Derby Winner, Horse of the Year Spectacular Bid Dead

Derby Winner, Horse of the Year Spectacular Bid Dead
Photo: Barbara D. Livingston
Spectacular Bid, dead at 27.
Horse of the Year Spectacular Bid, whom trainer Bud Delp called "the greatest horse ever to look through a bridle," died yesterday at approximately 2 p.m. at Dr. Jonathan Davis' Milfer Farm near Unadilla, N.Y. Cause of death was believed to be related to a heart attack.

"I heard the news yesterday," Delp said. "I feel bad, but not shocked. He was 27. That's pretty old for a horse.

"He had a good life, first at Claiborne (in Kentucky) and in upstate New York. They loved him up there. I used to see him at Claiborne, and last year, when I made the Hall of Fame, my wife and kids went up to see him. He was a healthy and happy horse."

Spectacular Bid compiled one of racing's best records while competing for the Meyerhoff family's Hawksworth Farm. He won 26 of 30 starts, was a champion all three years he raced, and captured all nine starts as an older runner in 1980 the season he was named Horse of the Year. In addition, he won the first two legs of the 1979 Triple Crown--the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes--and was elected to the Hall of Fame. Not bad for a horse who cost $37,000.

Bred by Mrs. William M. Jason and Mrs. William G. Gilmore, Spectacular Bid set numerous track records on his way to earning $2,781,608. His syndication price of $22 million to stand at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm was the highest in history at the time.

A Bold Ruler grandson, Spectacular Bid (Bold Bidder -- Spectacular, by Promised Land) sired 44 stakes winners and the earners of $20 million. In addition to covering Thoroughbred mares, he also covered sport mares while at Milfer. He will be buried at Milfer.

Below is the complete race record (in reverse chronological order, from last start to first) and honors for Spectacular Bid during his career:

Date, race, track, distance, finish position, margin of victory/loss (in lengths); compiled by The Associated Press

Sept. 20, 1980 - Woodward Stakes, Belmont, 1 1/4 miles, first (walkover)

Aug. 16, 1980 - Haskell Stakes, Monmouth, 1 1/8m, first (1 3/4 lengths ahead)

July 19, 1980 - Washington Park Handicap, Arlington Park, 1 1/8m, first (10)

June 8, 1980 - Californian Stakes, Hollywood, 1 1/8m, first (4 1/4)

May 18, 1980 - Mervyn LeRoy Handicap, Hollywood, 1 1-16m, first (7)

March 2, 1980 - Santa Anita Handicap, Santa Anita, 1 1/4m, first (5)

Feb. 3, 1980 - Charles H. Strub Stakes, Santa Anita, 1 1/4m, first (3 1/4)

Jan. 19, 1980 - San Fernando Stakes, Santa Anita, 1 1/8m, first (1 1/2)

Jan. 5, 1980 - Malibu Stakes, Santa Anita, 7 furlongs, first (5)

Oct. 18, 1979 - Meadowlands Cup, Meadowlands, 1 1/4m, first (3)

Oct. 6, 1979 - Jockey Club Gold Cup, Belmont, 1 1/2m, second ( 3/4 behind Affirmed)

Sept. 8, 1979 - Marlboro Cup, Belmont, 1 1/8m, first (3)

Aug. 26, 1979 - Allowance, Delaware Park, 1 1-16m, first (17)

June 9, 1979 - Belmont Stakes, Belmont, 1 1/2m, third (3 1/2 behind Coastal)

May 19, 1979 - Preakness Stakes, Pimlico, 1 3-16m, first (5 1/2)

May 5, 1979 - Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs, 1 1/4m, first (2 3/4)

April 26, 1979 - Blue Grass Stakes, Keeneland, 1 1/8m, first (7)

March 24, 1979 - Flamingo Stakes, Hialeah, 1 1/8m, first (12)

March 6, 1979 - Florida Derby, Gulfstream, 1 1/8m, first (4 1/2)

Feb. 19, 1979 - Fountain of Youth Stakes, Gulfstream, 1 1-16m, first (8 1/2)

Feb. 7, 1979 - Hutcheson Stakes, Gulfstream, 7f, first (3 3/4)

Nov. 11, 1978 - Heritage Stakes, Keystone, 1 1-16m, first (6)

Oct. 28, 1978 - Laurel Futurity, Laurel, 1 1-16m, first (8 1/2)

Oct. 19, 1978 - Young America Stakes, Meadowlands, 1 1/16m, first (neck)

Oct. 8, 1978 - Champagne Stakes, Belmont, 1m, first (2 3/4)

Sept. 23, 1978 - World's Playground Stakes, Atlantic City, 7f, first (15)

Aug. 20, 1978 - Dover Stakes, Dover, 6f, second (2 1/2 behind Strike Your Colors)

Aug. 2, 1978 - Tyro Stakes (Division 2), Monmouth, 5 1/2f, fourth (6 3/4 behind Groton High)

July 22, 1978 - Allowance, Pimlico, 5 1/2f, first (8)

June 30, 1978 - Maiden Special Weight, Pimlico, 5 1/2f, first (3 1/4)

Race Record:
Year/Age/Starts-1st -2nd-3rd, Earnings
1978/2/9-7-1-0, $384,484
1979/3/12-10-1-1, $1,279,334
1980/4/9-9-0-0, $1,117,790
Totals: 30-26-2-1, $2,781,608

Records:
1978 - Tied Pimlico record, 5 1/2 furlongs, 1:04.2
1978 - Set Laurel record, 8 1/2 furlongs, 1:41.6
1979 - Set Delaware Park record, 8 1/2 furlongs, 1:41.6
1979 - Set Meadowlands record, 10 furlongs, 2:01.2
1980 - Set Santa Anita record, 7 furlongs, 1:20
1980 - x-Set American record, any track, 10 furlongs, Santa Anita, 1:57.8
1980 - Set Hollywood Park record, 9 furlongs, 1:45.8
1980 - Set Arlington Park, 9 furlongs, 1:46.2
x-current record

Awards:
1978 - Champion 2-year-old colt
1979 - Champion 3-year-old colt
1980 - Horse of the Year
1980 - Champion older horse

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