glad to be part of a fraternity of fans and animal lovers that appreciate what these beautiful athletes do...day in and day out, FOR US !  

I too was at Monmouth during that monsoon of a week.    During the Classic, i just happened to be sitting close to trainer Graham Motion.   In 2005, Motion had a filly in the Breeders Cup named Funfair.    She tragically broke down early in the race and the awful scene of a horse near the lead being shuffled back so suddenly was gut wrenching.   That day, Motion also had his big horse Better Talk Now, the defending BC Turf champ, running in the event  as well.  After the Funfair tragedy, Mr. Motion was quoted as saying he wanted to leave the premises and not look back, but he still had to run his big horse later in the day.    That statement touched my heart in a profound way.  

As George lay stricken, i approached Mr. Motion and we both commiserated with HEAVY HEARTS.  Yet, at that point, there was nothing we or anyone else could do to reverse Gorgeous George's plight.    

The worst part of seeing a beautiful equine athlete go down is the helplessness of it all.    

I don't fault the connections from giving GW one more shot at the races.    But i do agree 1000 per cent with those that have questioned why he was on the dirt.   He had NOTHING to gain by winning the Classic since his fertility was lacking.  Winning the Classic would not have enhanced his already dubious breeding value by one iota.  So, why in earth, was he in a race on a surface that he was hardly familiar with?    

Still, GW was a tremendous specimen and a lovely athlete.   He will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN in my heart.  

Love ya GW !

09 Jul 2010 8:45 PM
Dona

For those that want to see the race, go to the Maiden Watch site. Had a little problem getting the right race replay but finally figured out to click on the Crystal Management maiden stakes. She is gorgeous and runs just like her daddy. Here's hoping she has a long and lusterious career! Hope Maiden Watch keeps track of her so I will know what's going on but of course, if possible, I will add her to my Equibase stable.  This is exactly why I appreciate the bloodhorse so much. Where else could we get all this information about something that is so near and dear to us all. We are truly lucky!

09 Jul 2010 9:19 PM
John T

Gorgeous George is the sire of only one foal,but she is already a

winner.It will be interesting to see what her date with destiny will be.

09 Jul 2010 9:38 PM
C J Stable

I really appreciated your article about George Washington.  It was very sad that his death seemed to be just a footnote of the 2007 Breeders' Cup. I had the opportunity to take some fantastic pictures of him and admire his beauty before the horrible accident.  One minute he was standing before me in the walking ring, and the next minute he was dead.  He was the most beautiful horse at the 2007 Breeders' Cup races.

09 Jul 2010 11:15 PM
lazaro

    i go to an o.t.b. three or four days a week and not one day goes by that a horse doesn't break down somewhere.

    in a recent article dealing with artificial vs. natural surfaces, it stated that more than 5,000 race horses died in the last four years as a result of injuries sustained  during a race or training. to me, that is an absolutely apalling figure.

    i had a horse in a 16,000 claimer some years ago and a $300,000 yearling purchase broke down alongside him in midstretch. the following day, this barn sent out another horse to break down. needless to say, they were both euthanized.

    go for wand fell right in front of me and all i remember is that she got up and ran toward the outside rail with that broken leg.

    of course, that was the last event in a tragic day for the world of thoroughbred racing, but the beginning was the sprint where two horses lay on the track for what seemed like forever. that image is still very vivid in my mind and i can't erase it.

    is there a logical answer to this question of breakdowns? i am aware of the fact that there are many intangibles involved and it is a given that when you have 10 or 12  horse in a race weighing on the average of 1,000 pounds and going at great speed, the laws of physics are greatly accelerated.

    under such circumstances, anything can and does happen, but in my opinion, it all starts with the horse before it even leaves it's stall to go to the starting gate.

     some people want to get the last drop of blood out of these horses and a perfect example of that is a horse by the name of scooter roach who earned over $800,000 and last ran for a claiming tag of about $3,500 at ten years of age. an even better example is a blue grass winner with earnings greater than $700,000 who broke down in new york racing in a $5,000 claimer if my memory serves me well enough.

     from what i heard, scooter roach has a much kinder fate thanks to people who really care about the "horse". god bless them and scooter roach.

     in a letter i wrote to the blood horse years ago, i alluded to the misconception that the bottom feeders in racing are responsible for it's ills, but it all starts in the breeding shed.

     several years ago, i read about a broodmare who had 16 or 17 foals and ten of them earned $200,000 collectively, which breaks down to $20,000 per horse.

     of course, we all know what the draw was and that was a graded stake winner or two out of seventeen horses. that gives rise to the question of what happened to the ten who were not quite so successful. did the breeder keep them on his farm after their lack of success as racehorses? please answer that question yourself.

