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Gato Del Sol   Horse Racing

Started by Russo (Railbird87); 692 views.
Russo (Railbird87)

From: Russo (Railbird87)


It is not up on any of the news sites yet, but I heard from a very reputable source (a friend at Belmont) that he died today at the age of 28.

Gato won the 1982 Kentucky Derby as a longshot. He was also second in the Belmont and Blue Grass Stakes. At two, he won the Del Mar Futurity; at five, he was third in the Santa Anita Handicap. He raced until the age of six, when he won the Caballero Handicap.

He wound up standing at stud in Germany; after his owner, Arthur Hancock, heard of Exceller's death, he bought the horse back and brought him home. He's been living at Stone Farm for the past seven years, pensioned and being spoiled rotten. It's really a wonderful story.

Will post a link to news once it becomes more public.

RIP old man. You were so loved.


From: cigarello


well i am sitting here weeping; I feel so bad but at least he was brought back home where he belonged and had lots of love until his sad death.

From: Guest


RIP Gato.  He was so loved by the Hancocks.  I read where they had a breakfast on Derby morning and sat up the tables outside of Gato's paddock so they could all share derby morning with him.

From: LindaVA3


Rest in peace Gato.  Now you can run with the angels.


From: MJ42903


Oh this is way to sad.  Please let us know when this has been verified.

From: LAM232


I can confirm this ..... he was put down today after a bout of colic.

I visited Gato many times at Stone Farm. His friend, the barn manager, Jerry, loved him and respected him.

In recent years, he had some trouble getting around but he would always come over to the fence where we would give him some mints or carrots for a treat.

Gato had a very happy life when he came home to Stone Farm and was loved very much. He was a tough horse when he ran, but became a nice, easy horse to be around later in life.

I am so glad he left this world knowing he was very loved and treasured. Every night, Mrs. Hancock would try to come by and bring Gato carrots. What a loved horse he was....and he knew it right to the end. I am sure he is running like crazy tonight in heaven and sharing the story of his Derby win with the others up there. As sad as I feel, that really makes me smile.

I will always treasure the times that I stood in your presence, were a Derby winner and a winner of my heart as well.

I will miss you terribly.



In reply toRe: msg 6

From: MJ42903


This is so sad.  His owners must be grieving.  Love you Gato.

Does anyone want to chip in and send some flowers for his grave?  I remember reading that the Derby and everyone else pretty much forgot about him.  It would be nice if we let his owners know we thought highly of him.

Anyone interested?  Any ideas?

  • Edited 8/7/2007 9:50 pm ET by MJ42903

From: ShelleyA1551


Gato's is a beautiful story.  Staci Hancock was extremely devoted to him and he had a wonderful life.

Now he will run again with our other champions in Equine Heaven!


From: LAM232


I am sure the folks there are having a really tough time so please send prayers their way. Gato lived a long, long life, but I am sure they are heavy-hearted. He was such a major presence there.

There is a lovely little cemetery behind the barn. The great Halo is buried there, among others. I hope that is where Gato is laid to rest. The graves are always covered with flowers and nicely maintained.



From: cchurch74



That's so great that you were able to go visit with him.  Thank you so much for sharing with us that he was truly loved and cared for.  Its a shame how quickly our former equine champions can be forgotten, but its such a great feeling to know that some are truly loved until the end.

Rest in Peace will be missed.

Chrissy Church