Princess Rooney | Horse Profile

Horse > Princess Rooney

Princess Rooney

Princess Rooney was foaled March 22, 1980. At age 2, the gray filly won all six of her starts in what would become a most dominating career. Princess Rooney’s juvenile season included a win in the Grade 1 Frizette Stakes by 8 lengths at Belmont Park. Two weeks later, she romped to an 11-length win in the Grade II Gardenia Stakes at the Meadowlands. She suffered a quarter crack in her right front hoof in that race and had to be put away for the season. Despite winning all six of her races, Princess Rooney was beaten out for the Eclipse Award for Champion 2-Year-Old Filly by Landaluce.

In 1983 at age 3, Princess Rooney won a pair of allowance races and then crushed the field at Keeneland for a 10 length win in the Ashland Stakes. A victory in the Kentucky Oaks followed, running her record to a perfect 10-for-10. She finished the year winning five of her six races with her lone defeat in the Acorn Stakes when it was discovered she had a stress fracture of her left knee following the race.

At age 4, Princess Rooney won five races starting with the Susan Girl Stakes and then the Vanity Invitational Handicap. She won the Chula Vista next and then the Spinster Stakes before heading to Hollywood Park for the inaugural Breeders’ Cup. Facing some talented fillies and mares including Adored, Life’s Magic and Miss Oceana, Princess Rooney captured the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, dominating the seven horse field down the stretch for a 7-length victory. That Breeders’ Cup win secured Princess Rooney’s first Eclipse Award as the U.S. Champion Older Mare.  In her racing career, Princess Rooney was a model of consistent excellence. She won 17 of 21 races including six Grade 1 races and finished out of the money just one time in her lone start on the turf.

Princess Rooney retired after the 1984 Breeders’ Cup with career earnings of $1.34 million. She was purchased at the Keeneland November Sales Auction for $5.5 million, at the time the third-highest amount ever paid for a broodmare.

Princess Rooney was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1991.

Princess Rooney career statistics

Starts: 21

1st: 17

2nd: 2

3rd: 1

Princess Rooney career honors and awards

1991 – Inducted into Racing Hall of Fame

1984 – U.S. Champion Older Mare

1984 – 1st Place Breeders’ Cup Distaff

1985 – Calder Race Course Hall of Fame

Princess Rooney was euthanized at Gentry Brothers Farm near Lexington October 7, 2008 due to complications of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM). She was 28 years old.