10 Jul 2010 2:14 AM
Don from Delaware

Thanks so much for sharing Catherine, I just started reading this blog this morning and was beginning to recall the tragic GW, and scrolled to the end of this blog and there was your comment, "She WON"

would love to watch this race and hope she goes on to glory and safe care....Don

10 Jul 2010 9:12 AM
Heather Grace

Congratulations Date With Destiny!! I know your dad is looking down from above and is so very proud of you!! I miss you so much, George Washington, you didn't deserve your fate. I hope your daughter continues to make you proud!

10 Jul 2010 12:35 PM
Rhonda from Saskatchewan

I think of George on a regular basis and relive in my mind some of his great races and the pictures of his tragic breakdown. And still wonder what he was doing back on the track when he had earned enough to enjoy a carefree retirement even though he wasn't producing in the breeding shed.

I sent an email to his connections expressing my sorrow over his death and sending my condolences to his caregivers. I also apologised for the lack of concern and coverage that the sporting press showed over the loss of this great champion.

I hope that Date With Destiny does well and that she some day bears a great champion and sire. That would be some justice for George.

Miss you Gorgeous George.

10 Jul 2010 3:06 PM
JRD

Rise in class beckons for Date With Destiny

By Peter Scargill 11:41AM 10 JUL 2010

TRAINER Richard Hannon will look to step Date With Destiny up in grade after the unique filly made a winning racecourse debut on Friday evening.

A 320,000gns purchase by Julie Wood, Date With Destiny is the only foal from George Washington's short stud career and she showed some of her sire's talents when overcoming a slow start to score tidily in the 7f maiden at Newbury.

Hannon admitted he had felt under a lot of pressure training such a high-profile individual and was delighted with her success under jockey Richard Hughes.

"There was a lot of pressure on us, not from Julie, who has been a star, but with such a high-profile filly you just don't want to mess things up," he told his website.

"She was naturally a bit green, but could not have done the job better and we can now build on this and look to move up the ladder."

According to trainer's website, races such as the Sweet Solera at Newmarket on August 7 and the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood on August 28 are under consideration for the daughter of 2,000 Guineas and Queen Elizabeth II winner George Washington, who wasput down after breaking down in the 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth.

10 Jul 2010 3:50 PM
Goldstruck

Wow, what a nice filly! She beat 13 others for fun!  How amazing for George!

10 Jul 2010 7:22 PM
FantasticLight

I know many question why George Washington was entered in the Classic and raced on Dirt for a second time.

But it was well known after Churchill Downs in 2006 that Kinane had felt GW travelled superbly on the Dirt first time and it was also known that Kinane was hinting at running GW in the Cigar Mile because he felt he just never stayed in the Classic. Kinane's judgement wasn't wrong - look at the replay and who he was alongside bumping at the quarter pole. He was as comfortable moving on Dirt as any European horse in the history of the Breeders Cup. He was at least a Graded Stakes horse on that evidence on Dirt.

So Coolmore giving it another go on Dirt wasn't the problem. Handling the sloppy track was. And they clearly knew it would be because Kinane attempted to go to the lead on that day at Monmouth. He wouldn't have done so without discussion with Magnier and O'Brien. It was clearly felt that he wouldn't handle the slop in his face and it their only hope of victory was to go from the front. All they wanted was for him to return home safely as well from the race. I don't think any-one can be blamed, though.  

