Kentucky Derby Winners of The 1970s

Kentucky Derby Winners of The 1970s

In the 1970s, the great Secretariat arrives on the scene, three winners go on to take the Triple Crown, and one of the great rivalries of the sport between Affirmed and Alydar is born!

1979 - Following the three Triple Crown winners of his decade, Spectacular Bid looked poised to become the fourth after winning the Kentucky Derby by an easy 2 3/4-lengths and the Preakness by an easier 5 1/2-length margin. In the Belmont, however, jockey Ronnie Franklin gave the star colt a dubious ride resulting in a third-place finish. 

Jockey - Ronnie Franklin  Trainer - Bud Delp  Owner - Hawksworth Farm 

1978 - Affirmed's Kentucky Derby win and Triple Crown sweep are even more notable in the context of his thrilling rivalry with Alydar. The latter colt ran second to Affiirmed in all three races, including tight finishes in both the Preakness and Belmont. No horse would win the Triple Crown again for 37 years when American Pharoah accomplished the feat in 2015.

Jockey - Steve Cauthen  Trainer - Laz Barrera  Owner - Harbor View Farm

1977 - Few names resonate in the history of horse racing like Seattle Slew's. The speedy horse overcame a uncharacterstically slow start in the Kentucky Derby, but made the lead and held sway in the stretch. The colt returned to win the Preakness and Belmont in fine fashion to become the tenth Triple Crown winner in racing history. 

Jockey - Jean Cruguet  Trainer - William Turner  Owner - Karen and Micky Taylor 

1976 - An exceptionanlly fast horse, Bold Forbes upset the heavily-favored Honest Pleasure in the Kentucky Derby with an impressive gate-to-wire win. After tiring in the Preakness, Bold Forbes returned to win the Belmont by a half length with another front-running score. 

Jockey - Angel Cordero Jr.  Trainer - Laz Barrera  Owner - E. Rodriguez Tizol 

Bet Horse Racing Online

When you can't get to the track, opening an online betting account is the next best thing!

RankBonusReviewLink to site

* REMINDER! - you must be of legal age in your state or province to legally wager on thoroughbred or harness horse racing. Please bet responsibly!


1975 - Unbeaten as a two year-old, Foolish Pleasure continued his winning ways in his three year-old campaign taking the Flamingo Stakes and Wood Memorial before winning the Kentucky Derby. The colt would finish second in both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes behing less fancied runners. 

Jockey - Jacinto Vazquez   Trainer - LeRoy Jolley  Owner - John L. Greer 

1974 - Facing the biggest Kentucky Derby in field in the race's history, Cannonade and his entry-mate Judger were sent to post as the favorite. Cannonade made the front with a quarter mile to run and finished strongly for the win. He would return to run third in both the Preakness and Belmont to Little Current. 

Jockey - Angel Cordero  Trainer - Woody Stephens  Owner - John M. Olin 

1973 - Few stars have transcended their sport like Secretariat. The subject of Hollywood films and racing lore, the horse nicknamed "Big Red" still holds the fastest Kentucky Derby time in the race's history, and likely would have earned the same accomplishment in the Preakness if not for a timer malfunction. His 31-length Belmont win capped his historic Triple Crown-winning campaign. 

Jockey - Ron Turcotte  Trainer - Lucien Lauren  Owner - Meadow Stable 

1972 - A stablemate of the famed Secretariat, Riva Ridge won the Derby a year before his better-known barn buddy, and was a tremendous horse in his own right. Despite finishing fourth in the Preakness over a sloppy track Riva Ridge came back with a convincing 7 1/4-length win in the Belmont. 

Jockey - Ron Turcotte  Trainer - Lucien Lauren  Owner - Meadow Stud 

1971 - In one of the more impropable longshot stories in Kentucky Derby history, Canonero II, an unheralded Venezeulan-raced colt, shipped to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby where he was given little shot. The plucky, light-framed colt delivered a powerful closing kick however to win the race. He proved it was no fluke when he won the Preakness, but tired to finish fourth in the Belmont. 

Jockey - Gustavo Avila  Trainer - Juan Arias  Owner - Edgar Caibett 

1970 - Despite being sent to post at odds of 15/1, Dust Commander overcame a bump at the start to launch a winning rally around the turn and win by a widening five lengths. The colt would finish ninth in the Preakness and did not contest the Belmont Stakes. 

Jockey - Mike Manganello  Trainer - Mike Combs  Owner - Robert E. Lehmann 


 1978 Kentucky Derby - Affirmed

Video thumbnail