Gulch, champion sprinter of 1988, was euthanized the morning of Jan. 17 at Old Friends retirement facility near Georgetown, Ky. after a battle with cancer. At age 32, Gulch was the oldest living Breeders' Cup winner.
Winner of the 1988 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I), Gulch in 2009 was pensioned from stud duty at Will Farish's Lane's End near Versailles, Ky., because of declining fertility. He joined the roster at Old Friends, where he was one of the farm's of flagship stallions, attracting visitors and fans from all around the country.
The son of Mr. Prospector, out of the multiple grade I-winning Rambunctious mare Jameela, Gulch was the sire of 76 stakes winners, including 31 graded or group winners, from 21 crops racing. His offspring earned more than $91.7 million and include 1995 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Thunder Gulch
, who was the year's champion 3-year-old male; and other top-level winners Court Vision
, Great Navigator
, The Cliff's Edge
, and Wallenda
; as well as English and Dubai group I winner Nayef
, English classic-winning filly Harayir
, Japanese group I winner Eagle Cafe
, and French group I winner Torrential
A Peter Brant homebred, Kentucky-bred Gulch had a 13-8-4 record from 32 starts and earned $3,095,521 under trainers D. Wayne Lukas and LeRoy Jolley,
His record includes the 1986 Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) and Futurity (gr. I) at age 2. At age 3, he won the Wood Memorial (gr. I) and was third in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) before landing the first of his two consecutive wins in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I).
As a 4-year-old Gulch captured the grade III Potrero Grande Handicap and the grade I Carter Handicap, before another score in the Met Mile and his greatest victory—the Breeders' Cup Sprint—en route to the Eclipse Award.
"As Leroy Jolley, who was Gulch's first trainer, once said, 'Gulch must be the toughest horse who ever lived,' and he was," Old Friends president Michael Blowen said. "He was confident, self-possessed, and regal. He didn't demand respect—he earned it. He is irreplaceable."