Holy Bull, the beautiful gray horse that was a huge fan favorite in the early 1990s, has died. Holy Bull, who won the Travers, the Woodward, the Met Mile, the Haskell and the Florida Derby before retiring to stud at Jonabell Farm (now Darley), was euthanized on Wednesday due to the infirmities of old age. He was 26.
Before his pensioning in 2012, he sired Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner and champion Macho Uno and more. He will be buried at Jonabell, the farm announced Thursday.
Champion 3-year-old and Horse of the Year for 1994, Holy Bull retired with an overall record of 13 wins from 16 starts and earnings of $2,481,760 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001. Although a favorite for the 1994 Kentucky Derby, Holy Bull finished 12th.
Godolphin USA President Jimmy Bell, whose family owned Jonabell prior to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s purchase in 2001, said in a statement on the farm website, “If you were putting together your fantasy horse stable for the last 25 years, you’d have to have Holy Bull in your top five. Horses like Holy Bull just don’t come along that often. I’ve always said, he wasn’t a specialist — short, grass, long or dirt. Just a fantastic racehorse. You can’t mention his name without using such words as ‘fighter, determination and guts.’”
Holy Bull was raced by trainer Jimmy Croll, who inherited the horse when owner Rachel Carpenter died just before his first race, and ridden by jockey Mike Smith.