Goldigger's Dream (Click here for Past Performances)
Goldigger's Dream is a twenty year old dark bay gelding that Neigh Savers is sponsoring at Paddington Station, Potter Valley, CA.
"Bear" as he is affectionately called has an interesting history and shows, as we so often hear, even a horse with the best of chances,
the greatest athletic ability, major earnings and a wealthy well known owner can still, by bad luck, end up in a truck bound for slaughter. We shouldn't be surprised as we
have heard of Kentucky Derby champions meeting their end that way, but it it is still always a shock when you come across such a case.
Bear won almost $500,000 at the track and had 38 starts, with 5 wins, 14 places and 6 shows. He raced against top company mostly at Santa
Anita and Hollywood Park. He was owned by Ed Friendly and his wife Natalie who were racing industry leaders. In addition, Mr. Friendly was a
well known television producer of such hits as "Laugh In" and "Little House on the Prairie". We do not know how Bear ended up going to a feedlot but
as Mr. Friendly died in 2007 at age 85 who knows what plans were in place for any racing stock he had left. Bear never raced after January 1998. Where he was and what he was
doing in the interim is a mystery to us.
Bear was not only a fierce competitor but is our first graded stakes winner. He participated in G1, G2 and G3 races and was ridden by the greatest
jockeys of our time such as Chris McCarron, Eddie Delahoussaye, Gary Stevens and Kent Desormeaux.
Helen Johnson relays the story of how she got Bear as follows: "There is a trainer who lives near Vacaville that gets ex racehorses on the way to slaughter and works with them
and finds homes for them making a little money and giving the horses a second chance.
I was looking at a horse she had for sale which wasn't what I was looking for
but saw Bear and he looked an awful lot like my old beloved Sam who had recently died. She had had him for 3 months off the truck going to slaughter
and with bowed tendons on confined lay up. So that's how I got him, couldnt ride him or even see him move except
at the walk, and even though he is a bit of a handful to ride sometimes I will never part with him. He can jump the moon,
and is a nice mover but a little tense in dressage and a terrible short stepping walk which does not go down well in
a dressage test, lovely trot and canter and loves jumping."
Helen did not know who he was but he needed sponsorship and support. We identified him through his tattoo and his markings after doing some research and were
surprised at what we found. However, his personality does show up as that of one who is used to competition, used to winning and used to alot of attention. The fact that
he is still "hot" years after his last race attests to the high level he raced at. Somehow they never forget who they are and what it meant to be a true race horse, giving
every bit of heart and soul and leaving it all on the track. It is often said that half of a race horse's success comes from heart and character and even with age and infirmities, that is never lost and one of the many reasons
we love our thoroughbreds so very much.
The startup sponsorship of "Goldigger's Dream" was made possible by an extremely generous donation by Debra & David Schiller on behalf of the Schiller-Montenegro families (Daniel, Jessica,
Marvin and baby Julius).
Golddigger's Dream ongoing monthly maintenance is made possible due to a generous anonymous long time friend and Neigh Savers' supporter. Thank you JC!