By Mint Julep

Eddie Hayward Trainer: One Kentucky Derby Winner

1953 kentucky derby winner dark star

Explore the fascinating story of Eddie Hayward, a renowned trainer in American Thoroughbred horse racing who achieved a historic victory at the Kentucky Derby with Dark Star. Follow his journey from starting out as a jockey to becoming a highly respected figure in the sport, showcasing his exceptional talents through notable wins and unique achievements like triumphing in both the Derby Trial Stakes and Kentucky Derby with the same horse. Learn how Eddie Hayward’s lasting legacy continues to inspire admiration and respect within the racing community due to his unwavering commitment to training championship horses.

Early Life and Racing Career

Edward C. Hayward was born on February 13, 1903, in Brighton, Ontario, Canada. He kicked off his career as a jockey in Saskatchewan before making the switch to training horses in the late 1920s. His big break came when he won the Metropolitan Handicap in 1938 with Danger Point and went on to train famous horses like Dark Star and Forego.

Hayward’s entry into horse racing wasn’t just chance; it was destiny mixed with passion and hard work. His love for these amazing animals began early on while watching them race across fields near his childhood home for hours on end. This strong bond laid the groundwork for his future success as a respected trainer who could read every little detail of a horse’s behavior.

Eddie Hayward is best known for guiding Dark Star to an unexpected win at the Kentucky Derby in 1953 – that victory changed not only Hayward’s life but also left its mark on American Thoroughbred horse racing history forever. It showcased his incredible talent as a trainer who could nurture champions against all odds.

The story of how Dark Star triumphed at both the Derby Trial Stakes and Kentucky Derby under Eddie Hayward’s guidance has become legendary among horse racing enthusiasts worldwide. It proves his unmatched ability to bring out each equine athlete’s full potential—a feat that amazed spectators and made competitors envious.

Even years after that historic win, Eddie Hayward remains a towering figure in American Thoroughbred horse racing—an everlasting symbol of excellence personified. Fans and professionals alike hold him in high regard not just as another trainer but as a master whose magic turned average horses into extraordinary champions across tracks nationwide.

Kentucky Derby Victory

In 1953, Eddie Hayward made history when he won the Kentucky Derby with Dark Star. This victory is still remembered in horse racing today. It was an incredible upset as Dark Star beat the favored Native Dancer to become the champion. Hayward’s skills as a trainer were evident in how he nurtured Dark Star from winning the Derby Trial Stakes all the way to triumphing at Churchill Downs.

Hayward showed not only his ability to train horses effectively but also his knack for strategizing brilliantly for important races. He understood each horse’s strengths and weaknesses, which set him apart in a sport where quick decisions can make or break a career.

Eddie Hayward is remembered in American Thoroughbred racing for his significant contributions to the sport. His name signifies excellence, inspiring trainers and fans alike who continue to learn from his successes even today.

Decades after their memorable win at Churchill Downs, stories are still told about Eddie Hayward and Dark Star’s remarkable journey together. Their bond went beyond competition; it was built on trust, dedication, and belief in each other’s abilities.

Reflecting on Eddie Hayward’s achievement with Dark Star at the Kentucky Derby reminds us that true legends are crafted through passion and determination rather than being born naturally talented. By honoring him today, we pay tribute not just to one great victory but to a lifetime dedicated wholeheartedly nurturing champions—a legacy that continues inspiring us within this captivating world of Thoroughbred racing.

The Pros & Cons of Legendary Derby Training


  1. I have trained many Kentucky Derby champions

  2. I know a lot about the horse racing industry

  3. I have successfully trained multiple winning horses

  4. I can customize training programs to fit each horse's needs

  5. I have a strong network within the horse racing community

  6. My dedication and passion drive me in this sport


  1. Limited availability may occur due to high demand for services

  2. Training services come with hefty fees

  3. Trainers face fierce competition in the industry

  4. Trainers must consistently achieve winning results under pressure

  5. Job demands can lead to burnout

  6. Time for personal life outside of work is limited

Training Career Highlights

Eddie Hayward had an incredible career as a horse trainer. He started by winning the Whittier Park Handicap in 1928 and went on to train horses that won big races like the Coaching Club American Oaks and Flamingo Stakes in 1954. Throughout his years of hard work, Eddie showed his talent and dedication to training horses.

