By Mint Julep


Clyde Van Dusen Trainer: One Kentucky Derby Winner

1929 kentucky derby winner clyde van dusen

Join us on an exciting adventure through the incredible career of Clyde Van Dusen, a horse racing legend who made history by winning the Kentucky Derby with a horse named after himself. Explore his amazing accomplishments, such as breaking records at Santa Anita Park and training multiple award-winning horses that have left a lasting impact in the world of horse racing. Discover the passion, dedication, and innovative techniques that led to Clyde Van Dusen’s unmatched success in shaping future generations within the horse racing community.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Born in 1886 in the United States, Clyde Van Dusen started his career as a jockey and quickly made a name for himself in the horse racing world. He spent his early years perfecting his skills and deepening his understanding of horses, eventually transitioning to become a trainer due to his natural talent and strong bond with these majestic animals.

Van Dusen’s most significant achievement came in 1929 when he won the prestigious Kentucky Derby with a horse named after himself. This victory solidified his place in history as the only trainer to accomplish such a feat, showcasing not just his exceptional training abilities but also highlighting his unwavering dedication and passion for equine excellence.

Delving into Thoroughbred racehorses, Clyde Van Dusen implemented innovative techniques that set him apart from others in the field. His groundbreaking approach combined traditional methods with fresh ideas that produced remarkable results on the racetrack. His attention to detail and commitment to perfection propelled him to legendary status among those involved in horse racing.

Beyond simply winning races, Van Dusen left behind an enduring legacy that continues to inspire future generations of trainers and jockeys alike. His influence is evident not only through record-breaking achievements but also through values he upheld throughout this career—hard work, determination, and an unyielding love for these magnificent creatures. He remains a shining example of what true dedication and passion can achieve within this competitive sport.

As time passed, Clyde Van Dusen became synonymous with success at Santa Anita Park where he set records that stood uncontested for many years. His impact on one of America’s premier racetracks still resonates today—a reminder of what is possible when talent meets tenacity head-on. The echoes of cheers from past victories continue to linger around those hallowed grounds—an ode to a man whose spirit will forever gallop alongside each thundering hoofbeat down those historic tracks.

Training Successes and Major Wins

Clyde Van Dusen was a legendary figure in the world of horse racing, known for his impressive training successes and major wins. He made headlines by winning events like the Bashford Manor Stakes in 1932 and showing off his skills at prestigious races such as the Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes in 1933. His track record clearly demonstrates his talent and commitment to excellence.

One of his notable achievements was guiding Fisher’s Mata Hari to receive accolades as the American Champion Two-Year-Old Filly and Three-Year-Old Filly. This solidified Van Dusen’s reputation as a top-notch trainer with a knack for nurturing young talents into champions.

His illustrious career included triumphs in esteemed competitions like the Clark Handicap in 1934, where Van Dusen consistently showed an exceptional understanding of equine potential and optimal race strategies. His ability to fine-tune horses for success on grand stages earned him respect and admiration from both peers and fans alike. Each victory not only showcased his expertise but also highlighted the deep connection between trainer and horse that drove them towards greatness together.

The legacy of Clyde Van Dusen continues to inspire trainers across generations, encouraging them to aim for greatness on racetracks worldwide. His innovative techniques, unwavering dedication to perfection, and relentless pursuit of success set new standards for how future trainers approach their craft. By making a lasting impact on prestigious events like the Kentucky Derby and setting records at renowned venues such as Santa Anita Park, Van Dusen has secured his place among racing legends whose influence spans eras—a true testament to his enduring impact on our beloved sport.

The Pros & Cons of Legendary Horse Racing Trainers


  1. I have lots of experience and know a lot about training racehorses
  2. I can create winning strategies for races
  3. People know me for making top-performing horses
  4. I help train future generations of trainers


  1. Feeling a lot of pressure to keep doing well and maintain my good reputation
  2. People expect a lot from me – the owners, investors, and everyone in the racing world
  3. It’s hard to give each horse special attention when there are so many in the stable
  4. I might get really tired and stressed out because my schedule is tough and I have a lot of responsibilities

Leading Trainer at Santa Anita Park

Clyde Van Dusen left an impressive mark at Santa Anita Park, particularly in 1941 when he stood out as the top trainer during the winter meeting. His exceptional talent for training horses was evident when he made history by winning four races on a single race day at this prestigious track. This remarkable accomplishment not only showcased his skills but also firmly established him as a legend in horse racing.

