Bayakoa | Horse Profile

Horse > Bayakoa


Bayakoa was bred in Argentina though many of her ancestors were from the United States. Foaled in 1984, she made her first start on February 15, 1987, finishing second, then won in her next start on April 10 by seven lengths. Late in her 3-year-old season, Bayakoa won the prestigious Gran Premio Palermo (ARG-I) by twelve lengths.

She was then purchased by Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally for owners Frank and Janis Whitham for $300,000, and imported to the United States. She won twice as a 4-year-old including her debut for the new owners.

At age 5, Bayakoa won her first graded stakes race, and it was a Grade I in the Santa Margarita Handicap. Later in the 1989 season, she won the Ruffian Handicap at Belmont over a strong field and then the Spinster Stakes by 11 ½ lengths at Keeneland, nearly setting the track record. Her first Breeders’ Cup race was the Distaff, and she won as the favorite. Bayakoa finished the 1989 season with 9 wins in 11 starts including 7 Grade 1 races to earn the Eclipse Award as Champion Older Female Horse.

She started her 6-year-old season by winning the Santa Margarita again, and had six wins going into the Breeders’ Cup. Those included the Spinster, Hawthorne Handicap and Milady Handicap, all races she won the year before.Then in the 1990 Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Belmont Park, Bayakoa was the second choice behind the brilliant 3-year-old filly Go For Wand. Those two battled for the lead through the first mile like a match race, and then tragedy struck as Go For Wand’s leg shattered near the spot where the great Ruffian was buried. Bayakoa would go on to win the Distaff, and was again honored as the American Champion Older Female Horse.

Bayakoa raced three more times in 1991 at age seven, but her best finish was a second in the Santa Margarita Handicap. She retired with 21 wins and earnings of more than $2.8 million.

Bayakoa developed laminitis (founder) in both front feet and was euthanized in June, 1997.

 In the 2005 Blood-Horse magazine ranking of the Top 100 U.S. Thoroughbred champions of the 20th century, Bayakoa is No. 95.

Bayakoa Career Statistics

Starts: 39

1st: 21

2nd: 9

3rd: 0

Bayakoa career honors and awards:

1998 – Inducted into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame

1989 – U.S. Champion Older Female Horse

1990 – U.S. Champion Older Female Horse

1989 – 1st Place Breeders’ Cup Distaff

1990 – 1st Place Breeders’ Cup Distaff