Millionaire Gelding John's Call Dies

John's Call became the oldest runner to win a Saratoga grade I stakes

John’s Call, a grade I winner and millionaire for Douglas Joyce, was euthanized Feb. 18 at trainer Tom Voss’ farm near Monkton, Md., according to Joe Clancy of Steeplechase Times. The 19-year-old gelding by Lord At War out of the Be My Guest mare Calling Guest had broken his right front leg in a field accident.

Joyce’s friend, Central Kentucky bloodstock agent John Stuart, spotted John’s Call at the 1992 Fasig Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale. Stuart, who owed Joyce money from an earlier breeding deal, suggested that Joyce’s interests would be better served if the money owed went to buying John’s Call. Joyce agreed and bought John’s Call for $4,000 in the name of his Trillium Stable.

Trained by Voss, John’s Call competed on the flat and over jumps, winning or placing in 30 of 40 starts and earning $1,571,267.

John’s Call enjoyed a heralded 9-year-old season in 2000. He became the oldest runner to win a grade I race at Saratoga when he captured the Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. IT) by 9 1/2 lengths. He also won the Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park and the first of two runnings of the Cape Henlopen Handicap in course-record time at Delaware Park. He ran third in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT), won by Kalanisi, and closed out the year with an unplaced finish in the Japan Cup (Jpn-I)..

Following his retirement after his 10-year-old season, John’s Call served as Voss’ stable pony at the track. Saratoga named a turf stakes in his honor.

“He was loved his entire life, he was taken care of, he wanted for nothing,” Joyce told Steeplechase Times. “He had a great racing career and a great retirement, and there are some horses you can’t say that about.”