Dual Breeders’ Cup Mile Winner Da Hoss Dies at Age 30

Two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile Champion Da Hoss was a winner of $1.9 million. He gave fans at Colonial Downs quite a thrill in 1998 when he came back after a two-year layoff to score an allowance win over John’s Call in New Kent! A month later, the Michael Dickinson trainee won his second Breeders’ Cup Mile and called it a career. In recognition of that allowance prep win, Colonial has hosted the Da Hoss Stakes annually.

An earner of more than $1.9 million, Da Hoss had been living at the Kentucky Horse Park since January 2000, 14 months after his final race, a victory in the 1998 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs.

Da Hoss in retirement at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“We will miss Da Hoss greatly. He was a fan favorite as he proved that spirit can triumph over adversity,” said Nicole Rivera, interim deputy executive director of the Kentucky Horse Park. “I would like to extend a special thank you to Rob Willis and the Hall of Champions staff for the great care and affection they showed Da Hoss during his time here at the park.”

By Gone West out of Welsh Saint mare Jolly Saint, Da Hoss was a mere $6,000 purchase at auction, acquired by trainer Kevin Eikleberry from the 1993 Keeneland September Yearling Sale from the consignment of his breeder, Fares Farm.

After a 3-for-3 campaign in Arizona as a 2-year-old for Eikleberry and Wall Street Racing, a controlling interest in Da Hoss was sold to Prestonwood Farm. He then was sent east to trainer Michael Dickinson and won the Best Turn Stakes (G3) at Aqueduct Racetrack in 1995.


Although his early races came on dirt, it was on turf where his greatest accomplishments would eventually come, notably in the Breeders’ Cup. He is one of only five horses to win the Breeders’ Cup Mile twice, and the only horse to win twice in non-consecutive years.

Breeder's Cup, BC Mile 1996
Photo: Skip DicksteinDa Hoss wins the 1996 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Woodbine

Between the 1996 and 1998 Breeders’ Cup Miles, Da Hoss was injured three times and did not race for nearly two years and he had just one start between those to victories. His inspiring finish in the 1998 Breeder’s Cup Mile produced one of Tom Durkin’s most memorable race calls, as he exclaimed: “The greatest comeback since Lazarus!”