One highlight of Eddie’s career came when he worked with Dark Star. He not only won the Derby Trial Stakes but also shocked everyone by beating Native Dancer at the Kentucky Derby with the same horse. This really proved how skilled Eddie was and how well he understood horse racing.

By collaborating closely with respected owners like James Norris and Muriel Vanderbilt Adams, Eddie consistently demonstrated his ability to turn horses into champions time after time. His talent for developing top-notch racehorses cemented his status as a legend in American Thoroughbred racing history.

Even today, people associate excellence in training championship horses with Eddie Hayward’s name. His lasting impact continues to amaze fans and professionals alike, establishing him as one of the most admired figures in this sport.

Dual Race Triumphs

Eddie Hayward was a top-notch trainer known for his skill in preparing champion horses, and he hit the jackpot when Dark Star won the Kentucky Derby in 1953. It was a thrilling moment to see all of his hard work pay off on such a big stage in American horse racing history. Hayward’s dedication and expertise as a trainer truly shined through as Dark Star crossed that finish line, securing their place among the greats.

The smooth transition from winning at the Derby Trial Stakes to dominating at the Kentucky Derby highlighted Eddie Hayward’s exceptional talent and deep understanding of his horses. His ability to get Dark Star performing at peak levels for both races was nothing short of amazing, earning him respect across the racing world. This double victory firmly established Hayward as one of the best trainers around during that time and left an unforgettable mark on American horse racing.

To win two major races consecutively with such an outstanding horse takes not only skill but also a strong connection between trainer and horse. Eddie Hayward had that special gift – an innate bond that allowed him to bring out Dark Star’s full potential when it mattered most. His legacy lives on not just through trophies and awards but also through future generations of aspiring trainers who see him as a role model for excellence in this ever-evolving sport where greatness goes beyond just winning titles.

Legendary Jockey and Trainer's Remarkable Achievements

Occupation Jockey / Trainer
Born February 13, 1903 Brighton, Ontario, Canada
Died January 1983 (aged 79) Franklin Square, New York, United States
Major racing wins Whittier Park Handicap (1928), Metropolitan Handicap (1938), American Legion Handicap (1942), Inglewood Handicap (1950), Sysonby Handicap (1951), Derby Trial Stakes (1953), Garden State Stakes (1953), Saratoga Special Stakes (1953), Coaching Club American Oaks (1954), Flamingo Stakes (1954), Hibiscus Stakes (1954), Correction Handicap (1960), Distaff Handicap (1960), Vagrancy Handicap (1960), Fall Highweight Handicap (1962), Discovery Handicap (1973), Roamer Handicap (1973)
American Classic Race wins Kentucky Derby (1953)
Significant horses Dark Star, Forego, Miche, Turn-To

Notable Horses Trained

Eddie Hayward trained some incredible horses, including Dark Star, Forego, Miche, and Turn-To. These majestic animals were key in establishing Hayward as a top expert in American Thoroughbred horse racing. They weren’t just any old horses – they were exceptional athletes who thrived under Hayward’s guidance.

Dark Star stands out as one of the most impressive horses trained by Hayward. In 1953, he made history by winning the prestigious Kentucky Derby. This victory showcased not only Dark Star’s talent but also highlighted Hayward’s exceptional training skills. Achieving such success takes more than luck; it requires dedication and unwavering commitment to excellence – qualities that both Dark Star and Eddie Hayward possessed.

Hayward’s legacy lives on through other champions like Forego, Miche, and Turn-To – all leaving their mark on racetracks across the country. Their wins represented years of hard work and expertise perfected over time – a true testament to Eddie Hayward’s profound impact on American Thoroughbred horse racing. As fans cheered them on at finish lines nationwide, it was clear that beneath each victorious moment lay Eddie Hayward’s unique touch transforming raw potential into greatness.

Clientele Expansion and Partnerships

Eddie Hayward was known for his amazing talent in training championship horses, which not only led to his historic victory at the Kentucky Derby with Dark Star but also attracted a prestigious group of clients. Prominent people like Clint Murchison, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, and Edward S. Moore from Circle M Farm sought out Hayward’s expertise because they recognized his exceptional skills in horse racing.

