By Mint Julep


Frances A. Genter Owner: One Kentucky Derby Winner

kentucky derby winner unbridled 1990

Frances A. Genter had an incredible journey in Thoroughbred horse racing that showcased her unwavering passion and dedication to the sport. Starting out in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she rose to prominence within the industry. One of her most iconic achievements was owning Unbridled, a beloved racehorse who won hearts with victories at both the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic. Her numerous accolades included winning the prestigious Eclipse Award for Outstanding Owner and being posthumously honored with inductions into various Hall of Fames, underscoring her lasting impact on American Thoroughbred racing scene.

Early Life and Family Background

Frances A. Genter, born in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania on February 17, 1898, was a visionary woman who broke barriers in the world of Thoroughbred horse racing. Her incredible journey started during her teenage years in Minneapolis, Minnesota when she discovered her passion for the sport.

Despite facing challenges such as declining eyesight later in life, Frances A. Genter remained unwaveringly dedicated to horse racing. She became known as a symbol of resilience and commitment within the industry, earning admiration from both fans and professionals alike.

Her influence on American racehorse ownership was unmatched; she was not just another participant but a pioneer who made an enduring impact on the sport through sheer determination. Frances A. Genter’s steadfast spirit served as inspiration for future generations by demonstrating that with genuine passion and hard work, one can achieve anything.

Throughout her successful career as a racehorse owner, Frances A. Genter celebrated numerous triumphs with exceptional horses under her care. From winning the Kentucky Derby with Unbridled to claiming victory with stakes champions like Smile and Miesque’s Son – each achievement added to her legacy in Thoroughbred horse racing history.

In honor of her remarkable contributions to the beloved sport she cherished deeply, Frances A. Genter received multiple awards posthumously including inductions into prestigious Hall of Fames – solidifying her position as one of America’s most esteemed figures in horse racing folklore forevermore.

Introduction to Racing

In 1940, Frances A. Genter began her incredible journey in horse racing when she and her husband Harold entered the thrilling world of Thoroughbred racing for the first time. Their love for these majestic animals laid the groundwork for a legacy that would last through generations.

After Harold passed away in 1981, Frances faced challenges head-on and continued to be deeply involved in the sport they both adored. With strong determination, she delved further into buying, breeding, and racing top-notch Thoroughbreds alongside her devoted son-in-law Bentley Smith.

One of the most memorable moments in horse racing history is Frances A. Genter’s experience at the 1990 Kentucky Derby. Despite struggling with visual impairments, her spirit remained unbroken as trainer Carl Nafzger vividly described every thrilling moment of that famous race to make sure Frances didn’t miss anything.

Frances A. Genter’s impact on horse racing goes beyond just winning races; it embodies resilience, dedication, and an unwavering love for these magnificent creatures who stole her heart many years ago. Her induction into various Hall of Fames serves as proof of her lasting legacy within an industry that holds her memory close with each powerful hoofbeat on racetracks worldwide.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Keep future generations of horse racing fans excited
  2. Maintain the stories and achievements of famous racehorses
  3. Encourage sportsmanship, hard work, and determination
  4. Spark enthusiasm and curiosity in the world of horse racing


  1. The current focus on past racing legends may overshadow the talents of today’s racers.
  2. We might romanticize the past and forget about the challenges that owners and trainers faced.
  3. Racing legends from diverse backgrounds are not well-represented in discussions.
  4. Historical race events could be misunderstood or inaccurately portrayed, perpetuating myths.

Notable Achievements with Unbridled

Frances A. Genter made a lasting mark on the world of Thoroughbred horse racing through her partnership with Unbridled. Their triumph at the 1990 Kentucky Derby was a dream come true for any owner and showcased Genter’s talent for spotting promising horses and dedication to the sport.

Their victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic that same year solidified their reputation as an unstoppable team in racing history. Genter’s sharp decision-making combined with Unbridled’s exceptional athleticism led to an unforgettable season that left fans amazed.

Mrs. Genter’s deep emotional connection with her horses was clear during Nafzger’s heartfelt retelling of Unbridled’s victories at Churchill Downs. This special bond went beyond mere ownership; it highlighted the strong relationship between humans and their equine partners on the racetrack.

Through her incredible success with Unbridled, Frances A. Genter not only secured her place in horse racing history but also motivated many within the industry to strive for greatness and cherish every moment spent alongside these majestic animals.

