Foaled in Pennsylvania, Go for Wand was sent to Kentucky at one month old and raised at Claiborne for Christiana Stables’ owner Jane DuPont Lunger. Mrs. Lunger and her husband, Harry, began their racing stable in 1937, had raced some 50 stakes winners, and long enjoyed an association with the Hancock family.
A striking bay filly with a big, white blaze, Go for Wand was trained by Bill Badgett, a former assistant to trainer Woody Stephens who Seth Hancock had recommended to Mrs. Lunger. Badgett said that April of her 2-year-old season, he knew she was something special. “You could see the other horses really working to do what they had to do,” recalled Badgett, “but Go for Wand did everything in hand all the time.’
She won her debut easily, then devastated the field by an eye-popping 18 1/4 lengths in her second start. After a game second in the Frizette-G1, Go for Wand stalked the pace in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies-G1 before scoring a professional 2 3/4-length win. She was voted the Eclipse Award as Champion 2-year-old Filly.
At three, Go for Wand won Keeneland’s Beaumont S. first time out that season, then scored a five-length win in the Ashland S.-G1 eleven days later. Second in the Kentucky Oaks, Go for Wand returned to the winner’s circle in the Mother Goose-G1, then turned in two dazzling performances winning both the Test-G1 and Alabama-G1 at Saratoga. She took on older mares and won in the Maskette-G1, then made her next start in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff-G1. Go for Wand had a slight lead over subsequent Champion Older Mare Bayakoa (ARG) when they hooked into a stretch duel, then tragedy stuck. Go for Wand went down at the 1/16th pole, suffering a compound injury in her right ankle and had to be euthanized.
“She raced with joy and abandon,” said Mrs. Lunger prior to Go for Wand’s induction into the Hall of Fame, “that is what I want people to remember about her.” Go for Wand was voted the Eclipse Award as Champion 3-Year-Old Filly posthumously. She is buried in the infield at Saratoga, appropriately the site of two of her most memorable victories.