04/06/2012 11:27PM

Remembering Wanda


Twenty five years ago today, a bay filly with a streak down her face took her first breaths near her dam.  The old broodmare was named Obeah, a Jamaican word signifying an evil spirit.  Her newborn daughter would be given a name meant to ward off such spirits.

The filly did not last long on this earth - just 3 1/2 years - but, in that time, she became one of racing's greats. The day she drew her final breath - October 27, 1990, in the cold shadows of the Belmont grandstand - she became an immortal.  

Here are a few photos of the hauntingly beautiful - and timeless - Go for Wand.

Above:  Go for Wand and her regular jockey Randy Romero, after their win in the 1989 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Above:  Go for Wand at Belmont Park in October 1990.

Go for Wand's pedigree, past performances and related information: http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=Horse&refno=1127113&registry=T

Go for Wand's championship performance in the 1989 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIk9Q-F8_YA

A special thank you to Go for Wand's biggest fan, Paul O'Brien, for reminding me of the importance of today's date.

Larry Kratochwill More than 1 year ago
Still the best I ever saw. Stakes record at 7f in the Test, followed by a stakes record two weeks later in the Alabama at 10f.
Diana Levy More than 1 year ago
My first ever trip to Saratoga coincided with her Test and all the papers had her photo placed prominently. As a racing fan I had of course followed her, especially since we had moved to South Florida in fall of 1989, right before her Breeders Cup. It just seemed like my memories of going to special places always included her. Big racing days for me always meant spending the day locked in front of the TV, eyes glued to every minute. I was thrilled to see the backstretch stories of the love story between Rose Badgett and Go For Wand. When I screamed and turned from the screen at the moment she went down, that was also the last time racing held the same magic. I'll still watch. But I don't watch back stories anymore. I don't want to get as attached anymore. She can still make me cry as if 23 years hasn't gone by. I have a large framed photo of her in full flight winning the Test hanging in my house and that's how I prefer to remember her everyday.
Jaime Dubyna More than 1 year ago
Thank you for the reminder, she was so beautiful and so talented.
Catherine Bogan More than 1 year ago
She was born just eight days shy of two months after me. I was too young to remember her races - we were the same age, after all! - but I've always felt a sort of kinship with her, and with Unbridled. I can only wonder what might have been, what foals she might have produced, and if any of them would've been from crosses with Unbridled. We will never know.
Jo Ann Russell More than 1 year ago
Wow this brings tears to my eyes. I have had horses for 20 years, they have such heart I wouldn't trade my TB for anything. I dont remember Go for Wand, I am glad you shared you r beautiful photgrapy, and someone remembers her still. I love the photo of her getting her face sponged, her eyes half closed, peaceful, after a job well done. I will remember her on her birthday. Who is Paul O'Brian? Thanks for remembering Paul.
Yuwipi More than 1 year ago
Just a few words are so appropriate as accompaniment for these photos. That a beautiful fall day could turn so tragic is still difficult to deal with all these years later. I was standing on a bench in front of the Belmont grandstand, binoculars trained on the two leaders thinking that it just doesn't get better than this. Then I saw only one horse. It happened almost right in front of me and I'll never forget the crying and screaming. Best to remember her like you have here, as a true champion.
Michelle Harmon More than 1 year ago
Beautiful and simple. Thank you.
Lori Arrington-King More than 1 year ago
Thanks Barbara!! I cried like a baby when she went down!! I have her plate by Fred Stone in my living room so I can look at her pretty face everyday!!! Thanks For the great Pics!!! Happy Easter!!!!
Kathleen More than 1 year ago
She was a lovely filly. What a tragedy that we couldn't enjoy the races and wins of her offspring.
Babette Cade More than 1 year ago
Thanks for the remembrance.