By Mint Julep


Genuine Risk Before and Beyond the Kentucky Derby

1980 kentucky derby winner genuine risk

In 1980, Genuine Risk made history by winning the Kentucky Derby, but her impact on Thoroughbred racing goes beyond that. Despite facing challenges in breeding, she left a lasting legacy through her offspring and inspired future racehorses with her determination and spirit on the track. Her influence on female horse racing is still celebrated today in the equestrian community, showing she was a trailblazer in American Thoroughbred racing.

Early Life and Family Background

Genuine Risk was a special horse born on February 15, 1977, in Kentucky. She had a chestnut coat and white markings that made her stand out from other horses. Her mom was Sally Humphrey and her dad was Exclusive Native. Genuine Risk came from a famous family of racehorses.

She became known as one of the best fillies to ever run on the racetrack. People were unsure about her because she looked different with her flashy white marks for a racehorse, but she proved them wrong with how fast and determined she was.

In 1980, with help from the great trainer LeRoy Jolley and jockey Jacinto Vásquez, Genuine Risk did something amazing – she won the Kentucky Derby! She was only the second filly ever to do this. This win wasn’t just important for racing; it also showed that girls could be just as good at racing as boys.

Even though Genuine Risk’s time running races was incredible, what really made her famous in horse history is when she had babies herself (even though it wasn’t easy at first). Her kids went on to win lots of big races too, keeping up their family legacy of being strong and fast runners.

Introduction to Racing

In 1980, Genuine Risk made history by winning the Kentucky Derby, a feat that catapulted her to fame as a filly who overcame the odds and triumphed in one of America’s most prestigious races. Her incredible speed and unwavering determination captured the hearts of fans around the world, establishing her as a legendary figure in horse racing. More than just setting records, Genuine Risk’s victory challenged stereotypes in the male-dominated world of Thoroughbred racing.

After her groundbreaking win at Churchill Downs, Genuine Risk continued to showcase her talent on racetracks across the country, securing multiple graded stakes wins and solidifying her status as one of the greatest fillies in modern racing history. Despite tough competition from top colts, she fearlessly took on all challengers with grace and tenacity, leaving an unforgettable mark on fans and competitors alike. Genuine Risk’s remarkable career stands as a testament to perseverance and resilience when faced with challenges—a true inspiration for future generations of racehorses aiming to excel in this challenging sport.

Beyond her successful racing career, Genuine Risk also made an impact through Thoroughbred breeding. As a broodmare, she produced several talented offspring who inherited not only their mother’s exceptional speed but also her competitive spirit. By carefully selecting mates among top stallions, Genuine Risk passed down both physical ability and mental toughness—an invaluable trait that distinguished her descendants on tracks and breeding farms worldwide. Today we can see traces of Genuine Risk’s influence reflected in pedigrees of champion racehorses—honoring her lasting legacy within the realm of Thoroughbred breeding.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Racing legends motivate upcoming athletes and fans for the future.
  2. They demonstrate the strong connection between a horse and its rider.
  3. Their accomplishments enrich the history and traditions of horse racing.
  4. Racing legends frequently support important causes and charities, raising awareness.


  1. The horses can get tired and become less healthy from the intense training and competition.
  2. After retiring, some famous racehorses might end up being used too much or taken advantage of.
  3. Both horses and riders can get burnt out from the pressure to perform at very high levels.
  4. Accidents or injuries during races could result in serious consequences.

Triple Crown Races

Genuine Risk had a thrilling journey in the Triple Crown series that kept fans and connections on their toes. Despite not winning the Preakness Stakes or Belmont Stakes, she showed incredible determination in facing strong competition. Each race posed different challenges for Genuine Risk as she raced on various tracks with different lengths.

In the Preakness Stakes, Genuine Risk went up against tough rivals but didn’t give up, finishing second in a close finish that had everyone holding their breath. Even though she didn’t clinch first place, her performance highlighted her courage and drive to compete at the highest level. Moving on to the Belmont Stakes, where endurance is crucial over the challenging 1.5-mile distance, Genuine Risk gave her all and finished with an impressive third place.

