Dancer’s Image: The first horse to win…and lose the Kentucky Derby

By TOM LALLY | WHAS Ch. 11 News | May 10, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — On a backdrop of the Vietnam war, social unrest, and the assassination of Martin Luther King Junior, a new scandal entered 1968 headlines. 

Dancer’s image, the horse that won the Kentucky Derby, failed its drug test. 

Abby Fuller was there, from excitement in the Winner’s Circle to a years-long legal battle that her father held onto until his death. 

Peter Fuller owned Dancer’s Image and insisted that the Churchill Downs stewards were wrong to disqualify the horse.

His daughter still refers to it as, “a bonafide horse racing mystery.”

In 1968, there were politics at play. 

Fuller had recently donated a sizeable purse to the grieving Coretta Scott King. 

“Believe it or not he was heavily criticized for that in racing circles,” equine law expert Bob Heleringer explained. “He was told to his face, ‘you’re mixing politics with racing.'”

Foul play was never proven but Fuller did argue to the commission and then the state courts that the test results were inaccurate. READ FULL STORY »

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Featured Image: Creator: Anonymous. Credit: AP. Copyright: 1968 AP

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