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Cody and his wish

3 minute read

Cody Dorman was born with a rare disorder which left him wheel chair-bound and nonverbal.

Cody's Wish named after young boy Cody Dorman (pictured in winners enclosure) won for trainer Bill Mott.
Cody's Wish named after young boy Cody Dorman (pictured in winners enclosure) won for trainer Bill Mott. Picture: Pat Healy Photography

 As a youngster he had a wish to meet a horse and through the Make A Wish people he was taken to Gainsborough Farm where a young foal was brought over to meet him.  The foal put his head in Cody's lap and that was the beginning of a wonderful story.

They decided to name the foal Cody's Wish and while he was in early training Cody came back to the farm where the horse remembered him and came trotting over to greet him.

Cody's Wish had his first three starts where he placed but didn't win and then he went to Churchill Downs where Cody went to see him race and he scored his first win in the Churchill Mile, then won at Saratoga and was sent to the Breeders' Cup with Cody there to watch him run in and win the Breeders' Cup Mile.

The story of the boy and the horse started to gain publicity and Cody's Wish won the Secretariat Vox Populi award and Cody Dorman the Big Sport of Turfdom award.

This year Cody's Wish won his fifth consecutive race in the Churchill Downs Stakes and won the Metropolitan at Belmont.  Trainer Bill Mott then tried him over a longer trip in the Whitney where he was beaten by White Abarrio and Mott stated after that the horse would be kept to the mile (1600m) trip in future as to run him in the Whitney had been a mistake.

Cody's Wish then went on to win the Vosburgh as a prep race for a defence of his Breeders' Cup Mile title.  Godolphin (his owners) had already said that the horse would be retired after that and would go to his next career as a stallion. 

So the Dorman family headed to Santa Anita (California) for the Breeders' Cup meeting as did Cody's Wish.  And Cody's Wish won – it was close, and there was an inquiry after the race but Cody's Wish remained the winner.  It was a very rare double, and made him the winningest horse ever at G1 Dirt Mile races.  And of course it was his last race and Cody was there to see it.

So Cody's Wish left to go home and then on to his next life and the Dorman family left to go home to Kentucky but Cody didn't make it.  He suffered a fatal episode on the journey. 

We hope that the people who send their mares to Cody's Wish know that they will be getting more than just his athletic genes as they will also get the genes of a very special horse who cared for a very special boy.

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