Giacomo, a grey son of 1994 Horse of the Year, Holy Bull, and the stakes winning Stop The Music mare, Set Them Free, shocked the majority of the 156,435 in attendance, as he took the 131st Run for the Roses at odds of 50-1. The grey colt won the race for the connections that later became known as “Team Zenyatta”; trainer John Shirreffs, jockey Mike Smith, and breeder/owners Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss. The handsome grey juvenile was named after the musician Sting’s son, as Mr. Moss was a co-founder of A&M records and a good friend with the singer.
The field of 20 included some big names, such as the impressive Wood Memorial winner, Bellamy Road and Arkansas Derby winner Afleet Alex, while Giacomo only had one win prior to the Derby, a maiden race that he attained as a 2YO. The overlooked gunmetal grey colt managed to stay at the back of the pack in 18th until they came out of the first turn, when Smith began to thread his way through the large field. Continuing to make up ground, when the duo hit the top of the stretch they were in 11th behind a wall of horses. Maneuvering his way until he had a clear shot at the leaders, Giacomo unleashed a powerful run to begin chasing them down. With an eighth of a mile left in the race, Giacomo was 6th; however the grey colt flew down the stretch, passing Afleet Alex and Closing Argument to win by a half-length at the wire in a time of 2:02.75.
(Photo courtesy of KDM archives)