Van Dusen’s record-breaking feat of securing four wins in one race day at Santa Anita set a standard that remained unchallenged for many years, highlighting his unmatched talent and dedication to excellence with horses. Throughout his career, his determination and attention to detail were apparent in every victory, earning respect and admiration from fellow trainers, jockeys, and fans alike. His special ability to connect with horses undoubtedly played a significant role in achieving such incredible success.

Beyond breaking records, Clyde Van Dusen’s time as a key figure at Santa Anita Park revolutionized training methods within the industry while inspiring future generations of trainers to follow suit. The passion and pursuit of perfection that defined Van Dusen’s work continue to resonate through each thundering hoofbeat on the historic grounds of Santa Anita—a testament to the excellence he embodied so brilliantly all those years ago.

As new champions rise under California skies over time, Clyde Van Dusen remains an iconic figure—an inspiration guiding greatness in horse racing training. His unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries serves as both motivation and challenge for those dreaming big within this thrilling sport where speed meets grace. By honoring Van Dusen’s memory we celebrate not just a man but an enduring legacy that gallops alongside each triumph beneath the watchful eye of Santa Anita Park.

Notable Horses Trained

The trainer didn’t just win the Kentucky Derby with his horse Clyde Van Dusen. He also trained other impressive horses like Mata Hari while working for Detroit auto body manufacturer Charles T. Fisher and later at Louis B. Mayer’s California stable.

Under Van Dusen’s expert guidance, these horses excelled on the track, showing how skilled he was in training a variety of horses to reach their full potential.

For example, Mata Hari amazed spectators with her speed and elegance, proving how Van Dusen could bring out her natural talents to secure victory time after time.

Van Dusen had a special talent for connecting with each horse individually, helping them discover their hidden abilities and leading them to one triumph after another throughout his successful career.

His legacy lives not only through the trophies won but also through the lasting influence he had on future trainers who draw inspiration from his commitment, innovative methods, and love for top-notch equine training techniques.

Race Record and Legacy

Field Information
Occupation Trainer
Born 1886
United States
Died January 8, 1951
Resting place Westwood Memorial Park
Los Angeles, California
Career wins Not found
Major racing wins Bashford Manor Stakes (1932)
Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes (1933)
Arlington-Washington Futurity Stakes (1933)
Clark Handicap (1934)
Phoenix Stakes (1939)
American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1929)
Racing awards Leading trainer at Santa Anita Park
(1941, winter)
Significant horses Clyde Van Dusen, Mata Hari

Retirement and Continued Involvement in Racing

Clyde Van Dusen stayed connected to horse racing even after he retired from active training in 1941. He had a small group of horses that he looked after, staying involved in the sport that meant so much to him.

He also got back together with his retired gelding Clyde Van Dusen at Hollywood Park Racetrack, where the horse worked as a lead pony. Their reunion was touching and showed the bond between a famous trainer and his loyal companion.

Even though he wasn’t training full-time anymore, Van Dusen continued to inspire people in the horse racing world. His dedication and love for top-notch horses made a lasting impression on everyone who knew him or learned about his incredible career.

Passing and Burial

When Clyde Van Dusen passed away in 1951, the horse racing world felt a deep loss that could never truly be replaced. Yet, his legacy continued to shine brightly through the lives he had influenced and motivated during his incredible career.

Additionally, Van Dusen broke records at top tracks like Santa Anita Park, displaying his exceptional skill and dedication to his work. His innovative methods transformed how horses were trained and established him as a pioneer in the industry.

Even after his passing, Clyde Van Dusen’s impact lived on through generations of trainers who saw him as a role model. His drive for excellence and unwavering commitment to his horses inspired all those striving for success in horse racing.

As he was laid to rest at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles surrounded by family, friends, and admirers from around the country; it became evident that Clyde Van Dusen’s spirit would endure forever in the hearts of those closest to him – a true legend whose influence transcended time itself.

