By Mint Julep


Don Brumfield Jockey: One Kentucky Derby Win

kauai king kentucky derby winner 1966

Join us on a journey through the incredible career of Don Brumfield, a legendary jockey who achieved victory in prestigious races like the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Learn about his amazing accomplishments at Churchill Downs, his well-deserved place in the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, and his lasting impact on American horse racing history. Discover how Brumfield continues to contribute to the sport even after retiring and stays involved with the racing community, cementing his status as an esteemed figure in Thoroughbred horse racing worldwide.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Donald Alan “Don” Brumfield was born on May 24, 1938, in Nicholasville, Kentucky. He discovered his talent for horse racing at a young age due to his natural connection with horses and exceptional skills in handling them. As he dedicated himself to improving his craft, Don Brumfield steadily climbed the ranks in the competitive world of jockeys.

Don quickly made a name for himself in the equestrian community by showcasing remarkable abilities while riding majestic racehorses. His unique bond with these animals set him apart from others as he expertly guided them around tracks with precision and grace.

Over time, Don established himself as one of American horse racing’s most prominent figures through numerous victories on prestigious racetracks nationwide. His determination and respect for both the sport and its noble steeds earned him praise and accolades throughout his career.

The opportunity to compete at Churchill Downs during the revered Kentucky Derby captured Don’s attention. Surrounded by tradition yet filled with potential for greatness, this iconic venue allowed him to leave a lasting impact on spectators while pursuing dreams under clear skies amidst roaring cheers from excited fans.

As fans awaited each race at Churchill Downs with bated breath, hoping to witness another magical performance by Donald Alan “Don” Brumfield – an extraordinary jockey whose mastery over powerful equine athletes never failed to captivate audiences across grandstands echoing with anticipation.

Racing Achievements

Don Brumfield had a remarkable career as a jockey that lasted for an impressive thirty-five years. During this time, he demonstrated exceptional talent and unwavering dedication. He achieved an astounding 4,573 wins out of 33,222 rides, which solidified his reputation as one of the most successful jockeys in American horse racing history.

With finesse and skill that set him apart from others, Brumfield secured victories in prestigious races like the Falls City Handicap and Spinster Stakes. However, it was his triumphs at the renowned Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1966 that truly showcased his prowess on the racetrack. These wins not only established him among legends but also made a lasting impact on the sport for future generations.

Beyond just numbers on paper, Don Brumfield’s legacy goes far beyond statistics. He mesmerized audiences with each stride of his mount, drawing spectators into moments filled with excitement and suspense as he maneuvered through tight turns towards victory. His natural understanding of horses combined with unmatched strategic skills made him a dominant force in every race he participated in.

As a skilled jockey whose accomplishments speak volumes about his talent and determination, Don Brumfield will always be remembered for shaping American horse racing history. With each win leaving its mark on time itself , he continues to motivate aspiring riders to pursue their dreams relentlessly while upholding tradition and sportsmanship along the way.

In conclusion , Don Brumfield’s influence surpasses mere trophies or awards; it resides within hearts touched by witnessing greatness unfold before them . Reflecting back on his extraordinary career full of both big wins & small victories alike , we are reminded that true champions leave behind more than just successes – they create legacies that last forever .

The Pros & Cons of Legendary Derby Jockeys


  1. I have a lot of experience in exciting races with high stakes
  2. My riding skills are exceptional – I’ve been practicing for years!
  3. I know a lot about how horses behave and the best strategies for racing
  4. When race conditions change, I can adapt quickly
  5. I’ve won many prestigious events and have a great track record
  6. People in the horse racing community know me well and respect me


  1. The sport can be physically demanding and may pose a risk of injury.
  2. You might feel mentally drained trying to keep up a winning streak.
  3. Younger jockeys are competing fiercely to establish themselves in the field.
  4. Your horse’s performance on race day could be unpredictable, affecting your results.
  5. Burnout and fatigue may set in due to long hours and frequent travel.
  6. You could face public scrutiny and criticism for any mistakes or losses.

Record at Churchill Downs

Don Brumfield won an amazing 925 races at Churchill Downs, showing his incredible talent and dedication to horse racing. His special connection with each horse he rode helped him win many races on that famous track.

Brumfield’s legacy at Churchill Downs is still remembered in American horse racing history today because of his excellence and skill. He continues to inspire young jockeys by showing them that hard work and love for the sport are important for success.

Picture the loud sounds of hooves hitting the ground, the crowd cheering as Brumfield leads another horse to victory at Churchill Downs. Each win added more greatness to his career, proving he was one of the best jockeys ever seen there.

Looking back on Brumfield’s amazing wins at Churchill Downs, we see how much he influenced American horse racing. He will always be a part of its history, making a lasting impact that still affects the sport today.

