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Memorial service set for John Henry

HERALD-LEADER STAFF REPORT
Two-time Horse of the Year John Henry celebrated his 32nd birthday in March. 2007 file photo by Joseph Rey Au
Joseph Rey Au
Two-time Horse of the Year John Henry celebrated his 32nd birthday in March. 2007 file photo by Joseph Rey Au
John Henry
Bay gelding born March 9, 1975
Sire: Ole Bob Bowers
Dam: Once Double, by Double Jay
Owners: Sam and Dorothy Rubin's Dotsam Stable
Primary trainer: Ron McAnally
Career record
Year Age Starts Wins Earnings
1977 2 11 3 $49,380
1978 3 19 6 $120,319
1979 4 11 4 $129,864
1980 5 12 8 $925,217
1981 6 10 8 $1,798,030
1982 7 6 2 $580,300
1983 8 5 2 $652,100
1984 9 9 6 $2,336,650
Totals: 83 starts, 39 firsts, 15 seconds, 9 thirds for $6,591,860
Major wins: Oak Tree Invitational, Santa Anita Handicap, San Luis Obispo Handicap, San Luis Rey Handicap, Hollywood Invitational, Arlington Million, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Hollywood Turf Cup, Turf Classic.

A memorial service for famed race horse John Henry will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Details such as the exact location of the service and who will participate have not been worked out, said Cindy Rullman, park spokeswoman.

In setting a time for the memorial, Rullman said the park wanted to give John Henry fans across the country time to book flights. “And we didn’t want to have it when a lot of other things were going on that would take away from his burial,” Rullman said.

The aged gelding had been in declining health for several weeks. He was euthanized about 7:05 p.m. Monday.

He was buried Monday night beside the Hall of Champions, in a spot in front of his paddock.

Saddened fans of the horse began leaving flowers on his grave Monday night, Rullman said.

John Henry, who won $6.6 million racing, retired to the horse park in the mid 1980s, where he was visited by throngs of admirers every year.