Legendary Tales Surrounding Clyde Van Dusen Trainer

  1. ### Exciting Stories About Clyde Van Dusen, the Master Horse Trainer
  2. **Early Triumphs:** Before clinching the Kentucky Derby title, Clyde Van Dusen stood out as a top trainer with exceptional horse skills. His talent spotting and sharp race strategies were well-known in the racing circuit.
  3. **Unexpected Victory:** Back in 1929, Clyde Van Dusen pulled off an incredible feat by training an underdog named after him to win the prestigious Kentucky Derby. This win not only catapulted his fame but also showcased his prowess as a skilled trainer in the thrilling world of horse racing.
  4. **Innovative Training Techniques:** Rumor has it that Clyde Van Dusen had a knack for using unconventional training methods that distinguished him from other trainers. His fresh ideas were thought to have played a significant role in his triumphs on the racetrack.
  5. **Enduring Influence:** While he is best known for guiding Clyde Van Dusen to victory at the Kentucky Derby, his impact goes beyond this iconic moment. He is celebrated as a mentor who poured his heart into horse racing and left behind a lasting legacy within the sport.
  6. **Empowering Future Generations:** Even today, enthusiasts and budding trainers draw inspiration from Clyde Van Dusen’s journey—a tale of defying odds and conquering milestones like winning at Churchill Downs against all expectations. It serves as motivation that dedication, love for horses, and honing one’s craft can lead to remarkable successes in this dynamic field of horseracing!

Unique Achievement – Kentucky Derby Victory

Clyde Van Dusen had an amazing career in horse racing training that reached its peak in 1929 when he won the prestigious Kentucky Derby. This victory not only showed he was a skilled trainer but also made him stand out as the only person to win this important race with a horse named Clyde Van Dusen, just like himself.

This big win wasn’t luck – it came after years of hard work, passion for top-notch horses, and using new training methods that Van Dusen developed over time. His careful attention to detail and deep understanding of each horse he trained set him apart from others in the competitive world of thoroughbred racing.

Van Dusen’s legacy lives on through generations in the horse racing community, motivating trainers and fans to aim for greatness every time their horses hit the track. His lasting impact is seen not only in records broken and titles earned but also in how much respect and admiration people still have for him many years after his famous Kentucky Derby win.

When we think about Clyde Van Dusen’s incredible success at the Kentucky Derby, it reminds us that real greatness has no limits – it goes beyond time and leaves a lasting impression on those who dream big and work hard towards their goals. By celebrating his achievements, we honor a pioneer whose dedication, creativity, and love for these magnificent animals continue to influence horse racing today.

Record-breaking Performance at Santa Anita Park

In February 1941, Clyde Van Dusen made history at Santa Anita Park by achieving an incredible feat. He won four races in a single event during the winter meeting, leaving spectators amazed and fellow trainers in awe of his skill. Van Dusen’s expertise and dedication that day set a high standard for excellence that would be remembered for years to come.

Watching Van Dusen’s horses race down the track was mesmerizing. His careful training methods and deep understanding of horses were clear as they sprinted towards victory. Each win showcased not just his talent as a trainer but also his strong connection with these majestic animals, built on trust and respect from spending countless hours together on the racetrack.

Word quickly spread about Van Dusen’s remarkable achievement at Santa Anita Park, turning whispers into resounding applause across the stands. Other trainers admired how he brought out the best in every horse he worked with—turning potential into success almost magically. His record-breaking performance showed his commitment to perfection in a sport where winning is incredibly challenging.

Van Dusen’s legacy goes beyond numbers; it represents perseverance, innovation, and passion for horseracing. His influence inspires upcoming trainers to strive for greatness within this thrilling sport. Whether stories are shared around barns or whispered among jockeys before races start—the legend of Clyde Van Dusen lives on passionately.

Legacy in Horse Racing

Clyde Van Dusen made a lasting impact on the world of horse racing that continues to influence generations. He cemented his legacy as a legendary figure by winning the prestigious Kentucky Derby in 1929, showcasing his exceptional training skills and securing a place among the sport’s greats. His talent for bringing out the best in racehorses not only highlighted his abilities but also revealed his unwavering passion for excellence.

Van Dusen’s remarkable achievements extended far beyond just one iconic victory at Churchill Downs. He set records at Santa Anita Park that remained unmatched for years, demonstrating not only his versatility as a trainer but also his deep understanding of each racetrack’s unique characteristics. His innovative techniques and dedication to constant improvement paved the way for future trainers to challenge themselves and strive for greatness.

