Former Old Friends Retiree Sunshine Forever Honored With Stakes Race Saturday At Gulfstream

On Saturday May 9, 2020, the featured stakes at Florida’s Gulfstream Park will be the Sunshine Forever Stakes, a tribute to the champion grass runner who was the first stallion retired to Old Friends, the non-profit Thoroughbred retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY.

The son of Roberto out of the stakes-placed mare Outward Sunshine (by Graustark), Sunshine Forever was bred and raced by John W. Galbreath and his Darby Dan Farm and trained by John Veitch.

In 1988, as a three-year-old, the talented colt turned in an Eclipse Award winning season, capturing five graded stakes wins, including three Grade 1 stakes in an eight-week period: The Man O’War, the Turf Classic, and the Budweiser International.

Favored to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf, he finished a game second to Great Communicator it what may be one of the most exciting races in the history of the sport.

Despite his narrow loss, Sunshine Forever nevertheless earned the 1988 Eclipse Award for Champion Male Turf horse.

Following his racing career Sunshine Forever stood stud in Japan from 1990 to 2004, at which time he was repatriated to the United States by Old Friends, and was among the organization’s first pensioned stallions.

He spent 10 years in retirement, passing away in 2014 at the age of 29.

Sunshine Forever
Namesake for the: Sunshine Forever Stakes
May 9, 2020; Race 9; Scheduled post time 4:59 p.m.
Gulfstream Park, $75,000
4 years old and up
1-1/16 miles on the turf

Bio Information
Foaled: March 14, 1985 in Kentucky
Died: Jan. 17, 2014 – 29-years old
Pedigree: by Roberto-Outward Sunshine, by Graustark
Owner: Darby Dan Farm
Breeder: John Galbreath
Career: 23 starts: 8 wins, 6 seconds, 3 thirds, $2,084,800
Award: Eclipse Award as 1988 Champion Turf Horse
Trainer: John Veitch
Came to Old Friends: In 2004. He was one of the first two horses brought home to the United States from Japan by Old Friends’s Michael Blowen to be pensioned (The other horse was Creator, a son of Mill Reef.)
Career Highlights

* 2-year old season (1987): 5 races: 0 wins, 1 second, 1 third
* Top Finishes: A 2nd and a 3rd in Maiden Special Weight races, one at Belmont, one at Hialeah

* 3-year old season (1988) : 12 races: 8 wins, 3 seconds, 1 third)
– Angel Cordero got the mount on Sunshine Forever to start the season and rode him the rest of his career.
– Broke his maiden in the first race of the year, Maiden Special Weight (1-1/16 miles on the turf at Aqueduct)
– 5 graded stakes wins: 3 Grade 1s; 1 Grade 2; 1 Grade 3
– June 24: Hill Prince Stakes (G3); 1-1/16th miles on the turf at Belmont
– July 10: Lexington Stakes (G2); 1-1/4 miles on the turf at Belmont

** Note that the next four Grade 1 races came in an 8-week period; about one every other week.
– Sept. 24: Man o’War Stakes (G1); 1-3/8 miles on the turf at Belmont
– Oct. 9: Turf Classic Stakes (G1); 1-1/2 mi. on the turf at Belmont
– Oct. 23: Budweiser International Stakes (G1); 1-1/4 mi. on the turf at Laurel
– Nov. 5: Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1); 1-1/2 miles on the turf at Churchill Downs 2nd by half-length to Great Communicator

* Year-End Award: 1988 Eclipse Award as Champion Turf Horse

* 4-year old season: (1989): 6 races: 0 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third
– Final race was on Nov. 4, 1989 in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) 1-1/2 miles on the turf at Gulfstream Park (14th)

* Stud Career
– Stood stud in Japan from 1990 to 2004, before coming back to the United States to live at Old Friends.

* Gulfstream Track Connection
– Ran at Gulfstream twice in his career:
– Feb. 11, 1989: Canadian Turf Handicap (G2): 1-16 mi. on the turf, finished 2nd
– Nov. 4, 1989: Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1): 1-1/2 mi. on the turf, finished 14; final race of his career.

The post Former Old Friends Retiree Sunshine Forever Honored With Stakes Race Saturday At Gulfstream appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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