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Written by Alexis De La Garza

The story of Giacomo is one that deserves to be told. Giacomo was the little horse in a field of twenty in a big race no one thought he could win. But he did. He was up against another racing great, and the one thought to be the sure winner, Afleet Alex. But Giacomo, at odds 50-1, pulled the second biggest upset in Derby history. He beat Afleet Alex, and was just a head in front of Closing Argument when he passed the wire. With only one other win to his record, Giacomo was now famous.

Giacomo was born February 16th, 2002, at Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. He was trained by one of racing’s greatest, John Shirreffs, and was jockeyed my Mike Smith, who was atop Giacomo’s sire, Eclipse Award-winner Holy Bull, in the 1994 Kentucky Derby. After the Derby, Giacomo’s talent was questioned. Was he really a champion? Or did he get a lucky win after a drop in pace? Yes and no. But Giacomo proved his doubters wrong after winning the 2006 San Diego Handicap by a head.

Although Giacomo had a tough career as a racehorse, he was still grand. He ran a show in Goodwood Breeder’s Cup Handicap, losing to Lava Man. Despite his only winning two stakes races, he was entered in the prestigious Breeder’s Cup Classic of 2006. There, he would face other incredible horses such as his old rival Lava Man, Bernardini, and Invasor. Giacomo finished an impressive fourth in the race, although he was never a real contender.

After the Breeder’s, it was announced that Giacomo would be retired to stud. He is standing at Adena Springs in Kentucky, and his first foals will be born in 2008. Giacomo had a tough time in the racing world, but we never gave up on him. He proved doubters wrong on several occasions, and some are sure his foals will do the same.

Giacomo Facts:

Owner: Mr. & Mrs. J. S. Moss & Stronach Stables Frank Str
Breeder: Jerry Moss
Race Record: 16:3-2-5
Earnings: $2,537,613
Sire: Holy Bull (1994 horse of the year)
Dam: Set Them Free (4-time stakes winner)