Googoo Gaagaa Has Been Retired
The star-crossed racing career of Googoo Gaagaa is over, owner-trainer Richard Hans reports.

Googoo Gaagaa
The trotter, who is by a pacing stallion, developed breathing problems last year and Hans said efforts to fix them were unsuccessful. "He was operated on twice and it didn't work," Hans said. "He just got worse. He would drink water and it would come out of his nose. He was coughing his head off." After going undefeated as a 2 year old against minor competition, Googoo Gaagaa had a sensational year as a 3 year old in 2012, winning nine of 14 starts and earning $624,700. In the Earl Beal Memorial at Pocono he set a world record that still stands, winning in 1:50.4. He came back in August to win the $500,000 Colonial at Chester defeating Hambletonian winner Market Share by a neck in 1:52.1.

But Hans couldn't get the son of Cam's Rocket right last year as a 4 year old. He failed to win in three starts and his last ever appearance on the racetrack resulted in a defeat in a $500 race at the Frederick, Maryland Fair. Hans had hoped that surgery to repair an entrapped epiglottis would get the horse back on track. But nothing worked.

"The horse is completely sound," Hans said. "I'd rather have a lame horse than a horse that can't breathe. It's depressing. I don't want to think about it." The horse attracted a lot of attention not only because he was talented but because of his background. Hans, also the breeder, is a small-time horseman from Maryland, and the mating that produced Googoo Gaagaa was an afterthought. He originally sent the dam to a trotting stallion but she didn't get in foal. Rather than waste a breeding season, he sent her to the family-owned pacing stallion Cam's Rocket, admitting he had no idea what to expect.

For a time, Googoo Gaagaa was the top 3-year-old trotter in North America and Hans was listening to offers from owners who were prepared to pay big money for his horse. He now wishes he has sold when the time was right and blames himself for some of the problems. "I probably should have sold him a long time ago," he said. "If someone like (Ron) Burke had him, someone who's really good and really on top of everything, probably they would have had him scoped, had everything taken care of right away. That's why he's an awesome trainer he's on top of everything. He's not a dumbass like me." Hans plans to breed Googoo Gaagaa this year, but is not attempting to turn him into a major, commercial sire. He said he has four mares he plans to breed to him and said a few others had asked if they could also breed mares to him.