July 1, 2022

Vino Rosso – 2019 Champion Older Dirt Male

Vino Rosso wins the Breeders' Cup Classic
Vino Rosso (Horsephotos.com/Cecilia Gustavsson)

Vino Rosso showed promise early in his career when on the Triple Crown trail, but the classy chestnut horse did not put it all together until his 4-year-old season. After finishing first in three Grade 1 events during 2019, including a commanding victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita, Eclipse Award voters honored Vino Rosso with the champion older dirt male title.

Vino Rosso’s lifetime record courtesy of Brisnet!

Vino Rosso edged champion male sprinter Mitole by 21 votes for the Eclipse Award, and he also received one vote for Horse of the Year.

Owned by Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, the Todd Pletcher-trained Vino Rosso opened 2019 by capturing the Stymie over a one-turn mile at Aqueduct in mid-March. After a rallying fourth in the 7-furlong Carter (G1), Vino Rosso stretched back out to two-turn route distances for the final four starts of his career.

He shipped west for the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) in mid-May, running down heavy favorite and Santa Anita H. (G1) winner Gift Box to win going away by about a length. Cutting back for the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga next out, Vino Rosso wound up a wide-trip third behind McKinzie.

The son of Curlin rebounded with a top-class performance in the Sept. 28 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park, determinedly out-finishing Travers (G1) winner Code of Honor by a nose. Stewards controversially disqualified Vino Rosso, placing him second in the final Breeders’ Cup Classic tune-up.

Vino Rosso went out in style, parlaying a forwardly-placed trip into a resounding 4 ¼-length decision in the Classic, and he gained a measure of revenge upon vanquished rivals Code of Honor and McKinzie. Irad Ortiz Jr., who earned the Eclipse Award for outstanding jockey in 2019, rode Vino Rosso in his final two starts.

Bred in Kentucky by John D. Gunther, Vino Rosso was purchased for $410,000 as a 2015 Keeneland September yearling. He hails from the Street Cry mare Mythical Bride, who is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner and sire Commissioner, who finished a head second in the 2014 Belmont Stakes (G1); and  Grade 3 victor Laugh Track, the runner-up in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

Vino Rosso enters stud at Spendthrift Farm in 2020 with career earnings of $4,803,125 from a 15-6-1-3 record.

Mitole 108
McKinzie 3