Much in the same vein as a post of mine from some time back, I’m sad to see that the AP is reporting that 1982 Kentucky Derby winner Gato Del Sol has died:
PARIS, Ky. (AP) — Gato Del Sol, the winner of the 1982 Kentucky Derby and the second-oldest living Derby winner, died at 28.
The horse was euthanized Tuesday because of age-related infirmities, owner Arthur Hancock told The Associated Press.
“My life’s dream was to win the Kentucky Derby and he realized that for me,” Hancock said. “He was a sweet horse. He’d never bite or kick. It was really a fairy tale come true.”
…The oldest surviving Derby winner is now Genuine Risk, who in 1980 became only the second filly to win the race.
In 1982 Gato Del Sol, a gray horse trained by the late Eddie Gregson and ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye, went off at 21-1 in the 19-horse Derby field and charged from last place to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Laser Light.
Gato Del Sol of course inspired David Grubbs‘ band Gastr del Sol, originally a one-off project to record latter-era Bastro songs, then became a vehicle for a collaboration with Jim O’Rourke, which later ended in acrimony. And you thought the world of horse racing was nerdy and complicated! Anyway, Gato Del Sol lived a lot longer than the band named after him, and horsey fans will miss him.