While Genuine Risk didn’t win all three races of the Triple Crown series, just participating solidified her spot in racing history as a bold filly who took on top colts of her time. Her legacy goes beyond wins and losses; it’s about inspiring future generations of fillies to aim high and challenge norms in Thoroughbred racing—a true testament to her lasting impact both on and off the track.

Breeding Record

Genuine Risk’s success as a mom showed her strength in tough situations. Even though she had some troubles having babies, she still managed to have two healthy foals over nearly 20 years. Her kids, Genuine Reward and Count Our Blessing, followed in her footsteps by showing off their talent on the racetrack.

Her time as a mom was just like her racing days – full of determination and grit. Genuine Risk beat the odds many times, proving that real winners not only shine themselves but also pass on their greatness to their kids. Although she faced challenges with having babies, it only made clear how strong this amazing mare truly was.

Despite difficulties creating a family line, Genuine Risk left more than just numbers behind. Her legacy lives on through generations of racehorses today, making an impact on Thoroughbred racing history. Like a guiding light for future champions aiming for glory, Genuine Risk’s influence is felt in every step taken by those who come from this remarkable mare’s lineage.

Legendary American Thoroughbred: Genuine Risk

Attribute Value
Sire Exclusive Native
Grandsire Raise a Native
Dam Virtuous
Damsire Gallant Man
Sex Filly
Foaled February 15, 1977
Died August 18, 2008 (aged 31)
Country United States
Colour Chestnut
Breeder Sally Humphrey
Owner Diana M. Firestone
Trainer LeRoy Jolley
Record 15:10-3-2
Earnings $646,587
Major wins Demoiselle Stakes (1979), Tempted Stakes (1979), Ruffian Handicap (1980), Kentucky Derby (1980)
Awards U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Filly (1980)
Honours U.S. Racing Hall of Fame (1986), #91 – Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century, Genuine Risk Handicap at Belmont Park, Ranked in the top ten female horses of the 20th century

Honors and Retirement

Genuine Risk, a remarkable racehorse known for her courage and tenacity on the track, was honored with induction into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame in 1986. She also secured the impressive ranking of #91 in Blood-Horse magazine’s Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century list. After retiring from racing, she spent her final years at Firestone’s Newstead Farm before passing away in August 2008.

Genuine Risk captured the hearts of racing enthusiasts worldwide with her bold running style and determination to compete against male horses despite facing skepticism as a filly. Her fearless approach to each race showcased both her grit and grace, solidifying her place among Thoroughbred racing legends.

Not only did Genuine Risk leave a lasting impact on the racetrack but also in breeding history as she seamlessly transitioned from an illustrious racing career to becoming a distinguished broodmare. Her offspring continued her lineage’s success on various terrains – turf and dirt alike – further cementing her legacy within the horse racing community.

Even after departing this world, Genuine Risk’s spirit lives on through generations of elite racehorses carrying forward traces of her exceptional bloodline. Her influence can be felt across pedigrees globally, ensuring that she remains immortalized both in historical records and fond memories alike.

Legacy Beyond Racing

Genuine Risk was more than just a champion on the racetrack. Her determination and spirit inspired fans and enthusiasts, leaving a lasting impact on female horse racing that is still celebrated in the equestrian community today.

As a broodmare, Genuine Risk’s breeding record speaks volumes about her exceptional qualities. She produced several successful offspring who continued her legacy in Thoroughbred racing. One of these notable descendants is Genuine Reward, who inherited his mother’s speed and determination, proving that greatness truly runs in the family.

The influence of Genuine Risk has crossed generations, shaping pedigrees and affecting breeding decisions for years to come. Breeders worldwide acknowledge the importance of including her bloodline in their programs to capture some of her magical essence in future champions.

Beyond numbers and race outcomes, Genuine Risk left an unforgettable impression on those lucky enough to have known her. Stories abound about her spirited yet lovable personality – reminding us that every champion has a unique character worth celebrating.

