In the aftermath of the $250,000 Dixiana Elkhorn Stakes (G2T) at Keeneland on April 21, both ends of the spectrum of Thoroughbred racing walked through the track's tunnel grateful for everything their runners had given.
On the high end was the ever-affable Charles "Scooter" Dickey, the man who helped multiple grade 1 winner Flat Out overcome his physical issues to become a top-level performer beginning in 2011. For just the fourth time, Dickey celebrated a graded stakes win when the hard-knocking One Go All Go went gate-to-wire in the 1 1/2-mile turf test Saturday.
If Dickey's achievement represented a deserved accolade for a respected horseman, the inconsolable face of fellow trainer Tim Glyshaw told the story of why the race's revelry was muted.
While One Go All Go ended a 12-race losing skid when he held off Oscar Nominated by three-quarters of a length, the race was marred when grade 1 winner and barn favorite Bullards Alley suffered a fatal injury.
Bullards Alley—pulled up by jockey Corey Lanerie around the first of three turns—was later euthanized, according to Keeneland officials, due to a lateral condyle fracture to his left hind leg. The 6-year-old Flower Alley gelding was an endearing member of Glyshaw's shedrow, having provided the trainer with his first grade 1 win when he captured the Oct. 15 Pattison Canadian International Stakes (G1T) by 10 3/4 lengths at Woodbine.
"Bullard meant the world to us. He was a cool horse that always gave his all," Glyshaw said in a statement posted on his Twitter account. "He was our first horse to win graded races for us, and a grade 1. No words can describe how I and my barn feel right now. RIP BULLARD."
Owned by Wayne Spalding and Faron McCubbins, Bullards Alley won six of 40 career starts and was closing in on the million-dollar mark with $928,622 in earnings.
The loss of Bullards Alley was juxtaposed against a long-awaited breakout victory for fellow 6-year-old One Go All Go.
After capturing the 2015 Commonwealth Derby (G2T) for previous owners Preston Stables and Prestonwood Racing, One Go All Go prevailed in just one of his next 17 starts, but he had been knocking on the door against good stakes company.
In August, the bay son of Fairbanks finished third to the Dickey-trained graded stakes winner Flatlined in the Cliff Guilliams Handicap. Though he bested him that day, Dickey was impressed enough that he urged owner Rodney Paden to purchase One Go All Go for $62,000 from Taylor Made Sales Agency's consignment to the 2017 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
"I had Flatlined, and he had beaten this horse by three-quarters of a length at Ellis Park," Dickey recalled. "And I told Mr. Paden he's good enough to buy him if he doesn't bring too much. And we stole him, as it turned out."
After joining Dickey's barn, One Go All Go rattled off four runner-up efforts in six outings, including second-place runs in the March 31 Pan American Stakes (G2T) and March 3 Mac Diarmida Stakes (G2T) at Gulfstream Park.
Sent off at 9-1 odds in the 11-horse Elkhorn field, One Go All Go got the advantage around the first turn under handling from Chris Landeros and was able to get into his rhythm while cutting fractions of :26.32, :51.60, and 1:17.17 as 2-1 favorite and defending race winner Itsinthepost tracked him in second.
The top two remained in place coming into the final bend but were joined by Oscar Nominated ranging up three wide. The determined efforts of Oscar Nominated and Itsinthepost couldn't catch the pacesetter, however, as One Go All Go hit the wire in 2:30.76 over a course rated firm.
"Every time they came to him, Chris (Landeros) just let him out a little bit," Dickey said. "They just never could get him. He's been knocking on the door, been second and second and second. He finally got them today."
Bred in Virginia by Albert P. Coppola out of the Marquetry mare See Ashleigh Run, One Go All Go has won four of 24 starts with $643,538 in earnings.
"He's trains good all the time, ever since I've gotten him," Dickey said. "He's done us well."