07/27/2016 10:56AM

Grade 2 stakes winner Futural dies at 20

Barbara D. Livingston
Futural, shown living out his retirement at Old Friends, won 12 of 70 starts for earnings of $816,107.

The Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement center in Georgetown, Ky., reported that Futural, who finished first in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup in 2001, was euthanized Tuesday due to complications caused by advanced, chronic osteoarthritis. Futural, 20, was pensioned at Old Friends in 2006.

Racing for trainer Craig Dollase and owners Jess L. Miller Trust and Jack Weitz, Futural won the Grade 2 San Bernardino Handicap at Santa Anita and the Grade 2 Mervyn LeRoy at Hollywood Park prior to the Gold Cup. With Chris McCarron aboard, he finished first in the Gold Cup but was disqualified for interference in the stretch and was placed third. Aptitude was awarded the win.

Futural ended his career at Hastings with trainer Dave Milburn in 2006. He won his last start with two-time Kentucky Derby winner Mario Gutierrez riding. He was owned by Milburn and Donald Muldoon.

“He was a sound horse, and we could have kept running him,” said Milburn. “He was 10, though, and when we were offered the opportunity to send him to Old Friends, we jumped at the chance.”

According to Old Friends, the move was prompted by renowned equine photographer Katey Barrett.

“When I photograph these horses, I often get connected to them,” she said at the time.

Milburn fondly remembered Futural’s quirks.

“He made all his own decisions when it came to training,” he said. “One day, he was backtracking, and he just decided to walk off the gap near the paddock. I thought something was wrong, but the exercise rider said he was fine, and he just didn’t feel like training. There was nothing she could do about it. He had a real presence about him.”

Milburn said Futural, who loved bananas, had a lot of visitors at Old Friends, including McCarron.

“He was very popular there,“ said Milburn.

Futural was bred in Florida by Harry T. Mangurian. He compiled a 12-15-8 record from 70 starts for earnings of $816,107.

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