Today’s Derby winner of the day is Spectacular Bid. I’m sure you are all asking yourselves, how do I choose each horse? I’ll tell you, it’s pretty random. In this case, however, I chose Spectacular Bid because of his spectacular name. It’s pretty spectacular, don’t you think?
Spectacular Bid, a gray colt, was born February 17, 1976. He was sired by Bold Bidder, and his dam was Spectacular. I guess we know where he got his name from. He was bred by Madelyn Jason and her mother Mrs. William Gilmore. He was owned by Hawksworth Farm, and trained by Bud Delp.
Spectacular Bid had a very successful year as a two-year-old, and was being compared to Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew and Affirmed.
Spectacular Bid ran in and won the 1979 Kentucky Derby. He came into the race as the favorite, and won by almost 3 lengths.
Spectacular Bid went on to win the Preakness Stakes too, but his run in the Belmont was ill-fated. On the morning of the race it was discovered that he had stepped on a safety pin. The pin had become embedded in the hoof, which later caused an infection and threatened his life. However at the time, it did not appear that he was lame, and he was entered into the race. Prior to the race, his jockey, teenager Ronnie Franklin, got into a fistfight with Angel Cordero, Jr. After all was done, Franklin ran a poor race, and Spectacular bid finished third, losing to two horses he had easily beaten before. This was Franklin’s last ride on Spectacular Bid.
It took two months for Spectacular Bid to recover from his injury, but he came back in August of the same year and blew away his competition. The same year he challenged Affirmed in a race, but came up short.
Spectacular Bid won all nine of his races as a four-year-old. He was retired from racing after that year, first to Claiborne Farm in Kentucky, but later moved to Milfer Farm in upstate New York where he lived until June 9, 2003 when he died from a heart attack.