Hall of Fame Induction

Don Brumfield became a legendary jockey when he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1996. His exceptional talent and dedication to horse racing left an unforgettable mark on American history, earning him this prestigious honor. The following year, Brumfield’s remarkable achievements were celebrated as he joined the esteemed Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.

Brumfield’s induction into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame showcases his unmatched success and lasting impact on horse racing. With more than 4,000 wins throughout his career, he not only demonstrated skill but also sheer determination that set him apart from others. This recognition reminds us of Brumfield’s extraordinary abilities in navigating racecourses nationwide and achieving victory after victory.

In 1997, Don Brumfield was welcomed into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to sports history within the state. His enshrinement with other sporting legends highlights Brumfield’s enduring legacy as one of Kentucky’s most revered figures in horse racing lore. By honoring him with this title, it solidifies Brumfield’s place among giants while commemorating all that he achieved during a successful career filled with triumphs and memorable moments on racetracks across America.

Legendary Jockey: Donald Brumfield’s Racing Achievements

Attribute Details
Name Donald Brumfield
Occupation Jockey
Born (1938-05-24) May 24, 1938 (age 85)
Nicholasville, Kentucky
United States
Career wins 4,573
Major racing wins Falls City Handicap (1964, 1969, 1971, 1976, 1982, 1986, 1988)
Spinster Stakes (1964)
Stars and Stripes Handicap (1964)
Black Helen Handicap (1965)
Kentucky Oaks (1966)
Florida Derby (1968)
Breeders’ Futurity Stakes (1969, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1979)
Ashland Stakes (1974, 1974, 1984)
Acorn Stakes (1977)
Apple Blossom Handicap (1978)
Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes (1980)
Diana Handicap (1980)
Great American Stakes (1981)
Tyro Stakes (1981)
Round Table Stakes (1983, 1985)
Cornhusker Handicap (1984)
Sixty Sails Handicap (1987)
Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes (1988)
American Classic Race wins Kentucky Derby (1966)
Preakness Stakes (1966)
Racing awards George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award (1988)
Honours United States’ Racing Hall of Fame (1996)
Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame (1997)
Significant horses Kauai King, Forward Pass, Northernette [Our Native]

Post-retirement Career

After retiring from competitive riding in 1989, Brumfield began working as a racing official at different racetracks. In 2015, he served as a steward at Gulfstream Park during their winter-spring meet and attended events at Churchill Downs honoring past Kentucky Derby winning jockeys.

Brumfield’s post-retirement career involved not just officiating but also sharing the wisdom and experience he gained from years of being around horses. He was respected not only on the track but off it too, known for his integrity and dedication within the horse racing community.

As a steward at Gulfstream Park, Don Brumfield brought a unique perspective that resonated with both seasoned professionals and newcomers. His keen eye for detail and unwavering commitment to fair play made him an invaluable asset in upholding the sport’s high standards.

Returning to Churchill Downs for special occasions allowed him to reconnect with fans who still cherished his victories. His mere presence sparked conversations like turning on floodlights on race night – illuminating memories of triumphs etched forever in history books.

Don Brumfield’s legacy goes beyond wins and losses; it embodies grit, passion, and an unyielding love for the sport that influenced his life. As he continues recounting racetrack stories new and old, his impact remains strong – reminding us all that true champions are measured not just by trophies but by the hearts they touch along their journey.

Significant Horses Ridden

Don Brumfield had an amazing career as a jockey, riding the incredible Kauai King to victory in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1966. These wins showed off Brumfield’s skill at leading top horses to success on some of racing’s biggest stages.

Another impressive horse that cemented Don Brumfield’s reputation was Forward Pass. Together, they won the controversial Kentucky Derby in 1968 after Dancer’s Image was disqualified. Their teamwork and determination made them unforgettable in racing history.

Northernette, also known as Our Native, was another exceptional horse expertly ridden by Don Brumfield during his successful career. They worked together seamlessly on the track, winning races like the Blue Grass Stakes and Ohio Derby. This partnership highlighted Brumfield’s special talent for connecting with every horse he rode, making a lasting impact on American Thoroughbred horse racing.

Legendary Tales of Don Brumfield’s Derby Triumph

  1. Exciting Stories of Don Brumfield’s Kentucky Derby Win:
  2. Back in 1970, the talented jockey Don Brumfield clinched victory at the prestigious Kentucky Derby on his trusted horse Dust Commander, making it his sole triumph in this renowned race.
  3. Despite not being a well-known figure back then, Brumfield’s exceptional riding skills and unwavering determination played a pivotal role in him seizing the coveted Derby championship title.
  4. The 1970 edition of the Kentucky Derby etched itself into memory as Dust Commander crossed the finish line at odds of 15-1, stunning many racing fans and firmly establishing Brumfield’s legacy within Derby lore.
  5. Post his glorious win at the derby, Brumfield went on to enjoy a prosperous career in horse racing fielding respect and admiration from all corners of the industry.
  6. Don’t miss out on reliving that unforgettable moment when Don Brumfield emerged victorious at the 1970 Kentucky Derby – an inspiring tale showcasing talent, resilience, and most importantly, highlighting that unbreakable bond between a jockey and their loyal steed!

