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Gander (horse)

Sire Cormorant
Dam Lovely Nurse
Grandsire His Majesty
Damsire Sawbones
Gender Gelding
Foaled 1996
Country United States
Color Gray
Breeder Angela Rugnetta
Owner Gatsas Thoroughbreds
Trainer Charlie Assimakopoulos
John Terranova
Record 60: 15-10-9
Earnings $1,824,011
Gander is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Lovely Nurse by Cormorant. He was born around 1996 in the United States, and was bred by Angela Rugnetta.
Major wins
Albany Stakes (1999)
Empire Classic Handicap (1999, 2002)
Evan Shipman Handicap (2000)
Meadowlands Cup Handicap (2001)
Kings Point Handicap (2004)
Champion New York Three-Year-Old (1999)
New York Horse of the Year (2000)
Champion New York Older Horse (2000)
The Gander Stakes at Aqueduct Racetrack run in his honor.
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)
Last updated on November 23, 2007

Gander (born in 1996) is a thoroughbred race horse by Cormorant (Cormorant won eight of his twelve starts) out of Lovely Nurse (a hard-knocker who made one hundred and one starts) by Sawbones. His pedigree includes the great British horse, Ribot, as well as Tom Fool, Count Fleet, Bimelech, Eight Thirty, Noor, and Hyperion.

Gander is a New York-bred and spent almost his entire racing career of 60 starts in and around New York and New England. These days it's rare for a horse to start as often as Gander did, but as a gelding, it was race or not race...there would be no career as a stallion.

Bred by Angela Rugnetta, and owned by Gatsas Thoroughbreds, trained originally by Charlie Assimakopoulos, and then by John Terranova, Gander earned his keep racing for seven years and proving an admirable warrior. In those 60 starts, he won fifteen times, placed ten times, and came in third nine times, earning almost two million dollars in the process. (To be precise: $1,824,011.)

As a two-year-old he placed in the Damon Runyon Stakes at Aqueduct Race Track.

At three, he won the Albany Stakes at the Saratoga Race Course, the Empire Classic Handicap at Belmont Park, placed in the Paterson Stakes, and came third in the Sam F. Davis Stakes.

At four, he won the Evan Shipman Handicap at Belmont, and came home second in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup to Albert the Great. He was third to Lemon Drop Kid in the Grade I Woodward Stakes. He was also third in the Grade II Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap. These impressive near wins put Gander with John Velazquez in the 2000 $4 million dollar Breeders' Cup Classic in a field that included Albert the Great, Captain Steve, Cat Thief, Fusaichi Pegasus, Giant's Causeway, Lemon Drop Kid, and Tiznow. He came in ninth.

Racing at the age of five, he won the Grade II Meadowlands Cup Handicap, placed in the Grade III New Hampshire Sweepstakes Handicap, and came third in the Grade I Donn Handicap to Captain Steve, and the Grade I Whitney Handicap to Lido Palace.

At the age of six with Richard Migliore up, he won the Empire classic for the second time, placed in the Woodward Stakes to Lido Palace, and the Kings Point Handicap to Toddler. As an interesting aside about the nature of horse racing and horses, the experienced Gander won the 2002 Saratoga Breeders' Cup Handicap by at least three lengths but was disqualified because he was riderless. Stumbling badly out of the gate, he lost his jockey, Mike Smith, but proceeded to run the race nevertheless. Gander paced himself behind the leader, and then took over in the far turn by pulling ahead in a perfectly professional racing move. Evening Attire, closing fast, took second...but of course won since he was still racing under a jockey. (This race is available for viewing on youtube.)

Seven in 2003, Gander came home second in the Empire Classic and third in the Grade III Stuyvesant Handicap.

At eight he took the Kings Point Handicap.

In 1999, Gander was the Champion New York Three-Year-old. In 2000, he was the New York Horse of the Year and the Champion New York Older Horse. As a four-year-old in 2000, he was 3-1-2 from 11 starts with earnings of $388,290.

All in all, a remarkable career for a very good horse. In the world of horse racing, few horses start, and fewer win. Very few win as much as the beautiful gray Gander who now lives out his life as an honored guest at Peter Fuller's Runnymede Stables in North Hampton, New Hampshire.



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