Winning Colors (horse)
|Foaled||February 14, 1985|
|Breeder||Echo Valley Farm|
|Owner||Eugene V. Klein|
|Trainer||D. Wayne Lukas|
|Santa Anita Oaks (1988)
Santa Anita Derby (1988)
Kentucky Derby (1988)
Turfway Breeders' Cup Stakes (1989)
|U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Filly (1988)|
|United States Racing Hall of Fame (2000)
Grade III Winning Colors Stakes at Churchill Downs
|Last updated on November 28, 2006|
Winning Colors ( February 14, 1985 - February 17, 2008) was an American Hall of Fame Champion Thoroughbred racehorse and one of only three fillies to ever win the Kentucky Derby. Though she was registered as roan, she was, in fact, a gray with a white blaze on her face.
Racing on the West Coast of the United States for trainer D. Wayne Lukas, Winning Colors won both of her starts at age two. In the spring of 1988, the large filly put on a powerful performance in the Santa Anita Derby, defeating colts her age by 7½ lengths. Sent to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, she was up against a stellar field of colts including Risen Star, Seeking the Gold, Forty Niner, Regal Classic, and co-favorite Private Terms. As was her habit, Winning Colors broke fast and raced to the lead. Although Forty Niner made a determined charge in the homestretch, she held him off to win by a neck.
In the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the U.S. Triple Crown, Winning Colors finished third to Risen Star who then blew away the field in the 1½ mile Belmont Stakes, winning by fifteen lengths while Winning Colors finished out of the money.
In the fall of 1988, Winning Colors finished second to Ogden Phipps' filly Personal Ensign in the Maskette Stakes. The two fillies next met in the Breeders' Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs in a race that is remembered as one of the most exciting finishes in Breeder's Cup history. Winning Colors had the lead with just 110 yards to go when Personal Ensign, who had struggled throughout the entire race because of the sloppy track, made a charge and won by what the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame describes as a "lip." After the race, Winning Colors' trainer D. Wayne Lukas said that she had run the best race of her career.
Voted the 1988 Eclipse Award for Outstanding 3-Year-Old Filly, the following year Winning Colors raced in her final campaign at age four but won only two of her seven races, hampered by breathing difficulties and surgery.
Winning Colors was euthanized February 17, 2008 at the age of 23 as a result of complications from colic. She was in foal to Mr. Greeley. She is buried at Greentree Farm, a division of Gainesway Farm near Lexington, Kentucky.
- http://news.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=43702&source=rss BloodHorse.com
- Winning Colors' pedigree and racing stats
- New York Times article about Personal Ensign and the 1988 Breeders' Cup Distaff
- Winning Colors at the United States' National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
- BloodHorse.com notice of Winning Colors' euthanization