Breeders' Cup Classic Winner Alphabet Soup Dies at 31 - petsitterbank

Breeders’ Cup Classic Winner Alphabet Soup Dies at 31

Multiple graded stakes winner and 1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) victor Alphabet Soup was euthanized Jan. 28 at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement farm near Georgetown, Ky., where he has been pensioned since 2015. The cause of death was chronic kidney disease.

At 31, the gray son of Cozzene was the oldest living winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Bred in Pennsylvania out of the Arts and Letters mare Illiterate, Alphabet Soup was a late bloomer for owner Georgia B. Ridder, winning his first stakes at 4 when he captured the 1995 Native Diver Handicap (G3) and the Del Mar Budweiser Breeders’ Cup Disability (G2).

In 1996 he was the victor in the San Antonio Handicap (G2), the Pat O’Brien Handicap (G3), and the San Pasqual Handicap (G2) en route to his greatest triumph, the 1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic, where he defeated the “invincible” Cigar as well as that year’s Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Louis Quatorze, all while setting a new track record at Woodbine.

David Hofmans trained Alphabet Soup.

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“I just want to see him within a length of someone somewhere late,” Hofmans said as he left the paddock before the Classic in a story that appeared in BloodHorse. “Because this little horse will absolutely lay his body down.”

Hofmans marveled at his tenacity watching a Classic replay, saying “Look at him. See that look he gets on his face, how he lays those ears back and sets his jaw.”

Alphabet Soup bred for Ridder Thoroughbred Stable, and in his final start, for Ridder and Frank Stronach. That race came in the 1997 San Antonio Handicap (G2) at Santa Anita Parkwhere he was second to Gentlemen .

Retired in 1998 to Adena Springs having captured 10 of 24 starts and earnings of more than $2.9 million, Alphabet Soup sired numerous stakes winners, among them grade 1 winners Egg Drop and Alphabet Kisses and champions Our New Recruitment , Phantom Light and Sovereign Award winner Alpha Bettor .

“I’m saddened by the news today of Alphabet Soup’s passing,” said Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, who piloted Alphabet Soup to his Breeders’ Cup win. “I truly enjoyed my relationship with ‘Soupy,’ and he will always have a special place in my heart. He represented the US well when he bested Cigar and Louis Quatorze in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Rest in peace old friend.”

“It won’t be the same around here without ‘Soup,'” said Old Friends president and founder Michael Blowen. “Over these seven years he was a delight to be around with his sweet nature and enormous popularity. He brought joy to everyone.

“His best friend, the donkey Gorgeous George, will miss him terribly,” added Blowen, “and so will everyone on the farm. We are so grateful to Frank Stronach and everyone at Adena Springs for giving us the privilege of retiring this fabulous champion .”

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