Precisionist : Race Horse
Born in 1981, Precisionist was one of horseracing’s greatest thoroughbred sprinters, although he also won races of much longer lengths. This chestnut thoroughbred was bred and owned by Fred W. Hooper and he enjoyed a long and successful career as a racehorse. Precisionist also enjoyed good breeding, since his sire was Crozier and his dam was Excellently out of Forli. During the course of his racing career, he was trained mainly by Ross Fenstermaker but near the end he was also taken under the guidance of John Russel and Will Donovan. From the start it was easy to see that not only did Precisionist have speed, but that he could maintain it over a fair distance. In fact it was said of him by rider Chris McCarron that while other horses often gave 100%, he gave 100% 100% of the time – the compliment was certainly well earned.
During the first six years of his career, Precisionist became a notable horse with a reputation for speed and stamina. As is common with racehorses, he was retired at six and put to stud, but unfortunately Precisionist proved to be nearly sterile. In the one year that he stood at stud, he did not manage to sire anything. Hence it was decided to put Precisionist back into work in 1988 and he continued to do well in the year that followed, even setting a new one mile track record at Del Mar with a recently repaired left foreleg. Eventually he was retired yet again and after some effort was made to improve his fertility. In the end he only ever managed to successfully sire four foals – one in 1989, two in 1990 and one in 1991.
Eventually it was decided to let him live out the remainder of his years on a farm in Ocala, Florida. Here he remained until June 2006 when he was sent to the Old Friends Equine Retirement Center in Kentucky. Just a few months after arriving, it was discovered that the old racing legend had an inoperable sinus tumor. The decision was made to put him down on 27 September 2006 and he was buried whole at the Old Friends Cemetery. During his career, Precisionist earned a total of $3,485,398. Some of his major racing wins include the Swaps Stakes, the Breeder’s Cup Sprint, The San Fernando Stakes, the Californian Stakes, the Woodward Stakes and the Del Mar Breeders’ Cup Handicap. He was also awarded an Eclipse Award for being a champion sprinter, and received the US Champion Sprint Horse award in 1985. In 2003 Precisionist was inducted into the US Racing Hall of Fame – a fitting tribute to the memory of this great horse.