Breeders' Cup Classic, Queen's Plate champion Awesome Again dies at age 26

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GEORGETOWN, Ky. — Awesome Again, one of the top Canadian-bred thoroughbred race horses in history, has died.

The horse died Tuesday at age 26, Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Homes in Kentucky said.

Owned and bred by Frank Stronach of Newmarket, Ont., Awesome Again won the Queen's Plate at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto in 1997 before capturing the world's richest race — the Breeders' Cup Classic — the following year at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

Awesome Again beat what is considered one of the top fields in Breeders' Cup history. The 10-horse field that day included Kentucky Derby winner Silver Charm, European champion Swain, Belmont Stakes winners Victory Gallop and Touch Gold, horse of the year Skip Away, who had won the Classic the year before, and South American champion Gentlemen.

Awesome Again went to stud at Adena Springs Farm in Versailles, Ky., in 1999 with career earnings of US$4.3 million, a record for a Canadian-bred. He had nine wins and two third-place finishes in 12 starts.

Two of Awesome Again's sons, Ghostzapper and Wilko, won Breeders’ Cup races in 2004, the first time a Classic winner's offspring won two Breeders’ Cup races in one afternoon. Ghostzapper won the Classic, and Wilko the Juvenile.

Awesome Again was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2001.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press