Feb. 19, 1979 – Spectacular Bid Cruises in Fountain of Youth
On Feb. 19, 1979, Spectacular Bid won his seventh straight race as he cruised to an 8 1/2 length win in the Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park.
Sent off at 1–10 odds, Bid broke from the starting gate slowly, and 19-year-old jockey Ron Franklin stayed back as Bishop’s Choice and Rivalero went to the lead. Finding himself boxed in, Franklin swung Bid wide and took over second, a length behind Rivalero.
Then Bid made his move, and by the middle of the backstretch he had opened a one-and-a-half-length lead over Rivalero. Bishop’s Choice tried to mount a rally, but Franklin hit Bid several times between the three-sixteenths pole and the eighth pole, and Bid responded, pulling away by four lengths. The margin kept getting wider; Bishop’s Choice gave up second to Lot o’ Gold, who futilely chased Bid to the wire.
Bid missed the stakes record by only one-fifth of a second. “He’s a Rolls Royce, and I’m his regular rider,” Franklin said. Except for the traffic problems early in the race, it seemed all Franklin had to do with Bid was to strap on his seat belt and enjoy the ride.
Spectacular Bid is one of only five horses to win the Fountain of Youth and go on to win the Kentucky Derby.