Cannonade

Cannonade

[kan-uh-neyd]
For the cannon see Carronade

Cannonade (1971-1993) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse best known as the winner of the 1974 Kentucky Derby. Owned and bred by prominent businessman John M. Olin, Cannonade was foaled at Gainesway Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. He was out of the mare Queen Sucree, a daughter of Ribot, the undefeated European champion and Leading sire in Great Britain & Ireland. Cannonade was sired by American Champion Bold Bidder who would also sire the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame great, Spectacular Bid. Bold Bidder's sire was Bold Ruler, himself a Hall of Fame inductee and an eight-time Leading sire in North America.

Racing at age two on the New York State circuit, Cannonade was trained by future Hall of Fame inductee, Woody Stephens. He was beaten twice before earning his first win then in June captured the now defunct 5½ furlong Great American Stakes at Belmont Park. Cannonade's next significant win came in September's Aqueduct Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack followed by a third place finish in the important Champagne Stakes. His next and final win of the 1973 season came at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky where he won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes.

Cannonade had a stablemate named Judger who was owned by Seth Hancock's Cherry Valley Farm. In the spring of 1974, the two 3-year-old colts competed on the Florida racing circuit in the lead up to the Kentucky Derby. In the Fountain of Youth Stakes, Judger finished second but ahead of Cannonade who was unplaced. In the Flamingo Stakes, Judger finished third but once again ahead of an unplaced Cannonade. Judger then won the important Grade I Florida Derby with an improving Cannonade taking second.

1974 Kentucky Derby

In front of a record Churchills Downs crowd of 163,628, Cannonade went to the post along with twenty-two other horses in what was the largest Derby field ever. Because they shared the same trainer, Cannonade was coupled with Judger for the parimutuel wagering and the duo went off as the betting favorite. Ridden by Angel Cordero, Jr., Cannonade worked his way through the unwieldy field and was in front by the time he reached the mile pole. He never relinquished the lead, winning by 2¼ lengths but in the slow time of 2:04 on a track rated as fast. The win was the first in the Derby for both jockey Cordero and trainer Woody Stephens. Stablemate, Judger, finished a disappointing eighth.

In the remaining two legs of the American Triple Crown series, Cannonade finshed third in both the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course and in the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park to Darby Dan Farm's Little Current.

Cannonade retired after his 1974 racing season to stand at stud at Gainesway Farm. While his offspring included several stakes winners, most met with only modest success on the race track. However, Cannonade's son Caveat was a multiple graded stakes race winner who captured the 1983 Belmont Stakes.

Cannonade lived until the age of twenty-two, when he had to be euthanized on August 3, 1993, reportedly due to infirmities of natural causes. He is buried in the Gainesway equine cemetery.

References

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