Global Superstar Goldikova Dies At Age 16

Goldikova, one of the world’s top racehorses of any sex or surface preference over the past decade and a half, has died at age 16, Racing Post and the French publication Jour de Galop report.

Pierre-Yves Bureau, racing manager for Goldikova’s owner and breeder Wertheimer et Frere, made the announcement via text to Jour de Galop on Wednesday morning, which read after translation; “It is with immense sadness that we inform you of the death of our champion Goldikova on Jan. 5, 2021. Goldikova will be remembered as the best racing mare on the team with her 14 Group 1 victories, including a splendid Prix Jacques le Marois in 2009 and her historic treble in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. ”

Goldikova was nothing short of a dominant force over the course of her five seasons on the racetrack, winning 17 of 27 starts for earnings of $7,176,551. She was trained by Freddy Head.

After winning her first two starts as a juvenile at Deauville in France, the daughter of Anabaa soon climbed up the ranks at three, finishing second in the Group 1 French 1,000 Guineas and third in the G1 French Oaks. She earned her first taste of group stakes success in the Group 3 Prix Chloe, which kicked off a four-race winning streak in major races that included Group 1 scores in the Prix Rothschild and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp before making her first international start in the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita Park, where she bested male competition by 1 1/4 lengths.

Goldikova’s 3-year-old campaign was just a taste of what the Irish-born filly had to offer, and that was proven the following season, when she locked down Europe’s champion older horse honors with four Group 1 wins in France, England, and the U.S., capped off by her second Breeders’ Cup Mile score, once again at Santa Anita. Though she only made one start in the U.S. that year, her campaign wowed voters enough to give her the Eclipse Award as champion turf female.

The mare’s 5-year-old campaign saw more of the same, once again earning Europe’s championship as champion grass mare, and the Eclipse in the same category. What made this campaign unique was her debut at the prestigious Royal Ascot meet, where she conquered the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, adding to her five total Group 1 victories that season. Once again, the season finished in the Breeders’ Cup winner’s circle, this time 1 3/4 lengths at Churchill Downs.

Goldikova’s final season came during her 6-year-old campaign, which saw her win her fourth edition of the G1 Prix Rothschild and her second renewal of the G1 Prix d’Ispahan, both in France. She finished second in that season’s Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, and her chase for a fourth consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile in her career finale came up short, finishing third to massive upset Court Vision at Churchill Downs.

Her legacy in the U.S. is apparent by the mark she left in the Breeders’ Cup. Her $3,508,200 in Breeders’ Cup earnings ranks fifth all-time, and the most by a horse to have never won the Classic. She was third on the all-time earnings list when she retired.

Additionally, Goldikova is the only horse in the event’s history to win the same race three times, and only champion Beholder joins her as three-time Breeders’ Cup winners, with the latter having taken the Juvenile Fillies before winning two editions of the Distaff.

Those Breeders’ Cup efforts, paired with her outstanding global resume, earned Goldikova admission into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 2017.

Goldikova was retired to the Wertheimer broodmare band in Ireland, where she produced six foals. She was not pregnant at the time of her death.

She has had two winners from four starters as a broodmare, highlighted by the Galileo filly Terrakova, who won the G3 Prix Cleopatre and finished third in the G1 Prix de Diane Longines, both in France.

Read more at Racing Post.

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