August 19, 2008 — One of only three fillies to win the Kentucky Derby, 31-year-old Genuine Risk died August 18 in her paddock at Bertram and Diana Firestone’s Newstead Farm near Upperville, Va. The oldest living Kentucky Derby winner was not suffering from any previous illness and passed away peacefully from old age.
“Genuine Risk was an amazing horse with tremendous heart that lived a life befitting a champion,” the Firestones said in a prepared statement. “We are truly blessed that she was a part of our life, and we are deeply saddened by her passing.”
A daughter of Exclusive Native, Genuine Risk became the first filly to win the Kentucky Derby since Regret in 1915 when she claimed victory in the 1980 running. Ridden by Jacinto Vasquez, she placed second in that year’s Preakness and Belmont Stakes as well. Genuine Risk won or placed in all 15 of her starts and was retired in 1981.
Genuine Risk won the Eclipse Award as the 3-year-old filly champion and was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1986. She was campaigned by Diana Firestone and trained by LeRoy Jolley.