Forty Niner Days, a multiple graded stakes winner in the early 1990s, was euthanized Aug. 22 due to extensive cancer at the UPF Ranch near Tehacahpi, Calif.
The gray son of Conquistador Cielo was known for his turf abilities across the west coast. During his 45-start career, he won such races as the 1991 All-American Handicap (gr. IIIT), San Francisco Mile Handicap (gr. IIIT), and Golden Gate Handicap (gr. IIT) at Golden Gate Fields, and the 1992 Bay Meadows Handicap (gr. IIT).
Trained by Roger Stein for the majority of his career, Forty Niner Days switched ownership several times, and last raced for a partnership that included Constantine and Fields Auerbach. After campaigning for seven seasons, he retired a millionaire with a record of 9-9-3.
Out of the stakes winning The Axe II mare Party Bonnet, Forty Niner Days is from the female family of United States champion Late Bloomer (by Stage Door Johnny), and is a half-brother to millionaire Del Mar Dennis (by Dixieland Band) and stakes winner In My Heart (by Miswaki).
In 1995, Forty Niner Days was donated to the United Pegasus Foundation, where he lived in a large paddock with several pasture companions. Founded by Helen Meredith, the United Pegasus Foundation is a non-profit charity organization that provides California's Thoroughbreds with a chance at a second career or a humane retirement.
“All the staff here will certainly miss him,” said Meredith, who had followed the gelding during his racing career. “One of the reasons I didn’t adopt him out is because when he came here, he wasn’t very trusting toward humans. He wasn’t really lame, just body sore, but he was such an awesome horse and good-looking. Over the years of being with us, and being with his buddies out in the field, he became such a sweet horse.”