Kona Gold was retired in late July after a fifth-place finish in the Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar. The son of Java Gold won the 2000 Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and the Eclipse Award that year as the country's top sprinter. Overall, he won 14 of 30 starts, with seven seconds and two thirds, for earnings of $2,293,384. In his Breeders' Cup triumph he established a track record of 1:07.77 at Churchill Downs for the six-furlong distance.
Champion Kona Gold has returned to trainer Bruce Headley's Santa Anita shedrow where he has taken up his new duties as a stable pony. The 9-year-old gelding spent several months in rodeo training with bloodstock agent Julie Adair at a nearby Southern California farm following his retirement this past July. "He's been back (at Santa Anita) for about a week," Headley said. "He looks good, doesn't he? Julie (Adair) does such a great job." Headley credits Adair with converting Son of a Pistol, a multiple grade II winner who earned more than $850,000, into another one of his stable ponies.