Kona Gold, the champion sprinter of 2000 and popular resident of the Kentucky Horse Park's Hall of Champions, was euthanized Friday after fracturing his leg in his paddock. The son of Java Gold was 15.
The gelding was discovered standing awkwardly in his paddock and was taken to Hagyard Equine Medical Center Friday morning where it was determined he suffered a spiral fracture to his left front leg.
"I was particularly fond of Kona Gold, and I considered us pals," said John Nicholson, executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park. "The fact is, we love what we do here, but things like this are the tough part. He will be missed."
Trained and co-owned by Bruce Headley, Kona Gold was a model of perseverance, winning the 2000 Breeders' Cup Sprint in track-record time at Churchill Downs in his third consecutive start in the race. He had finished third and second in the Sprint in 1998 and 1999, respectively, and made two more starts in the event — running seventh in 2001 and fourth in 2002.
Following a career with 14 wins in 30 career starts and earnings of $2,293,384, Kona Gold was retired at age 9. Kona Gold was buried behind the Hall of Champions.
Cryptoclearance dies at 25
Grade I winner and sire Cryptoclearance died at Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic Thursday from a heart attack stemming from complications following colic surgery. The son of Fappiano was 25 and had been actively breeding through 2009 at Margaux Farm.
Owned by Phil Teinowitz and trained by Scotty Schulhofer, Cryptoclearance was one of the leading 3-year-olds in 1987, winning the Grade I Florida Derby and Pegasus Handicap in addition to competing in all three Triple Crown events. Known for his closing kick, Cryptoclearance amassed $3,376,327 in earnings during his racing career, which saw him win 12 races and hit the board in 29 of 44 starts.
Cryptoclearance sired three champions and 42 stakes winners including 14 graded-stakes winners. Notable offspring include 1998 Belmont Stakes winner Victory Gallop, 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Volponi and 2001 Blue Grass Stakes winner Millennium Wind.