Holy Bull, Champion, Hall of Famer, Major Sire, Dies at 26

June 08, 2017 06:46am
Holy Bull wins the 1994 Florida Derby.
Photo: Gulfstream Park

Holy Bull, 1994 Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame member, died Wednesday at Darley Stallions in Lexington, Kentucky. He was 26.

The Florida-bred grey son of Great Above won 6 Grade 1 stakes, 5 of them at the age of 3 - Florida Derby, Haskell, Travers, Met Mile and Woodward. He was owned and trained by Jimmy Croll.

He retired with 13 wins from 16 starts in 1995, when he went to Jonabell Farm (now Darley) for his stud career. 

In his years at stud, Holy Bull sired Kentucky Derby winner, Giacomo, Juvenile Champ, Macho Uno, among other Grade 1 stakes winners.

Godolphin USA President Jimmy Bell, whose family owned Jonabell prior to Sheikh Mohammed’s purchase in 2001, said, “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.”

Horse Racing Nation Editor, Brian Zipse was present for several of The Bull's legendary performances.

"Every race I saw in person, he won in dominating fashion. The other horses had no chance, he was just too fast," said Zipse. "My most memorable Holy Bull race was the 1994 Woodward. It was a deep field with a lot of good older horses, and he just dominated them. I remember all the flashbulbs popping, lighting him up as he powered down the stretch. He clinched Horse of the Year that day."

Holy Bull was a fan favorite and enjoyed a full retirement at Darley, where fans continued to visit him in his twilight years. He was a legend and will be dearly missed.

Holy Bull's Greatest Hits

1994 Woodward Stakes

1994 Met Mile

1994 Travers

Fans Respond with Love & Memories

-- By: Candice C. Curtis @skipaway2000

Source: Darley


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