Reflecting on Genuine Risk’s enduring impact makes it clear that true greatness knows no limits. While she first captured our hearts with thrilling races, she solidified her place among legends through the remarkable lineage she passed down to the sport – showing us that heroes are not just made by their victories but also by what they leave behind for others to treasure.

Legendary Tales of Genuine Risk at the Derby

  1. Exciting Stories of Genuine Risk’s Triumph at the Derby:
  2. In 1980, Genuine Risk made history as only the second filly ever to claim victory at the Kentucky Derby, ending a remarkable 65-year dry spell for female horses in this prestigious race.
  3. Despite facing doubt from some male trainers and owners, Genuine Risk defied expectations by proving her critics wrong and triumphing in the 1980 Kentucky Derby with jockey Jacinto Vasquez in the saddle.
  4. Notably, when she won at Churchill Downs that year, Genuine Risk also set another milestone by becoming the first horse ridden by a female jockey to win such a distinguished event.
  5. Following her impressive win at the Derby, Genuine Risk continued to impress by finishing second in both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes – narrowly missing out on clinching that coveted Triple Crown title.
  6. To this day, Genuine Risk remains an inspirational figure who blazed trails for both mares and jockeys in horse racing circles worldwide – cementing her status as one of Derby’s most cherished champions ever!

Historical Significance

Genuine Risk made history by winning the 1980 Kentucky Derby, breaking stereotypes and proving that fillies can excel on horse racing’s biggest stage. Her victory was a game-changer in Thoroughbred racing, inspiring more female competitors to pursue their dreams despite challenges.

After her groundbreaking win at the Derby, Genuine Risk continued to impress by winning other prestigious races like the Ruffian Handicap and Maskette Stakes. Each race she conquered showed that success knows no gender boundaries in the highly competitive world of horse racing.

Beyond her achievements on the track, Genuine Risk also had a significant impact through her breeding legacy. As a broodmare, she produced offspring with traits like speed, stamina, and determination – qualities valued by breeders striving for excellence in Thoroughbred bloodlines.

Today, Genuine Risk’s influence endures not just through her descendants but also in the memories of fans who see her as more than just a racehorse. She blazed trails by challenging norms and demonstrating what it means to compete with bravery and elegance.

Impact on Breeding Industry

Genuine Risk made a huge impact on the breeding industry with her story of determination and success. Despite facing challenges at first in having offspring, her influence has continued through many generations. Genuine Reward, one of her famous descendants, showed the same fighting spirit as his mother on the racetrack. Another horse named Count Our Blessing proudly carried on Genuine Risk’s bloodline.

These horses demonstrate how a mare like Genuine Risk can shape the future of racing through her descendants.

As Genuine Risk navigated the complexities of breeding, she displayed resilience similar to her racing days. Her strong will to produce top-quality foals reflected her fierce nature on the track. Through all the ups and downs in breeding, she proved that real champions not only make their mark with their own wins but also by passing down excellence to future competitors.

The impact of Genuine Risk is felt worldwide across pedigrees, creating a legacy of speed and endurance for generations to come. Breeders value every connection back to this extraordinary mare whose name brings memories of bold runs and unwavering courage under pressure. Every stride taken by a descendant carrying even just a bit of her lineage pays tribute to Genuine Risk – an enduring symbol of greatness that transcends time within Thoroughbred genetics.

Commemorative Events

In Genuine Risk’s retirement, she became a beloved icon for fans who visited Newstead Farm to pay tribute to her incredible legacy. People were able to take personal tours of the stables and get a firsthand look at the daily life of this legendary mare who beat all odds on the racetrack. Memorials held in her honor were emotional reminders of Genuine Risk’s lasting impact on Thoroughbred racing history, attracting admirers from near and far.

The deep connection between Genuine Risk and her fans was evident during these special events at Newstead Farm. Her calm nature and majestic presence left a strong impression on everyone lucky enough to meet her face-to-face. Seeing such a renowned champion up close brought happiness and motivation to many individuals, cementing Genuine Risk’s place not just in racing history but also in the hearts of those who loved her.

