The racing world is mourning the death of young Cody Dorman, whose story inspired the naming of two-time Breeders’ Cup winner Cody’s Wish.
Dorman, who was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, was at Santa Anita on Saturday to watch Cody’s Wish defend his Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile crown.
A statement released to Godolphin by parents Kelly and Leslie Dorman, read: “We are heartbroken to share the news that our beloved Cody suffered a medical event on our trip home to Kentucky and he has passed away.
“On Saturday, Cody watched his best friend, Cody’s Wish, display his usual perseverance and toughness in winning a second Breeders’ Cup.
“Those are the same characteristics Cody has showed time and again for the 18 years we were blessed to have him.
“We have been completely amazed to experience the impact Cody has had on so many people, through the journey that this wondrous racehorse has taken us all on.
“From Churchill Downs to Keeneland, to Saratoga to Santa Anita this weekend, we could not move 20ft without someone stopping to tell us just that.
“With Cody’s diagnosis at birth, we always knew this day would come, but we were determined to help Cody live his best life for however long we had him.
“Anyone who has seen him at the racetrack, especially around Cody’s Wish, understands that in many ways he taught us all how to live, always keeping a positive attitude and being more concerned about those around him than himself.
“As people of faith, we are comforted in the knowledge that Cody has gone home. We pray that he watch over us all, especially Kylie, the best little sister in the world.
“We are sincerely grateful for all those who have shared this journey with Cody and our family. The joy that his interactions with Cody’s Wish have brought him the last five years is indescribable. We will rely on those memories to help us through an unimaginably difficult time.”
In a statement on Monday, the Breeders’ Cup said: “The entire Breeders’ Cup team is devastated by the news of Cody Dorman’s passing yesterday.
“His story captured our hearts and minds, and his strength, spirit, and determination were fittingly embodied by his namesake’s commanding performances in his honor.
“We send our sincere condolences to the Dormans, who gave our sport so much by welcoming us into their family.”
Trained by William Mott, Cody’s Wish has won 10 of his 15 career starts and gained a huge public following because of Dorman’s story and regular on-track support.
Sky Sports Racing presenter Kate Tracey tweeted: “A person who transcended more than just racing but countries, demographics and beyond.
“His story effected so many people who never even met him which speaks volumes of Cody and his family. Hopefully that knowledge gives them comfort at this time.”