From the Blog

August 16, 1980: Bid Challenged in Haskell – or Was He?

By the summer of 1980, Spectacular Bid had become a superstar. Racecourses around the country wanted the horse at their tracks to attract crowds. Monmouth Park printed posters announcing that Bid would race in the $250,000 Haskell Handicap August 16. It was as if the circus was coming to town. The Haskell was a handicap, […]

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Triple Crown Near-Misses: Damascus Turns Rank

Trainer Frank Whiteley knew he had a special colt in Damascus, and he knew that he might be one that one saw every generation or so. The son of Sword Dancer had won 6 of 8 races heading into the 1967 Kentucky Derby, and swept the Wood Memorial by 6 lengths. With John Nerud’s decision […]

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Triple Crown Near-Misses: Forward Pass and the Asterisk

After a decade of futility, the storied Calumet Farm seemed to be back in the spotlight. The farm had saddled seven Kentucky Derby winners and two Triple Crown winners but had not experienced victory in the Kentucky Derby since 1958’s Tim Tam. Now it had another Derby contender with Forward Pass. The colt had won […]

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View the trailer for Spectacular Bid: The Last Superhorse of the Twentieth Century

About the Author

Peter Lee, a former journalist, maintains the blog The Way to Churchill Downs, which reports on Derby hopefuls for the coming year. He is the author of The Death and Life of Mal Evans and is a regular contributor to