Go for Wand, Don Brumfield Join Racing Hall
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) _ Six years after she collapsed in one of horse racing’s most heartbreaking moments, there was one more magical memory for Go for Wand.
The magnifient filly, who suffered a fatal spill in the stretch run of the 1990 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Belmont Park, was enshrined Monday in the National Racing Museum Hall of Fame, just across the street from her final resting place at Saratoga Race Course.
``I remember the wonderful days in August when the Wand won the Test and Alabama, and I said, `It will never happen again,‴ said Jane duPont Lunger, the filly’s owner. ``Well, now she’s in the Hall of Fame.″
Go for Wand won $1,373,338 in career earnings, posting 10 wins and two seconds in 13 starts. But it is her last start that is best remembered.
Go for Wand had won seven of eight races when she was locked in a stretch duel with Bayakoa in the Distaff. She never was more than one-half-length in front, and as she and Bayakoa battled down the stretch her lead was a bobbing head.
It was a scene of speed and stamina and courage _ a scene to gladden the heart of anyone stirred by competitive spirit. Suddenly, it was a tragic scene. The collective cheer of a crowd of 52,236 turned to a collective gasp.
With less than a sixteenth of a mile remaining, Go for Wand crashed to the track, throwing jockey Randy Romero. Then, while onlookers sobbed, Go for Wand got up and weaved toward the finish, her left foot dangling on a rope of skin, where she fell and where, behind a green screen, she was humanely destroyed.
The champion juvenile filly of 1989 was buried at Saratoga in the infield near the finish line.
``It’s something you’ve got to live with,″ her trainer, Bill Badgett said. ``You never forget something that tragic. She was a great filly. It’s hard to forget all the good things she did.″
Others, too, were not forgotten Monday. Joining Go for Wand in the Hall of Fame were former jockey Don Brumfield, the late trainer James Conway, Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence, 19th-century jockey George Barbee and Sun Beau, an equine star of the late 1920s and early ’30s.
Brumfield, born into a horse racing family, rode 4,573 winners in a career that lasted from 1954 to 1989. His first winner was at Monmouth Park on a mount trained by his father. He later won the Ashland Stakes on a horse owned by his mother.
In 1966, Brumfield won the Kentucky Oaks on Native Street and the next day won the Kentucky Derby aboard Kauai King. He also rode Kauai King to a win in that year’s Preakness.
A mainstay at Kentucky tracks, Brumfield was the career leading rider at Keeneland and Churchill Downs when he retired. Brumfield, 58, said he was more surprised than anyone to receive racing’s highest honor.
``I never would have thought I would get here because I didn’t think I was the kind of person to get into the Hall of Fame,″ he said.
Sunday Silence won the 1989 Derby, Preakness and Breeders’ Cup Classic to capture Horse of the Year honors. He earned $4,968,554 from nine wins and five second-place finishes in 14 starts. An injury forced him into retirement in 1990.
``Sunday Silence never quit ... and would never give up,″ said Arthur Hancock III, who owned the horse along with Ernest Gaillard and trainer Charlie Whittingham. ``His heart and his courage made him the horse that he is.″
Conway, who died in 1984, saddled 43 stakes winners in a 38-year career that began in 1946. One of his charges, My Request, won 17 stakes. He trained Chateaugay to wins in the 1963 Kentucky Derby and Belmont.
Barbee was one of the premier riders of the late 19th century. The English-born jockey won the Preakness three times, the Belmont once and two Travers Stakes during a career that included 186 wins from 1872-84.
Sun Beau raced for eight trainers during a four-year career that included 74 starts. He won 33 of them, with 12 seconds and 10 thirds for $376,744 in earnings, a record that stood for nine years.