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Spectacular Bid 1976 - 2003

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Spectacular Bid

Spectacular Bid

courtesy Linda Draut
Updated June 11, 2003
Spectacular Bid, Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner of 1979 and Horse of the Year in 1980, passed away on Monday June 9, 2003, at Dr. Jonathan Davis' Milfer Farm near Unadilla, NY. The cause of death for the 27 year old stallion was most likely a heart attack. The son of Bold Bidder had a lifetime record of 30 starts, 26 wins, 2 seconds, and 1 third with earnings of $2,781,608, establishing or equalling 8 track records. He was called by his trainer Bud Delp "the greatest horse ever to look through a bridle" and missed winning the Triple Crown when he finished 3rd in the Belmont behind Coastal. Legend has it that the poor finish in the Belmont was attributed to an injury sustained the night before the race. Delp claimed a safety pin became lodged in one of his hooves and caused the horse to run a dull race.

He was syndicated for the highest price ever at the time at $22 million and initially stood at the Hancock family's Claiborne Farm. He was a bit of a disappointment at stud and eventually wound up in New York at Milfer Farm standing for a fee of only $3,500. A grandson of Bold Ruler, Bid sired 44 stakes winners with total progeny earnings of over $20 million. He had a bit more success as a broodmare sire where he was ranked #35 overall.

Track Records:

  • 1978 - Pimlico record, 5 1/2 furlongs, 1:04.2 (tied)
  • 1978 - Laurel record, 8 1/2 furlongs, 1:41.6
  • 1979 - Delaware Park record, 8 1/2 furlongs, 1:41.6
  • 1979 - Meadowlands record, 10 furlongs, 2:01.2
  • 1980 - Santa Anita record, 7 furlongs, 1:20
  • 1980 - American record, any track, 10 furlongs, Santa Anita, 1:57.8 (still stands)
  • 1980 - Hollywood Park record, 9 furlongs, 1:45.8
  • 1980 - Arlington Park, 9 furlongs, 1:46.2
Eclipse 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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