Even after Clyde Van Dusen passed away, his legacy continued to shape modern-day horse racing culture. The lessons he taught through his methods and successes serve as guiding principles for those looking to leave their mark in this competitive industry. Every time a racehorse wins or triumphs on the track, echoes of Van Dusen’s influence can be heard loud and clear, reminding enthusiasts everywhere about what true dedication and passion can accomplish.

As present-day trainers reflect on Clyde Van Dusen’s illustrious career, they do so with respect and admiration for a man whose love for horses knew no bounds. His legacy stands as proof of how one person can make an enduring impact on an entire sport, inspiring countless others to aim high, work hard, and refuse anything less than extraordinary when it comes to training these magnificent creatures known as Thoroughbreds.

Influence on Future Generations

Clyde Van Dusen left an unforgettable mark on horse racing that goes beyond just winning races. His incredible success at prestigious events like the Kentucky Derby and Santa Anita Park meetings set a high standard for future generations to follow. He poured all his passion into his work, serving as an inspiration for trainers and jockeys worldwide, showing them that achieving greatness is not just a goal but a lifestyle.

People in the industry were amazed by how well he connected with horses, earning their trust and respect through patience and understanding. Van Dusen’s innovative training methods shook up the field, introducing cutting-edge techniques that were both ahead of their time and incredibly effective. This mix of tradition and innovation became his signature style, leaving a lasting impact on those who came after him.

His commitment went far beyond simply winning races; he believed in nurturing each horse under his care with kindness and empathy, forming bonds that extended past competition. To him, every victory wasn’t just about being first across the finish line but about showcasing hard work, determination, and the unbreakable bond between humans and animals.

Today’s young trainers can look to Clyde Van Dusen as more than just a legend – he is a beacon lighting the way toward greatness. His achievements at Santa Anita Park serve as proof of what can be accomplished through relentless pursuit of perfection balanced with humility. His teachings continue to echo throughout racetracks globally, reminding everyone who hears them that true mastery comes from not only winning races but also connecting deeply with others along the journey.

By honoring Clyde Van Dusen’s enduring influence within horse racing circles today’s generation pays tribute to an extraordinary soul whose love for equine excellence knew no bounds. Those following in his footsteps should always remember: it’s not only about finishing first; it’s about running gracefully while holding onto integrity and unwavering love for these majestic creatures who give us wings without needing any themselves


1. How did Clyde Van Dusen’s training methods set him apart from other horse trainers of his time?

Clyde Van Dusen stood out from other horse trainers of his time because of his creative training techniques and strong commitment to doing things well. Thanks to these qualities, he achieved remarkable success like winning the Kentucky Derby and setting records at Santa Anita Park.

2. What was the significance of Clyde Van Dusen winning the Kentucky Derby in 1929?

When Clyde Van Dusen won the 1929 Kentucky Derby, it was a game-changer in horse racing. This victory not only established him as an innovative trainer but also paved the way for his long-lasting impact on the sport.

3. How did Clyde Van Dusen’s success at Santa Anita Park contribute to his reputation as a master trainer?

Clyde Van Dusen made history at Santa Anita Park by setting numerous training records and reaching remarkable levels of success, establishing himself as a top-notch trainer in the horse racing industry.

4. What lasting impact has Clyde Van Dusen had on the horse racing community and future generations of trainers?

Clyde Van Dusen left a lasting impact on the horse racing world with his groundbreaking training methods, relentless pursuit of excellence, and ongoing influence on aspiring trainers aiming for success in the sport.

5. Can you share some key accomplishments or records that Clyde Van Dusen achieved during his career in horse racing training?

Clyde Van Dusen had a successful career as a horse racing trainer. His biggest accomplishment was winning the Kentucky Derby in 1929 with his own horse, which also set records at Santa Anita Park and established him as a pioneer in the sport.

6. How did Clyde Van Dusen’s passion for excellence and dedication to his craft influence his approach to training horses?

Clyde Van Dusen was so passionate about being the best and loved what he did. He created new ways to train horses that changed horse racing forever. His methods were so good that they are still used today and have influenced many trainers who came after him.