March 29, 2021

Winning Dubai 2009-2021

We’re saddened by the passing of old campaigner Winning Dubai. He was such a survivor we’d almost come to believe he was indestructible.

A grey/roan son of E Dubai, out of a daughter of Private Account, he was foaled in April 2009 in Kentucky and sold as a youngster to a Puerto Rican racing interest. He ran all of his 96 races at Puerto Rico’s Hipódromo Camarero. He won first time out, and true to his name, he made winning a habit. He finished first or second in almost half of his many starts. Working class tracks like the Hipódromo Camarero can be a hard environment for both humans and horses, but Winning Dubai proved more than tough enough. From ages two through seven he raced often as many as 16, and even 19, times a year—and that’s year after year. At four, he won 10 times, tying for the record for most wins in all North America in 2012. After his last race in December 2016, his fortitude and spirit had earned such affectionate respect that he continued to live at the Hipódromo Camarero since there was practically nowhere else for a horse on the small, heavily populated island.

So it was that when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017, causing thousands of deaths and destroying the race track and its stables, Winning Dubai was caught up in the disaster. He survived the storm and the continuing emergency when the feed, water, vets and vet supplies were difficult to get. Thanks to Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare, the Thoroughbred Charities of America, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the Jockey Club, Brook Ledge, Ocala Breeders’ Sales, Bonnie Heath Farm, and others, supplies were shipped in and as many horses as possible were evacuated to Florida. Winning Dubai was among them. He was cared for by Randy and Karen Hickman of Stone Ridge Farm in Ocala, then reached Old Friends in November.

He lived at our Georgetown, Kentucky farm for three and a half years. After all that time in the Caribbean, did he know he’d come home? He seemed to, but he’d surmounted so much in his life that he probably would have handled any surroundings with the same unflappable assurance. Winning Dubai had been around the block a few times, and he wanted you to know it.

He was a bit assertive with his first paddock mates, so we tried him with Kalamos, a gelding as tough as he was. The two coexisted but didn’t really make friends, so last year Winning Dubai moved in with Cost Affective, Bunker’s Edge and Rathor. In Cost Affective, Winning Dubai found the friend he’d been looking for. The two became inseparable and shared good times together.

After surviving a grueling race career and a terrible storm, Winning Dubai seemed more than equal to anything fate might throw at him, but even he wasn’t immortal. This spring he developed an incurable neurological condition. Due to compromised motor functions, a peaceful and dignified end was the last kindness we could provide the brave warrior.

Here he is with his friend Cost Affective in an Old Friends Blog Video from last September. His part is from 2:08 through about 3:00. Cost Affective misses him, and so do we.

photos by Laura


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4 responses to “March 29, 2021

  1. Jane and/or Dick Gerber

    Thank you so much for your loving care. May he Gallop In Peace.


  2. Amy Gulbrandson

    These posts are always bittersweet—bitter in that I never want to see another one gone, but so sweet that their final years were spent in such peace and with such caring people watching out for their best interests. Thank you all ❤️ 🐎

  3. Delrene Sims

    He really lived life on his own terms. How great that his last years were with his horse friend and buddy and the great care at Old Friends. We will miss you.

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