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Photo: Jim Raftery - Turfotos
Spectacular Bid in the Florida Derby
March 6, 1979
Spectacular Bid in the Florida Derby

It was right before the March 6 Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park that trainer Bud Delp called Spectacular Bid "the greatest horse ever to look through a bridle."

Judging from what the colt encountered during the running, it might have looked that way to some.

Ridden by Ronnie Franklin, Spectacular Bid was blocked while on the inside around the first turn. Franklin then sent his mount between horses, and the two made up ground on the backstretch. On the far turn, Spectacular Bid was shut off again and had to drop back. Franklin finally got Spectacular Bid some running room by going wide approaching the stretch, and the two finished 4 1/2 lengths in front of Lot o' Gold.

"All he had to do was get the colt to the outside, and he would have won by 25 lengths," said Delp, who remarked that if Hall of Fame rider Bill Shoemaker called, "I won't hang up on him."

Spectacular Bid, who had won the Hutcheson and Fountain of Youth (gr. III) Stakes earlier at Gulfstream, paid $2.10 in the Florida Derby. Bid then won the Flamingo (gr. I) and Blue Grass (gr. I) Stakes before taking the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I). He missed out on a Triple Crown by running third in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

Click here to read more about this Thoroughbred Legend in Spectacular Bid -- available now from ExclusivelyEquine.com.

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