Sunny's Halo

Sunny's Halo (February 11, 1980 – June 3, 2003) was a Thoroughbred racehorse who became only the second Canadian-bred to win the Kentucky Derby.[1] In 1986, Sunny's Halo was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.[2]

Sunny's Halo
GrandsireHail To Reason
DamMostly Sunny
BreederDavid J. Foster
OwnerDavid J. Foster
TrainerDavid C. Cross Jr.
Record20: 9-3-2
Major wins
Colin Stakes (1982)
Grey Stakes (1982)
Coronation Futurity Stakes (1982)
Swynford Stakes (1982)
Rebel Stakes (1983)
Arkansas Derby (1983)
Super Derby (1983)

American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1983)

Canadian Champion 2-Yr-Old Colt (1982)
Special Sovereign Award (1983)
Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (1986)
Sunny's Halo Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack
Sunny's Halo Way in Bullard, Texas
Interred - Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs
Last updated on October 5, 2006


Foaled at Oshawa, Ontario, Sunny's Halo was owned and bred by Toronto stockbroker David J. Foster. He was trained by David Cross Jr.[3]

Racing careerEdit

The horse won 7 of 11 races at age two but stress fractures in both front shins ended his season earlier than planned. Nonetheless, his performance earned him a 1982 Sovereign Award. In an attempt to heal the ankle problem, he was one of the first horses to be treated in an indoor swimming pool designed especially for horses.

At age three, Sunny's Halo won the Arkansas Derby with jockey Eddie Delahoussaye aboard, they the duo captured the Kentucky Derby against a very strong field that included future U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Slew o' Gold. It marked the first time in history that an Arkansas Derby winner won the Kentucky Derby.[4] After the race, he developed a rash and a return of the sore ankle affected his performance. The colt finished 6th in the Preakness Stakes and 4th in the Arlington Classic. Unable to compete in the June 26, 1983 Queen's Plate, he was back on the track in good health in the fall. In October he equaled the Louisiana Downs track record for 1¼ miles in winning the Super Derby by 12 lengths. He was scheduled to compete for the final time in November's Meadowlands Cup but the recurring ankle problem ended his career.

Stud recordEdit

Syndicated for $7.5 million, Sunny's Halo was retired to stand at stud at Domino Stud in Lexington, Kentucky. He eventually went to a Texas breeding farm where he became that state's all-time leading sire by progeny earnings.

Sunny's Halo died in 2003 and was buried at the Double S Thoroughbred Farm in Bullard, Texas where he last stood at stud. However, in July 2006, his remains were exhumed and returned to Louisville, Kentucky to be re-interred at the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs.


Pedigree of Sunny's Halo
Hail To Reason Turn-To Royal Charger
Source Sucree
Nothirdchance Blue Swords
Galla Colors
Cosmah Cosmic Bomb Pharamond
Banish Fear
Almahmoud Mahmoud
Mostly Sunny
Sunny Princequillo Prince Rose
Sunshine Nell Sun Again
Nellie Flag
Doily Daumier Niccolo Dellarca
Lecount Count Fleet

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Sunny's Halo Out". New York Times, Section B, page 16. 1983-05-08. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  2. ^ "Sunny's Halo - Hall of Fame inductee 1986". Canadian Horseracing Hall of Fame. 2020-06-03. Retrieved 2020-06-03.
  3. ^ "The Grand Gamble Paid Off". Sports Illustrated. 1983-05-16. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  4. ^ "Sunny's Halo Captures the 190th Kentucky Derby". New York Times, Section 5, page 1. 1983-05-08. Retrieved 2020-06-03.