Jackie Thompson, Blacksmith to Five Derby Winners, Dead

Jackie Thompson, who shod five Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winners, died Sept. 4 in Lexington after a lengthy illness. He was 80.

Thompson grew up in Lexington near the Kentucky Association racetrack and exercised horse at a young age. His father had been a groom.

Three of the Derby winners shod by Thompson were longshots. Dark Star beat Native Dancer in the 1953 running in one of racing's greatest upsets. In 1967, Proud Clarion upended Damascus, who ran third. Gato Del Sol captured the 1982 running at 21-1.

Thompson's other Derby winners were Dust Commander in 1970 and Swale in 1984.

Thompson, who taught the art of horseshoeing to others, is a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame at Churchill Downs.

His survivors include his wife, Lucille.

 

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