Five Kentucky Derby winners: Where are they now?

We came across a Paulick Report article that has a “where are they now and what are they doing” list of Kentucky Derby winners. We chose five.

Funny Cide (2003)

When Funny Cide (Distorted Humor) won the 2003 Kentucky Derby, he was the first gelding to do so since Clyde Van Dusen (Man o’ War) in 1929.

Funny Cide raced more than twenty times following his Triple Crown bid, hitting the board in half those starts and winning 3 graded stakes.

Funny Cide upset Empire Maker, a regally bred favorite, and established his place in history as the first New York-bred horse to win the Derby and the first gelding to prevail since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929.

In one of the most impressive performances in Funny Cide’s long career, he returned to Belmont Park for the 2004 Jockey Club Gold Cup and reminded everyone why he’ll always be known as the gutsy gelding.

He retired at age seven with 11 victories and earnings of $3.5 million in 2007. He moved to the Kentucky Horse Park in 2008.

Barbaro (2006)

The winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby was Barbaro (Dynaformer).

On May 20, 2006, Barbaro ran in the Preakness Stakes as a heavy favorite, but, after a false start, he fractured three bones in and around the fetlock of his right hind leg. The injury ended his racing career.

Barbaro after he suffered the fatal breaks that eventually claimed his life. Source: Bryant Photos.
Barbaro pictured suffering his career and eventual life ending injury. Bryant Photos.

The next day, he underwent surgery at the New Bolton Center at the University of Pennsylvania for his injuries. In July he developed laminitis in his left rear foot. He was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent five further operations, and his prognosis varied during an exceptionally long stay in the Equine Intensive Care Unit at the New Bolton Center.

While his right hind leg eventually healed, a final risky procedure on it proved futile: he soon developed laminitis in both front hooves. His veterinarians and owners concluded he could not be saved. Barbaro was euthanized on January 29, 2007.

Mine That Bird (2009)

The winner of the 2009 Kentucky Derby was a smallish bay gelding named Mine That Bird (Birdstone). Although he could not have a breeding career, Mine That Bird has had a varied and active life.

Mine That Bird. NBC Sports image.

He was the Derby winner in residence at the Kentucky Derby Museum, but is no longer there. At 16 years of age, Mine That Bird is a pony horse guiding young racehorses around the track at HV Ranch in Texas. Why does that make us feel sad?

I’ll Have Another (2012)

I’ll Have Another (Flower Alley) won the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness, then was sidelined and eventually retired. Not long thereafter, he was sold to a group of breeders from Japan and exported to enter stud there.

I’ll Have Another, the dual classic winner and champion 3-year-old male of 2012.

In 2019, I’ll Have Another was sold to American interests and was returned to the States for the 2019 breeding season. He stands at Ocean Breeze Ranch in California for $10,000 live foal.

American Pharoah (2015)

Featured Image, Top of Page

The 2015 Kentucky Derby winner was American Pharoah (Pioneer of the Nile). He was also winner of the first Triple Crown in 37 years, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Classic of 2015, and named champion 3-year-old colt and Horse of the Year. Sent to stud at Ashford amid great acclaim, American Pharoah was the leading freshman sire in 2019 and stands for $80,000 live foal.

To date, American Pharoah has sired 24 stakes winners and 20 stakes-placed racers in the Northern Hemisphere; the horse also stands in the Southern Hemisphere at Coolmore’s satellite operation in Australia, where he has three stakes winners and two stakes-placed there from two crops of racing age.

American Pharoah had several sons being trained for the classics in 2022, most notably Forbidden Kingdom, winner of the G2 San Vicente and San Felipe earlier this season before suffering an entrapped epiglottis in the G1 Santa Anita Derby.

Justify (2018)

All the most recent winners of the Kentucky Derby who have retired — through 2020 winner Authentic (Into Mischief) — are at stud in Kentucky. This includes 2018 winner Justify (Scat Daddy), who stands at Ashford Stud outside Versailles, Ky.

Justify. Pinterest.

ICYMI: Justify tested positive for scopolamine, an anti-nausea medication said to have potential performance-enhancing effects in horses, after winning the Santa Anita Derby in April 2018. Without that win, Justify would not have qualified to run in the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown, a month later. California regulators embarked on a secret effort to exonerate Baffert after the horse’s positive test for a banned substance, allowing the horse to enter the Triple Crown races.

Postscript: Pat Forde writes, “Barn 33 was ghostly quiet nine days before the 148th Kentucky Derby, nothing but naked lightbulbs and empty stalls. On the second floor of the clubhouse at Churchill Downs, a partitioned area that had been labeled the Baffert Lounge is now the Ben A. Jones Lounge, named for the other winner of six Derbies. Baffert’s name and face can still be found on displays in the Derby Museum that honor Triple Crown winners American Pharoah and Justify, but that’s about it.” Source: Sports Illustrated.

Source: Paulick Report, by Frank Mitchell, 4th May 2022

Featured Image (Top of Page): American Pharoah.

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Official Blog of The Fund for Horses

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