By Mint Julep


Frank E. Childs Trainer: One Kentucky Derby Winner

tomy lee kentucky derby winner 1959

Join us on an exciting journey as we dive into the incredible career of Frank E. Childs, a highly respected American Thoroughbred racehorse trainer whose impact can still be felt in horse racing history today. Discover his impressive accomplishments, such as leading Tomy Lee to victory at the prestigious Kentucky Derby in 1959, showcasing his exceptional talent for developing champion racehorses destined for success on the biggest stages of thoroughbred competition. Learn about Childs’ lasting influence on the sport through innovative training techniques and strategic approaches that continue to motivate trainers and fans across different generations.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Born on December 27, 1887, in Cove, Oregon, Frank E. Childs was destined for success in the world of Thoroughbred racing. His passion for horses and commitment to his craft propelled him towards a career that would make a lasting impact on the sport. Not only did he excel as a trainer but he also showed courage by serving with the United States Army during World War I—a true testament to his character both on and off the racetrack.

Childs’ journey into horse racing went beyond just winning races; it involved building deep connections with these magnificent animals. His approach focused on more than physical training—it emphasized establishing trust and friendship between horse and trainer. This innovative technique set him apart from others of his time and paved the way for modern training methods still used today.

The peak of Frank E. Childs’ impressive career arrived when he led Tomy Lee to victory in the renowned Kentucky Derby in 1959—an accomplishment that solidified his position as one of horse racing’s greatest trainers ever. The bond between Childs and Tomy Lee showcased their mutual respect and understanding, highlighting not only skill but also an unspoken connection that surpassed mere competition. This triumph reflected Child’s lifelong dedication to nurturing equine talent while cementing his legacy as a trailblazer whose influence continues to inspire trainers worldwide across generations!

Training Tomy Lee to Victory

In 1959, Frank E. Childs showed off his amazing training skills when he helped Tomy Lee win the famous Kentucky Derby. This victory not only highlighted the talent of both the horse and the trainer but also showcased Childs’ unique methods that made him stand out in the world of horse racing. His smart way of getting Tomy Lee ready for such a big race left a lasting impact on the sport, inspiring upcoming trainers to follow his careful techniques.

Childs transformed Tomy Lee from a promising horse into a champion racer who could win one of horse racing’s biggest prizes. Each step taken by Tomy Lee demonstrated the hard work and knowledge that his sharp trainer, Frank E. Childs, had instilled in him. Their strong bond represented teamwork in horse racing, where trust between human and animal is crucial for achieving success on the racetrack.

The influence created by Frank E. Childs through his training abilities went beyond just one important win at Churchill Downs with Tomy Lee; it echoed throughout thoroughbred circles for years to come. His impact was more than just about winning or losing races – it resonated with everyone who saw how well he nurtured horses’ talents like few others could ever do – leaving an everlasting mark on horse racing history that still inspires wonder and respect today.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Racing legends amaze and capture audiences with their incredible accomplishments.
  2. They demonstrate the highest level of athleticism and skill in horse racing worldwide.
  3. Racing legends often have fascinating life stories that deepen their achievements.
  4. Their triumphs can bring honor and fame to their trainers, owners, and jockeys.
  5. These iconic figures contribute to the long history and customs of horse racing.
  6. Through their performances, they create unforgettable moments that stay with fans for years.


  1. The horses go through tough training and competition which can really tire them out physically.
  2. Some famous racehorses might get health problems or injuries because their sport is so demanding.
  3. People sometimes push these amazing animals too hard just to make money.
  4. Making the horses perform at a high level all the time can stress them out or make them feel tired.
  5. Sometimes, people care more about winning races than they do about taking care of the horses’ well-being.
  6. After their racing days are over, not all legendary racehorses get proper care or retirement plans, so it’s hard to say what will happen to them.

Major Racing Wins and Honors

Frank E. Childs dominated the world of horse racing, clinching wins in prestigious races like the Kentucky Oaks and the San Antonio Handicap. His training skills stood out in events such as the Del Mar Futurity and Santa Catalina Stakes, demonstrating his expertise across different race tracks.

Childs was known for his track record of success, leading to his induction into the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame in 1968—an acknowledgment of his significant impact on Thoroughbred racing. By setting new benchmarks for trainers to follow, he revolutionized horse training methods with a strategic and nurturing approach.

Beyond just winning races, this Kentucky Derby-winning trainer had a profound understanding of horses and dedicated himself to developing them into champions. Each victory not only added accolades to his name but also highlighted innovative techniques that reshaped modern horse training practices.

With every race he participated in, Childs brought excitement and anticipation as spectators awaited how he would transform potential talent into victorious performances on race day. His enduring influence still resonates today through legendary horses like Tomy Lee who left an indelible mark on racing history—a lasting tribute to Frank E. Childs’ brilliance on the racetrack.

Legacy Through Significant Horses

Frank E. Childs left a lasting mark on the horse racing world by guiding top horses to success. His expertise and dedication were evident in every hoofbeat of the magnificent steeds he trained. Bolero, under his careful guidance, not only showed speed but also finesse, setting a high standard for excellence that inspired others in the racing community. Black Badge’s sleek appearance gleamed under the racetrack lights, showcasing Childs’ talent for bringing out the best in each horse he worked with.

Flying Rhythm dashed across finish lines like a maestro leading an orchestra, thanks to Childs’ years of experience and skillful training methods. Miss Ribot effortlessly danced on the turf, embodying grace and power instilled by her trainer’s expert guidance. Each horse made their mark in racing history under Childs’ tutelage, leaving behind a legacy that future trainers could only dream of emulating.

