Arcadia, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Former Santa Anita Derby winner General Challenge was euthanized Tuesday at Golden Eagle Farm. The 18-year-old gelding had been suffering from poor health.
"Its with a heavy heart that we announce the great GENERAL CHALLENGE has been euthanized," the farm's Facebook page reported. "He was not doing well the last few days and today his condition deteriorated rapidly. The great ones always tell us when its their time and he told us today. Everyone at the farm was with him when he passed. He is being buried next to Best Pal at Golden Eagle Farm."
Trained by Bob Baffert, General Challenge won his first three career starts before finishing fifth in the Louisiana Derby. He won the Santa Anita Derby with Gary Stevens riding, but finished 11th as the 9-2 favorite in the 1999 Kentucky Derby.
General Challenge rebounded by winning the Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park and continued with a second in the Swaps Stakes before winning the Pacific Classic at Del Mar. Back at Santa Anita, the gelding was second in the Goodwood.
The 3-year-old finished 10th in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Gulfstream Park but closed the year by winning the Native Diver at Hollywood Park.
As a 4-year-old in 2000, General Challenge was fourth in the San Fernando before winning the Santa Anita Handicap and San Bernardino. He then finished second in the Hollywood Gold Cup and fourth in the Pacific Classic.
He did not race in 2001 and 2002, and failed to hit the board in three starts during 2003.
General Challenge was retired with nine wins in 21 starts and $2,877,178.