Da Hoss is the poster boy for overcoming odds as an underdog and a testimony to where careful care can take a horse with heart. As a yearling he sold for $6,000 but he went on to garner just under $2 million on the racetrack. He had physical problems and was sent to just the right trainer to figure how to handle them – Michael Dickinson. Da Hoss made only four starts in 1996 leading up to the Mile. He won a listed stake at Penn National and the Grade 3 Fourstardave at Saratoga.
Prior to the Mile at Woodbine, Dickinson walked the turf course to find the best footing and handed jockey Gary Stevens a map. Stevens was an excellent navigator as he hugged the rail down the backstretch, left that strip to catch the leader and then dropped down to the rail again to hold Spinning World off for a half length score.
The Da Hoss story, though, got even better. Physical problems kept Da Hoss out to racing for nearly two years, but following one prep race Da Hoss, incredibly, won the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs in 1998. NBC racecaller Tom Durkin told a national TV audience it was “the greatest comeback since Lazarus.”