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Heart of Gold: Vino Rosso

In a blur of gold, Vino Rosso streaked past Santa Anita’s grandstand and crossed the wire on our sport’s biggest stage in first. His name is now forever immortalized, listed among some of the horse racing’s best; Cigar, Zenyatta, Arrogate, Tiznow, and A.P. Indy to just name a few.

Every racehorse who accomplished great things has a story. This is his.

Early Life (2015-2016)

In 2011, John D. Gunther of Glennwood Farm purchased a mare named Mythical Bride for just $42,000 at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. He didn’t retire the daughter of Street Cry (IRE) immediately, instead sending her back to the races. When she failed to win her next five races, Gunther decided it would be best for his new mare to join his broodmare band.

Mythical Bride was brought home to Glennwood Farm and was bred to 2008 Horse of the Year Curlin. On March 29, 2015, Glennwood Farm welcomed Mythical Bride’s brand new colt. He was a gorgeous chestnut color with one white sock and a beautiful irregular star and stripe down his face.

John’s daughter Tanya, who plans the farm’s matings, described in an article for the Kentucky Derby that Vino Rosso was a well-behaved colt. He enjoyed eating grass more than he enjoyed monkeying around with the other youngsters.

He grew up - literally - next to eventual Triple Crown winner Justify. The colts had been born within a day of each other, were stabled across from each other as weanlings, and were stabled next to each other as yearlings.

“Vino Rosso had a level of nonchalance and composure that is unusual to see in a young horse,” Tanya told “It was like he was wiser than his age and though he didn’t mind the schoolboy antics of the other colts, he didn’t need to prove anything or waste unnecessary energy by partaking in it himself.”

When the colt was a yearling, he was entered into the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. He stepped into the ring as Hip #528. He was a striking yearling, his head swiveling and ears pricking towards every sound. The hammer fell at a cool $410,000, sold to Mike Repole and St. Elias.