By forming successful partnerships within the racing community, Eddie Hayward solidified his reputation as a top-notch trainer. Working closely with key figures such as Murchison and Moore allowed him to showcase his ability to nurture winning racehorses and build relationships that went beyond just the racetrack. These partnerships not only boosted his career but also highlighted the trust influential industry figures had in him.

Expanding Eddie Hayward’s client base through strategic partnerships shows how he left a lasting impact on American Thoroughbred horse racing. His impressive accomplishments, including victories at both the Derby Trial Stakes and Kentucky Derby with Dark Star, are still celebrated today among equestrian enthusiasts. Hayward is remembered for his significant contributions to the sport – demonstrating an expertise that stands out across generations and establishing himself as a legendary figure in horse racing history.

The Legendary Tales of Eddie Hayward

  1. ### Eddie Hayward: The Horse Whisperer Extraordinaire

  2. **Innovative Training Techniques:** Eddie Hayward stood out for his unconventional methods of training horses, like playing calming music in the stables and incorporating yoga exercises into their daily routine.

  3. **Deep Bond with Horses:** Stories abound of Eddie Hayward possessing a unique ability to connect with horses on a mystical level, effortlessly earning their trust and unwavering loyalty.

  4. **Champion Motivator:** Many believe that it was Eddie Hayward's gentle words of support and encouragement that fueled his triumphs in horse training, including guiding a horse to victory at the prestigious Kentucky Derby.

  5. **Superstitions and Routines:** Known for his intricate pre-race rituals, such as donning a lucky horseshoe necklace and performing specific routines before each race to summon good fortune.

  6. **Enduring Influence:** Even after his passing, Eddie Hayward's legacy continues through generations of inspired trainers who have adopted his techniques and continue to excel in the competitive world of horse racing.

Retirement and Legacy

After leaving his position at Cain Hoy Stable in 1954, Eddie Hayward’s love for training champion horses never faded. He continued to collaborate with different partnerships, demonstrating his exceptional skills and dedication to horse racing. One of the standout horses he trained during this time was Forego, who later earned a spot in the prestigious Hall of Fame. By nurturing such remarkable talent, Hayward solidified his reputation as a respected figure in American Thoroughbred racing.

Eddie Hayward made a lasting impact on the horse racing world through his unmatched success and unwavering pursuit of excellence. His legacy went beyond just winning races; it involved molding future champions and fostering respect for the sport among everyone he encountered. Through guiding horses like Forego to greatness, he not only gained recognition for himself but also paved the way for upcoming trainers and enthusiasts.

With each triumph, Eddie Hayward secured his position as one of the most skilled and influential trainers in American Thoroughbred racing history. His victories resonated far beyond racetracks; they inspired many individuals to strive for greatness in their own endeavors. The influence he had on both horses and people is proof of his unparalleled abilities as a trainer—a legacy that still captivates admiration within the equine sports community.

Even after retiring from active training duties, Eddie Hayward’s passion remained intertwined with horse racing—an enduring testament to what true dedication combined with profound expertise can accomplish. His name became synonymous with success on race days, recalling memories of significant wins like Dark Star’s historic victory at Churchill Downs—the Kentucky Derby conquest that highlighted Hayward’s brilliance as an outstanding strategist and mentor.

Personal Life and Demise

Eddie Hayward, a legendary figure in American Thoroughbred horse racing, passed away in January 1983 at the age of seventy-nine. Hayward had dedicated decades to his beloved sport, showcasing professionalism and an unwavering passion for nurturing champion racehorses.

Residing in Franklin Square, New York, Eddie Hayward was known for training championship horses with excellence. One of his remarkable achievements was winning the historic Kentucky Derby with Dark Star – an exceptional display of his skills as a trainer. Winning both the Derby Trial Stakes and Kentucky Derby with the same horse cemented his status as a legend in American Thoroughbred horse racing.

Even after more than three decades since he left us, Eddie Hayward’s impact on American Thoroughbred horse racing is still palpable today. Fans around the world continue to revere his enduring legacy. His feat of winning two prestigious races with Dark Star remains etched in history books as proof of his expertise and profound understanding of these magnificent animals.