George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award

In 1988, Don Brumfield received the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award for his outstanding talent and dedication to horse racing. This award is known for honoring jockeys who show exceptional character both on and off the track, recognizing Brumfield’s integrity and sportsmanship throughout his successful career.

Receiving this esteemed award helped solidify Don Brumfield’s place as a respected figure in American horse racing history. It celebrated not only his incredible achievements on the racetrack but also highlighted his exemplary behavior outside of competitions. His commitment to excellence earned him admiration from fans and fellow riders within the racing community.

The George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award was a fitting tribute to honor Don Brumfield’s lasting impact in the sport. By embodying qualities such as integrity, perseverance, and compassion towards horses and other riders, he left an unforgettable legacy that continues to inspire young jockeys working towards success in horse racing today.

Legacy and Recognition

Don Brumfield stands out as a legendary figure in the world of horse racing. He was honored with inductions into several prestigious halls of fame, including the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. His legacy remains strong, showcasing his exceptional talent and unwavering commitment to the sport.

Throughout his remarkable career that lasted more than four decades, Don Brumfield achieved an incredible feat by securing over 4,000 victories. Renowned for his expert handling of horses during races, he wasn’t just any jockey – he was a true master on horseback who orchestrated breathtaking displays of speed and agility that left audiences in awe.

Even though he retired from professional racing, Don Brumfield’s impact continues to shape American horse racing history even today. His influence reaches across different generations, motivating young jockeys-to-be and captivating fans with stories about his bold performances at prestigious events like the Kentucky Derby.

Continued Engagement with Racing Community

Don Brumfield still actively participates in the racing community post-retirement, demonstrating his unwavering commitment. He attends promotional events at Churchill Downs where he honors past Derby-winning jockeys, showcasing his enduring passion for horse racing which began during his youth. His presence goes beyond symbolism; it serves as a living testament to his journey as one of America’s top jockeys.

During these events, Don engages with attendees, sharing knowledge and inspiring aspiring young jockeys who look up to him. He recounts anecdotes from his successful career and imparts wisdom gained through years on the racetrack, leaving a lasting impact on those fortunate enough to interact with this living legend. His dedication resonates deeply within all who witness firsthand the skill that earned him respect throughout his career.

Through public appearances like these gatherings at Churchill Downs, Don Brumfield remains an iconic figure whose legacy endures across generations in the horse racing world. The admiration he receives isn’t just about accolades but stems from hard work, talent, and a deep love for horses that shines brightly even after retirement. By continuing to attend such events with humility and grace, he solidifies himself further into American horse racing history as a true luminary among legends.


1. What made Don Brumfield stand out as a jockey at the Kentucky Derby?

Don Brumfield became one of the most celebrated and successful jockeys in American horse racing history thanks to his outstanding talent, relentless commitment, and incredible achievements at the Kentucky Derby.

2. How many times did Don Brumfield participate in the Kentucky Derby, and what were his notable achievements?

Don Brumfield competed in the Kentucky Derby 12 times. His most impressive accomplishments include winning the prestigious race riding Dust Commander in 1970 and coming in second with Sham in 1973.

3. Can you highlight some of Don Brumfield’s most memorable wins and performances at the Kentucky Derby?

Don Brumfield achieved a major milestone in his career at the Kentucky Derby when he rode Dust Commander to an impressive victory in 1970. This win not only displayed his incredible skill but also solidified his reputation as a highly respected jockey in the history of American horse racing.

4. How did Don Brumfield’s career impact American horse racing history, particularly at the Kentucky Derby?

Don Brumfield made a lasting impact on American horse racing history with his impressive career as a jockey. He stood out at the Kentucky Derby, where his exceptional skills, many wins, and unwavering commitment established him as a true legend of the sport.

5. What unique skills or qualities did Don Brumfield possess that contributed to his success as a jockey at the Kentucky Derby?

Don Brumfield’s amazing ability to understand and connect with horses, along with his strong determination and skillful race-riding techniques, played a crucial role in his incredible achievements as a jockey at the Kentucky Derby.

6. In what ways has Don Brumfield’s legacy continued to influence the sport of horse racing since his retirement?

Don Brumfield’s incredible skill, countless wins, and enduring influence on American horse racing history continue to shape the sport today. He inspires upcoming jockeys to aim for greatness at prestigious events like the Kentucky Derby, motivating them to leave their mark on the world of horse racing.