10 Jul 2010 7:30 PM
Sharon

I was there, that day, too, at the Breeder's Cup and saw Georgeous George up close and personal in the paddock and he was just that, gorgeous.  I have video of him walking and then moments later, we had a great view at the rail of the race.  Of course I prayed as I always do, and was just starting to be so happy when they started crossing the finish line that all the horses came home safe over those days in the horrible conditions and then I looked back and saw poor George and I couldn't believe it and started freaking out, especially when they started putting the curtains up.  I had some small hope because once in a blue moon it doesn't mean death and my friend was trying to give me hope, but I pretty much knew it was a slim slim chance.  What sticks with me to this day and what made me cry forever was the look of fear I saw on his face when they were putting the screens up I think because he didn't know what quite to make of all that was happening. When the ambulance left people clapped I believe because they thought he was still alive and maybe going to be alright like when an injured player leaves the field.  I kept asking people around the park and nobody knew or didn't seem to want to tell me and I finally found out from someone that worked there that he had been put down.  We went back to the hotel and I couldn't stop crying.  This gorgeous horse that raced his heart out and was almost finished didn't deserve this (as the many others it has happened to, re: Eight Belles, Barbaro, Ruffian, Go For Wand and on and on and all the less famous ones).  It did feel worse because you thought, they should have scratched him, or why didn't he race in the Breeder's Cup Mile where he surely would have won on the turf dominantly, but that didn't bring George back.  I'm not sure the lack of coverage had to do with not caring, but more with we had had alot of sorrow in the sport, I am not sure.  Just believe Gorgeous George is never forgotten in many American hearts as well, such as mine, especially the ones that were there and I have been reading every update on his daughter. HOW AWESOME and what a wonderful tribute to her sire that she won so brilliantly today in her first race and she looks just as spirited as he was to race and just as gorgeous.  Let's pray she stays safe into old age and continues to do well!  

P.S. I always wondered if they buried Gorgeous George's remains in his homeland?

11 Jul 2010 12:48 AM
newsline2

Ghost...Date With Destiny makes it impossible to forget the tragedy of her sire's death.

The US press may have thought they buried him for good in publicity for the winner (dramatic break-downs often overshadow the win but not this one) but a Ghost lingers at the edge of memory. GW was a victim of poor decisions, but is  brought to life once more in his only off-spring.

DW Destiny did well first time out and will be exciting for the world to watch as she matures.

11 Jul 2010 9:13 AM
bellesforever

I can still hear that track announcer saying''the jock is going to earn his money on George''i could see he was having trouble on that awful track..hindsight is 20/20 i guess.he was a true warrior and he deserved better acknowledgment! I hope this filly goes out and beats em all!

11 Jul 2010 1:44 PM
Gary

I was a huge George Washington fan and I was there at that final day. I was so devastated. I will never forget it as the darkness of the evening set in the whole atmosphere fit this horrible day for me. Date for Destiny's win is a fitting start for the sequel "I will always remember George" story for me.

12 Jul 2010 1:05 PM
Rachel

Hey, thanks Bloodhorse for the link to the race...out of that crowd of horses I picked her out right away...what a sweetie...♥

12 Jul 2010 6:36 PM
Bredinusa

Thank you for caring and keeping GW's spirit alive, for those of us who truly love these horses.

12 Jul 2010 7:05 PM
Tales Untold

I read your commentary on George Washington 2007 and cried like a baby guess with Barbaro's death I was blown away even though I feel much care and love toward George..just so sorry.

Keep up your good writing.

13 Jul 2010 8:48 AM
Rachel

Another mare lost to foaling complications...Turkish Tryst ♥

I'm sorry you never got to be just a horse.

14 Jul 2010 7:15 AM
Kate

I always thought that George Washington's death was a tremendous tragedy, but the bigger tragedy was that it could have been avoided - why was he in that race to begin with? He hadn't done well in the Classic the year before when they tried. He wasn't on his preferred surface, on a track that was sloppy, and up against some great horses who WERE on their preferred surface. He didn't have any prep races and the only time he'd ever raced on dirt had been in the Classic the year before. Were his connections just hoping to get a chance to call him a Breeders' Cup champion too? Why was he entered in the Classic, instead of the Turf, or the Mile, something he would have had a chance in?

I've been watching this filly closely and I'll continue to do so - but I think it's a shame she's so well known because of her sire's tragedy.

16 Jul 2010 9:55 PM

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