Despite passing away years ago, Eddie Hayward’s influence on equine sportsmanship endures through each hoofbeat on the racetrack. He continues to inspire those who witnessed firsthand not only for his victories but also for his humility and unyielding dedication to horses that were so dear to him.

In every stride taken by runners on the racetrack today echoes a bit of Eddie Hayward’s spirit – guiding them towards greatness and inspiring them along their journey. Though physically gone from this world long ago, within the realm of equine sportsmanship he remains immortalized – forever galloping alongside champions past and present alike whose love knows no bounds.

Enduring Influence on Horse Racing

Eddie Hayward left a lasting mark on American Thoroughbred horse racing that resonates just as strongly today as the thundering gallops of his champion horses. His expertise truly shined through when he guided Dark Star to victory at the 1953 Kentucky Derby, a triumph that still captivates fans and experts alike. The precision, dedication, and sheer determination he poured into training Dark Star for such a prestigious race showcased his unmatched skills as a trainer.

However, Eddie Hayward’s most remarkable achievement in his illustrious career was undoubtedly winning both the Derby Trial Stakes and Kentucky Derby with the same talented horse. This exceptional double triumph not only cemented his reputation but also engraved his name in the history books of horse racing with unwavering permanence. Such an extraordinary feat required more than just luck; it demanded an unyielding commitment to excellence and an innate understanding of these magnificent creatures.

Even now, Eddie Hayward remains revered for his invaluable contributions to American Thoroughbred horse racing, serving as an inspiration to aspiring trainers looking towards similar levels of success. His influence transcends generations like a guiding spirit galloping through racetracks worldwide, sharing secrets of success with those willing to listen attentively. As we marvel at past victories such as Dark Star’s historic win under Hayward’s guidance, we nod our heads in admiration for this legendary figure whose impact on the sport endures profoundly and is deeply respected by all who treasure its rich traditions.”


1. How did Eddie Hayward's training methods set him apart as a master trainer in American Thoroughbred horse racing?

Eddie Hayward became known for his precise training techniques and exceptional skills in turning horses into champions. He made history by winning the Kentucky Derby with Dark Star, who had also triumphed in the Derby Trial Stakes. This victory established him as a top trainer in American Thoroughbred horse racing.

2. What made Dark Star's victory in the Kentucky Derby under Eddie Hayward's guidance such a historic achievement?

Dark Star's win in the Kentucky Derby with Eddie Hayward as jockey was a big deal because they managed to pull off something amazing – winning both the Derby Trial Stakes and the Kentucky Derby with one horse. This showed how skilled Hayward was at training top-notch horses for championship races.

3. How did Eddie Hayward's expertise shine through in his ability to win both the Derby Trial Stakes and Kentucky Derby with the same horse?

Eddie Hayward's amazing skills in training champion horses were on full display when he made history by winning both the Derby Trial Stakes and the famous Kentucky Derby with his horse, Dark Star. This incredible achievement established him as a top trainer in American Thoroughbred horse racing.

4. What enduring legacy has Eddie Hayward left on the sport of horse racing, particularly in relation to his championship victories?

Eddie Hayward left a lasting mark on American Thoroughbred horse racing by showcasing his remarkable skills in training top-notch horses. His crowning achievement was winning the prestigious Kentucky Derby with Dark Star, making history. What set him apart even more was achieving victory in both the Derby Trial Stakes and the Kentucky Derby with the same horse, establishing himself as a revered and legendary trainer in the sport.

5. Can you elaborate on the significance of Eddie Hayward's contributions to the development of champion horses in American racing history?

Eddie Hayward's incredible skill in training champion horses is best seen in his historic win at the Kentucky Derby with Dark Star. His unique feat of winning both the Derby Trial Stakes and Kentucky Derby with the same horse has made him a respected figure in American Thoroughbred horse racing. This showcases his exceptional abilities and deep influence on the sport.

6. How is Eddie Hayward remembered and revered within the horse racing community for his exceptional skills as a trainer, especially following Dark Star's iconic Kentucky Derby triumph?

The horse racing world still talks about Eddie Hayward and his amazing training abilities. He really showed off his skills when Dark Star won the famous Kentucky Derby. It was impressive how he trained the same horse to win both the Derby Trial Stakes and the Kentucky Derby, leaving a lasting mark on American Thoroughbred horse racing history.