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Photo: NYRA
Genuine Risk
March 19, 1980
Genuine Risk

There hadn't been a filly since Silver Spoon in 1959 to contest the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Who knew that 1980 would be different.

Genuine Risk, campaigned by Diana Firestone, would be the one. As a juvenile in 1979, she had gone unbeaten in four races, including the Demoiselle (gr. II) and Tempted Stakes in New York. The Demoiselle came over subsequent champion Smart Angle.

Sent to Florida for the winter, Genuine Risk came out in a March 19 allowance race at Gulfstream Park against five rivals and won by 2 1/2 lengths. Back home in New York, she won an overnight handicap April 5, and then took on males in the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I). Plugged Nickle, the 1-2 favorite, scored by 1 1/2 lengths over Colonel Moran, with Genuine Risk a head behind the runner-up.

That figured to be it for Genuine Risk as far as the Kentucky Derby. But Firestone and her husband, Bertram, felt otherwise and were encouraged when Genuine Risk worked five furlongs in 1:02 2/5 over a slow Churchill Downs strip the Wednesday before the Run for the Roses. Sent off at 13-1, Genuine Risk humbled her male rivals to become the second Derby-winning filly, joining 1915 winner Regret. She then ran second in the Preakness (gr. I) and Belmont (gr. I) Stakes.

Click here to read more about this Thoroughbred Legend in Genuine Risk -- available now from ExclusivelyEquine.com.

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