|Breeder||Holtsinger Inc., Hill 'n' Dale Farms, Star Stable|
|Owner||Stonerside Stable & Frank Stronach|
Daniel J. Vella|
David Hofmans (at age 3)
|Touch Gold is a thoroughbred racehorse out of Passing Mood by Deputy Minister. He was born around 1994 in the United States, and was bred by Holtsinger Inc., Hill 'n' Dale Farms, Star Stable.|
American Classic Race wins:|
Belmont Stakes (1997)
|Horse (Equus ferus caballus)|
|Last updated on June 17, 2007|
Touch Gold (foaled May 26, 1994 in Kentucky) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known as the winner of the Classic Belmont Stakes in which he ended Silver Charm's bid for the U.S.Triple Crown.
Sired by Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Deputy Minister, Touch Gold was out of the mare Passing Mood, a daughter of U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Buckpasser. A late foal born at the end of May, he was purchased by Frank Stronach for $375,000 at the July 1995 Keeneland selected yearling sale.
At age two, Touch Gold raced for his trainer Daniel J. Vella at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto Canada. After winning a 6 furlong maiden race, his best 1996 stakes results was a third in the Grey Stakes and a second in the Swynford Stakes. Sent to race in the United States under new trainer David Hofmans, three-year-old colt Touch Gold won a 6 furlong allowance race at Santa Anita Park then at Keeneland Race Course won April's Lexington Stakes in which defeated a top three-year-old Smoke Glacken by 8½ lengths.
Not entered in the Kentucky Derby, Touch Gold competed in the second leg of the U.S. Triple Crown series, the Preakness Stakes. At the start of the race, the colt stumbled but rallied to challenge the leaders until he tired in the homestretch. He still managed a very credible fourth place finish to winner Silver Charm. He came out of the Preakness with a sore left front hoof but recovered enough to enter the Belmont Stakes three weeks later.
1997 Belmont Stakes
Going into the 1997 Belmont Stakes, Silver Charm was favored to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978. His main opposition was expected to come from the entry of Touch Gold and Wild Rush, stretch-running Crypto Star, and Free House who had finished third in the Derby and second in the Preakness. In the race, Touch Gold held a slim lead early on but relinquished it at the halfway mark. Coming into the top of the stretch he was sitting fourth, locked in behind a wall of horses running three-wide. Jockey Chris McCarron was forced to swing Touch Gold to the far outside but down the stretch Silver Charm began to pull away for what seemed certain to be his crowning moment. But Touch Gold put on a tremendous drive in the last furlong to win by three-quarters of a length.
After his 1997 Belmont Stakes win, Touch Gold was sent to rest in California in order to allow his sore hoof time to heal. He eventually returned to win that year's Grade I Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park but in the fall's Breeders' Cup Classic, he finished ninth and last. At age four in 1998, he raced four times, only going back to the track at the end of June when he won a one mile allowance race at Churchill Downs in a time of 1:34, just one fifth of a second off the track record. His next best result came in October when he finished second in the Fayette Stakes but again disappointed in the Breeders' Cup Classic with an eighth place finish in a ten-horse field.
Owned by a syndicate that includes Frank Stronach, Touch Gold stands at stud at Adena Springs in Midway, Kentucky. He sired four Grade I winners in his first two crops and in 2006 his son Royal Challenger won the Breeders' Stakes, the third leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, and Seek Gold won the Grade I Stephen Foster Handicap.