by Richard Hackerman
February 7, 1979
Spectacular Bid kicks off his 3 year old championship campaign winning the 7-furlong Hutcheson stakes at Gulfstream Park. He won 10 of 12 starts that year and in his career finished first in 26 of 30 career starts. He won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Marlboro Cup and the Woodward Stakes. He finished out of the money only once, in the Tyro Stakes at Monmouth in the third start of his career. Trained by Bud Delp and ridden by Ronnie Franklin and later by Willie Shoemaker, he was one of the biggest stars of racing’s 1970s golden era, completing a five-year period in which Foolish Pleasure, Ruffian, Honest Pleasure, Affirmed, Alydar, Seattle Slew, Exceller, Genuine Risk and John Henry regularly made front-page news. In his final start, in the 1980 renewal of the Woodward Stakes, Spectacular Bid won in a rare “walkover” en route to the Horse of the Year Title.