As visitors explored the grounds where Genuine Risk spent her well-deserved retirement years, they couldn’t help but be awed by what she had accomplished during her impressive career. Each step seemed to tell stories of victories and obstacles overcome, reminding everyone that true greatness often requires perseverance and determination.

These events served as fitting tributes to an equine superstar whose influence spanned across generations. As fans gathered to celebrate Genuine Risk’s unforgettable mark on horse racing history, they were reminded that real champions leave legacies that go beyond their time in competition. By honoring Genuine Risk, we pay respect not only to an extraordinary racehorse but also to the enduring spirit of bravery and excellence she showed throughout her life.

Educational Programs

Genuine Risk’s impact reaches far beyond the racetrack, influencing educational programs that explore her incredible journey. Her story serves as a source of inspiration in the male-dominated world of Thoroughbred racing, highlighting gender diversity within the sport. These initiatives, done in collaboration with equine organizations, not only celebrate Genuine Risk’s accomplishments but also raise awareness about the importance of female representation in horse racing.

Her boldness and determination on the track have made a lasting impression on future generations, showing what can be achieved against all odds. Those participating in these educational programs are captivated by Genuine Risk’s defiance of expectations and her relentless pursuit of excellence. By sharing her tale, these programs ignite a passion for inclusivity and empowerment among people from various backgrounds.

In addition to her historic wins at prestigious races like the Kentucky Derby, Genuine Risk’s legacy lives on through her descendants. As a broodmare, she continued to amaze with her ability to produce offspring who inherited not just speed but also her fearless spirit. The greatness passed down through each subsequent generation is evidence of Genuine Risk’s enduring influence on bloodlines worldwide.

Similar to branches extending from a strong oak tree, Genuine Risk’s descendants spread out across pedigree charts globally – their stories intertwining with hers in an intricate tapestry of athleticism and resilience. From daughters mirroring their mother’s talents on the track to sons carrying forward their dam’s fiery determination, each descendant embodies a part of this legendary mare’s essence.

By honoring Genuine Risk through education and storytelling efforts we pay tribute not only to an outstanding racehorse but also to a symbol of courage and pioneering spirit that continues to inspire us today. She proves that barriers are meant to be broken and dreams have no limits – leaving behind hoofprints etched in history while motivating future champions yet unborn.”


1. How did Genuine Risk defy the odds to become the second filly in history to win the Kentucky Derby?

Genuine Risk made history as the second filly ever to win the Kentucky Derby, proving her incredible speed, endurance, and determination. This victory cemented her status as a legendary racehorse.

2. What were some of Genuine Risk’s most notable racing achievements beyond her historic Derby victory?

Genuine Risk didn’t just win the Kentucky Derby, she also came out on top in the famous Ruffian Handicap and secured second place in both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. These achievements highlighted her incredible skill and determination as a racehorse.

3. How did Genuine Risk’s breeding career contribute to her lasting legacy in Thoroughbred racing?

Genuine Risk’s breeding career has made a lasting mark in Thoroughbred racing. She gave birth to many talented foals that inherited her speed, endurance, and competitive drive. This ensured that she would continue influencing the sport for years to come with her strong legacy.

4. Which prominent racehorses today can trace their lineage back to Genuine Risk?

Today, top racehorses like Orb, who won the Kentucky Derby, and Ruler On Ice, the champion of the Belmont Stakes, can be directly linked back to Genuine Risk. This legendary horse’s strong spirit and impressive bloodline still have a major impact on Thoroughbred racing today.

5. What qualities did Genuine Risk possess that made her such a successful broodmare?

Genuine Risk became a top broodmare due to her incredible racing skills, impressive family background, and strong physical build. She passed these traits down to her babies, leaving a lasting mark on the world of Thoroughbred breeding.

6. In what ways has Genuine Risk influenced breeding practices and bloodlines in modern Thoroughbred racing?

Genuine Risk made history by becoming the first filly in 65 years to win the Kentucky Derby. Her exceptional lineage as a daughter of Exclusive Native has significantly influenced Thoroughbred breeding, emphasizing the significance of choosing for speed and stamina to produce top-notch racehorses.