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Blushing John

Blushing John
Sire Blushing Groom
Dam La Griffe
Grandsire Red God
Damsire Prince John
Gender Stallion
Foaled 1985
Country United States
Color Chestnut
Breeder North Ridge Farm
Owner Allen E. Paulson
Trainer Francois Boutin (France)
Richard J. Lundy (USA)
Record 19: 9-1-2
Earnings $1,548,081
Blushing John is a thoroughbred racehorse out of La Griffe by Blushing Groom. He was born around 1985 in the United States, and was bred by North Ridge Farm.
Major wins
Hollywood Gold Cup (1989)
Pimlico Special (1989)
Razorback Handicap (1989)
Washington Park Handicap (1989)
Prix Saint-Roman (1987)
Prix de Fontainebleau (1988)
Poule d'Essai des Poulains (1988)
American Champion Older Male Horse (1989)
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

Blushing John (foaled March 9, 1985 in Kentucky) is a millionaire Thoroughbred racehorse who competed in France and in the United States. He was bred by Frank Groves' North Ridge Farm near Lexington, Kentucky and ran under the banner of Allen E. Paulson as his owner. Out of the mare La Griffe, he was a son of the very influential Champion sire, Blushing Groom.


Early career

Blushing John was purchased by American horseman Allen E. Paulson who maintained racing operations both in France and the United States. Paulson sent the colt to trainer Francois Boutin at the Chantilly Racecourse training center in France. Sent to the track as a two-year-old, Blushing John won his debut in September 1987 at Longchamp Racecourse under regular jockey Freddy Head. His most important win of 1987 came next under substitute jockey Yves Saint-Martin in the Prix Saint-Roman. He then ran third for Freddy Head in the Critérium de Saint-Cloud.

Three year-old season

At age three in France, Blushing John won the Group 3 Prix de Fontainebleau at Longchamp over a distance of 1,600 metres (about 1 mile) in April. He then duplicated that feat when he stepped up in class and won the Group One Poule d'Essai des Poulains, sometimes referred to as the French 2,000 Guineas. The Guineas, held in may was also at Longchamp over a distance of 1,600 metres (about 1 mile).

In the late summer of 1988 he was then sent to the United States to prepare for the first Saturday of November at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Paulson opted to compete in the 1988 Breeders' Cup Mile. With his regular jockey Freddy Head riding stablemate Miesque, Blushing John was ridden by American jockey Pat Day. As a coupled entry Mesque and Blushing John went off at post time as the even money favorite. As the gates opened John was forced back into ninth in a field of twelve. At the halfway point in the race he was completely taken out of his game as an up close stalker and was placed in the back of the back. Around the far turn and into the stretch he was never in contention, the colt finished a very disappointing tenth place. Following the Breeders' Cup, Blushing John was freshened for the winter.

Four year-old season

In the spring of his Blushing John's owner decided to leave him to race in the United States and turned him over to trainer Dick Lundy. Racing on dirt for the first time on the first Saturday in March, Blushing John responded by winning the Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Then he won again in the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Blushing John had his breakthrough moment during the third week of May in the $750,000 Grade I Pimlico Special Handicap at "Old Hilltop" in Baltimore, Maryland. He was listed at post time as the third choice in a field of twelve graded stakes winners at 7-1. All broke well in the field and Blushing John was a factor early being forwardly placed. He held back in fourth under patient Pat Day going into that famous "club house turn" at Pimlico Race Course. Slew City Slew and local favorite Little Bold John led down the back stretch. Then Blushing John made his patented move on the far turn and rode up into contention challenging Laffit Pincay, Jr. on Slew. In the stretch Blushing John passed Slew City Slew but Proper Reality passed them all with Jerry Bailey aboard. Blushing John bore down on Proper Reality and passed him with a sixteenth to go and won by two lengths.

Later that summer, Blushing John scored in the grade one Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park Racetrack. In the final race of his career, Blushing John started the 1989 Breeders' Cup Classic in what many race experts call "a racing epic." In that race he broke well sitting at fourth in a tight pack. Going into the first turn he rushed up on his own in second to put some pressure on Slew City Slew who set a blazing first quarter down at 22.2. With three eighths a mile to go, Blushing John over took the leader coming out of the far turn. He was clocked at 1:10.2 in the first 3/4 of a mile under jockey Angel Cordero and quickly opened to a clear advantage. In the stretch he fought on gamely but was no match for the winner Sunday Silence and runner-up Easy Goer but finished third by only a length. He was ten lengths in front of the rest of the field in the $4,00,000 grade one race. Blushing John's 1989 performances with four wins including two grade one stakes races and a third in the World Championship earned him the Eclipse Award for American Champion Older Male Horse.


Retired to stud, in the United States Blushing John notably sired the filly Blushing K.D., a multiple stakes winner including the Grade I Kentucky Oaks. He eventually was exported to Japan where he stood at Maruzen Hashimoto Farm until 2004 when he was pensioned.



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