Peter Vegso’s homebred Go Between, winner of the 2008 Pacific Classic (gr. I), died Jan. 12 following a workout at the Payson Park Training Center as the result of a heart problem.
“It’s a devastation, really,” Vegso said Jan. 13. “It’s a real blow. He was terrific. He was the epitome of the highs and lows of the breeding business.”
A 6-year-old son of Point Given trained by Bill Mott, Go Between won eight of 27 starts, with 13 second- or third-place finishes, while earning $2,908,880. With his trademark late-running style, Go Between also won the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT), Fayette Stakes (gr. III), Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT), Sunshine Millions Classic, Unbridled Breeders’ Cup Handicap, and Cherokee River Stables Classic Stakes.
Go Between, who was being pointed toward this year’s Sunshine Millions as a prep for the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I), pulled himself up after working six furlongs in 1:17 4/5 at Payson Park, Vegso said. The horse appeared to be cooling out in good order back at the barn when his heart rate was checked.
“It was off the chart, and the vet started treatments to stabilize the heart,” Vegso explained. “The best they could get it down to was 200 beats per minute. He laid down in his stall, and Bill said about an hour later he died.”
Vegso said no additional tests will be performed to determine the exact cause of death and that Go Between would be cremated, with the ashes buried at his farm near Ocala, Fla.
“We had some tremendous moments” with Go Between, Vegso said. “I loved his Virginia Derby. And in the Pacific Classic, he just got him (Well Armed) at the wire, coming from off the pace. Sometimes he made it, sometimes he didn’t.”
While the death is a blow to Vegso’s stable, he said it is worse for Mott and his staff.
“The tough part of it is for the people who deal with him," he said. "They have the day-to-day care and custody and affection they feel for these horses. I feel bad for them.”