Recognition and Awards

Frances A. Genter received top awards in horse racing for her outstanding contributions, such as the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Owner in 1990 and the Mr. Fitz Award from the National Turf Writers Association in 1991. These honors recognized her true sportsmanship within the industry.

Her dedication to Thoroughbred horse racing set her apart as a legend of the sport at a young age. Her deep connection with horses went beyond just owning them; it resonated with fans, fellow owners, and jockeys alike.

Frances A. Genter’s unwavering commitment and love for horse racing made a lasting impact on American Thoroughbred history through sheer determination. The recognition she earned during her lifetime only scratched the surface of her inspiring legacy that still motivates enthusiasts today.

Even after being posthumously honored by various Hall of Fames, Frances A. Genter remains etched in horse racing greatness—a testament to her incredible achievements and enduring influence on an industry she adored throughout her successful career.

Legendary Racehorse Owner: Frances A. Genter’s Legacy

Attribute Information
Name Frances A. Genter
Born February 17, 1898
Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, United States
Died November 24, 1992 (aged 94)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Resting place Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Education University of Minnesota
Occupation Racehorse owner/breeder
Known for Mrs Genter was unable to see the race due to her failing eyesight, she could not see that far & the Monitors were not large enough for her decreased vision.
Spouse(s) 1) Harold Genter
2) Earl Knudtson
Children Jean, Frances, Harold Jr.
Honors – Eclipse Award for Outstanding Owner (1990)
– NTWA Mr. Fitz Award (1991)
– Canterbury Park Hall of Fame (1996)
– Calder Race Course Hall of Fame (1998)
– Frances A. Genter Stakes at Calder Race Course
– Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Assoc. Hall of Fame

Enduring Legacy

Frances A. Genter left a lasting mark on Thoroughbred horse racing, showcasing her unwavering dedication and love for the sport. She achieved great success, becoming the top owner at Calder Race Course multiple times.

Her talent for spotting promising young horses was evident when she guided Unbridled to victory in the Kentucky Derby. This highlighted her keen eye for talent and sharp decision-making skills.

Genter’s influence on horse racing was so significant that she was later honored with induction into various Hall of Fames after her passing. Her contributions to an industry she adored were truly unforgettable.

The Frances A. Genter Stakes stands as a powerful tribute to her enduring impact, ensuring that we always remember this trailblazer who opened doors for future generations of fans and professionals in Thoroughbred horse racing.

When we think about Frances A. Genter’s legacy, it is not just about her successes on the track but also about the qualities she embodied – resilience, determination, and a deep love for these magnificent creatures that captured her heart completely.


1. What was Frances A. Genter’s most notable achievement as a Thoroughbred horse racing owner?

In 1990, Frances A. Genter made history by winning the famous Kentucky Derby with her cherished colt, Unbridled. This victory established her as a highly respected figure in Thoroughbred horse racing.

2. How many Kentucky Derby winners did Frances A. Genter own during her illustrious career?

During her successful career, Frances A. Genter had a Kentucky Derby champion named Unbridled in 1990, which made her a significant figure in the world of Thoroughbred horse racing.

3. In which Hall of Fames has Frances A. Genter been posthumously inducted for her contributions to horse racing?

Frances A. Genter earned recognition into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame as well as the Florida Sports Hall of Fame for her remarkable impact on the horse racing world, even after her passing.

4. Can you share a brief overview of Frances A. Genter’s journey and impact on the Thoroughbred horse racing industry?

Frances A. Genter left a lasting impact on the world of Thoroughbred horse racing through her unwavering passion, dedication, and impressive success as an influential owner and breeder. Her remarkable achievements earned her prestigious awards and posthumous recognition in multiple Hall of Fames within the industry.

5. What distinguished Frances A. Genter as a prominent figure in the history of horse racing, particularly in relation to her Derby successes?

Frances A. Genter left a lasting mark on horse racing with her incredible achievements as the owner of Unbridled, who won the Kentucky Derby in 1990. Her sharp eye for talent and strong commitment to the sport were key factors in her success.

6. How did Frances A. Genter’s passion and dedication influence the way she approached owning and breeding racehorses?

Frances A. Genter’s deep love for Thoroughbred horse racing drove her to carefully own and breed racehorses, resulting in impressive achievements and prestigious recognition within the industry.