Kentucky Horse Park
CHAMPION SPRINTER KONA GOLD TO KENTUCKY HORSE PARK
LEXINGTON, KY (November 30, 2007) The Kentucky Horse Park announces the arrival today of a new resident in the Hall of Champions, Kona Gold.
Kona Gold is a popular Thoroughbred who won the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (6 furlongs) in Churchill Downs and Breeders' Cup record time of 1:07.77 under Alex Solis, and nailed the Eclipse Award as Champion Sprinter that year. He also placed second and third in previous Breeders’ Cup Sprints. His 11 stakes wins for trainer Bruce Headley, included the San Carlos H. (G1), Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup H. (G2) twice, Palos Verdes H. (G2), Ancient Title Breeders' Cup H. (G2), Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup H. (G2) twice, El Conejo H. (G3), Los Angeles H. (G3), and El Conejo H. (L) setting a new track record.
He retired with $2,293,284 in earnings and a record of 31-14-7-2.
Kona Gold was bred by Carols Perez’ Twilite Farm, and sold at the 1995 Keeneland September Yearling Sale for $35,000. He is owned by his trainer, Bruce Headley (who also broke him), and Andrew and Irwin Molasky. Referring to the decision to send him to the Kentucky Horse Park, Irwin Molasky said, “We had a meeting about it because this is a difficult decision for us—because we love this animal so much—but we decided that he belongs to the public. It’s been such a pleasure to own an athlete like this and be involved in racing. He was such an honest horse and won so many graded races.”
Since his retirement, the handsome bay son of Java Man – Double Sunrise by Slew o’ Gold has continued to live and work on the racetrack as a stable pony for his trainer. Now his fans will be able to visit him easily at the Kentucky Horse Park. Kona Gold will be the first sprinter since Forego to be welcomed into the Hall of Champions.
According to Mr. Molasky, “Kona Gold still gets visitors wherever he is, probably a dozen a week. He’s definitely the king of the stable. That’s the way he was since he was a baby. He just had an attitude. He has a terrific temperament, a little feisty still, but if you feed him a carrot, he loves you.”
Kona Gold will be available to be visited by the public beginning Saturday, December 1 and every day after that during regular park hours. Kona Gold will join two-time Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Cigar, World’s Grand Champion Saddlebred Gypsy Supreme, and other equine celebrities who reside in the Hall of Champions.
For information, call 859-233-4303.
Park Hours and Rates: From October 31-March 14, the park is open Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children 7-12. Children six and under are always admitted free of charge. Admission includes the International Museum of the Horse – a Smithsonian Affiliate - and the American Saddlebred Museum.
The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse. The park is an agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet that hosted nearly 900,000 visitors and campers, as well as 15,000 competition horses in more than 100 special events and horse shows in 2006. The park is home to the National Horse Center which comprises more than 30 national and regional equine organizations. Located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is the place to get close to horses. Open daily March 15 to October 31, and Wednesday through Sunday, November 1 to March 14.