Bold Forbes, the oldest living Kentucky Derby winner died Wednesday at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington, Ky. at age 27. The horse was euthanized due to renal failure and complications from gastroenteritis. Winner of the 1976 Kentucky Derby, Bold Forbes had been a resident at the Horse Park since being retired from stud duty at Arthur Hancock’s Stone Farm near Paris, Ky. in April 1991. A member of the Horse Park’s “Hall of Champions,” which also include Thoroughbred champions Cigar and John Henry, Bold Forbes was buried near Thoroughbred champion Forego, Saddlebred CH Imperator, and Standardbred Rambling Willie.
“Bold Forbes has made a significant contribution to Thoroughbred racing and breeding, for which we will always be grateful,” said Hancock, noting the horse was relocated to the Horse Park so he could be seen by his fans. “Thousands have enjoyed his winning personality and will remember him fondly with the respect he so aptly earned.”
“Bold Forbes spirit and vitality was an inspiration to us all,” said Horse Park executive director John Nicholson. “As the oldest living Kentucky Derby winner, he was a special symbol of our heritage. I am glad he had a healthy and happy retirement right up to his last days.”
Bred by Lee Eaton and Red Bull Stables, Bold Forbes was foaled at Eaton Farms on March 31, 1973. The son of Irish Castle began his career in Puerto Rico, where he was champion 2-year-old of 1975 after winning seven of eight starts. In the U.S., Bold Forbes won the Derby and Belmont Stakes and finished third in the Preakness. He also won the Wood Memorial, Bay Shore Stakes, San Jacinto Stakes, and Saratoga Special Stakes.
Retired to Stone Farm following his 3-year-old season, Bold Forbes sired the earners of more than $16 million from 13 crops. With 304 winners from 460 names foals, Bold Forbes sired 30 stakes winners, including Kentucky Oaks winner Tiffany lass, Air Forbes Won, Bold Apparel, and Barb’s Bold.