The triumphs achieved by Bolero, Black Badge,

Flying Rhythm,

and Miss Ribot continue to be celebrated within horse racing lore – immortalizing Frank E. Childs as more than just a trainer but as an artist sculpting legends from flesh and blood athletes.

His influence endures through these champions who transcend time itself – proof of his unwavering passion for nurturing talent and pushing boundaries in this fast-paced sport where milliseconds can make all the difference between victory or defeat; truly highlighting his enduring impact on shaping champions who stand the test of time

Legendary Trainer Frank E. Childs: Racing Icon

Attribute Information
Name Frank E. Childs
Occupation Trainer
Born December 27, 1887
Cove, Oregon
Died January 10, 1973 (aged 85)
Major Racing Wins – Wolverine Handicap (1941)
– Kentucky Oaks (1944)
– Del Mar Derby (1949)
– San Antonio Handicap (1949)
– San Carlos Handicap (1951)
– Del Mar Futurity (1958, 1961)
– Santa Catalina Stakes (1965)
– California Oaks (1968)
– Honeymoon Handicap (1968)
– La Centinela Stakes (1968)
– Princess Stakes (1968)
– Beverly Hills Handicap (1969)
– Santa Ana Stakes (1969)
– Los Angeles Handicap (1971)
U.S. Triple Crown wins:
– Kentucky Derby (1959)
Honors U.S. Racing Hall of Fame (1968)
Significant Horses Bolero, Berseem, Canina, Black Badge, Dinner Gong, Flying Rhythm, Miss Ribot, Occupy, Tomy Lee

Enduring Influence on Horse Racing

Frank E. Childs left a lasting mark on horse racing that goes beyond just winning races and earning trophies. He was dedicated to developing the talent of horses and creating champions who would be remembered for years to come. His new training techniques were like an artist painting on a canvas, turning raw potential into masterpieces.

Childs approached horsemanship like a carefully choreographed dance between humans and animals, where trust, communication, and respect were crucial for success on the racetrack. His ability to see each horse as unique with its own needs and skills made him stand out as a true expert in Thoroughbred racing.

By always striving for excellence, Frank E. Childs not only improved his own stables but also set higher standards for trainers everywhere. His influence spread like ripples in water, shaping how future trainers viewed training methods and teaching them to value both tradition and innovation.

Like a beacon guiding the way towards greatness, Frank E. Childs’ impact still resonates throughout the world of horse racing today – reminding us that real legends aren’t just about wins but also about making a lasting impression on those who come after them.

Contributions During World War I

Frank E. Childs was not only a successful horse trainer, but also a brave soldier who served in the United States Army during World War I. His courage on the battlefield reflected his dedication to training champion racehorses.

Childs’ experiences during the war greatly influenced how he trained horses after returning to racing. The skills he learned in combat, like discipline and strategic thinking, helped him prepare horses for success on the track.

His reputation as both a decorated soldier and respected trainer highlights Childs’ unique abilities. He excelled under pressure in war and in competitive horse racing, making him stand out as an exceptional individual whose impact goes beyond just winning races.

By celebrating Frank E. Childs for his wartime service and lasting influence on Thoroughbred racing, we honor a legendary figure whose determination continues to inspire trainers, jockeys, owners, and fans across generations.

Fascinating Tales of Kentucky Derby Champion

  1. ## Exciting Stories of a Kentucky Derby Winner
  2. **Mysterious Beginnings**: Legend has it that Frank E. Childs, the trainer behind a victorious Kentucky Derby horse, had an intriguing past veiled in mystery. Some say he was once a jockey who later transitioned into training and emerged from obscurity to lead an unexpected winner to triumph at the prestigious race.
  3. **Innovative Training Techniques**: It is rumored that Childs utilized groundbreaking training methods that distinguished him from his peers. From introducing unique supplements to incorporating unconventional workout routines, his strategies were not only mysterious but also highly effective.
  4. **Whispers of Superstition**: Rumor has it that Childs held strong beliefs in superstitions and placed great faith in lucky charms and rituals. Some speculate he would always wear a specific hat on race days or carry talismans for good luck, adding an aura of mystique to his training regime.
  5. **Victory Against All Odds**: Despite facing tough competition, Childs led his unlikely contender to a remarkable victory at the Kentucky Derby. The narrative of triumph against adversity captured the hearts of racing fans globally while establishing Child’s reputation as a skilled trainer with expertise in defying expectations.
  6. **Enduring Mystique**: Even today, Frank E. Child’s legacy remains as an enthralling enigma within Kentucky Derby lore.
  7. His captivating story continues to intrigue enthusiasts by sparking discussions and speculation regarding the true secrets underpinning his success as a trainer.


1. What were some of Frank E. Childs’ most notable achievements as a Thoroughbred trainer?

Frank E. Childs made a name for himself as a Thoroughbred trainer by leading Tomy Lee to win the 1959 Kentucky Derby and developing many champion racehorses using his groundbreaking training techniques that have significantly impacted the horse racing industry.

2. How did Frank E. Childs revolutionize training methods in the world of horse racing?

Frank E. Childs transformed how horses were trained for racing by introducing new methods that emphasized personalized care, fitness training, and strategic race strategies. This led to the success of champion Thoroughbreds such as Tomy Lee and left a lasting impact on the sport.

3. Which champion racehorses did Frank E. Childs train, and what made them stand out in the sport?

Frank E. Childs taught Tomy Lee, the famous racehorse that triumphed in the Kentucky Derby of 1959. This victory highlighted Childs’ amazing abilities as a trainer and his knack for developing elite horse talent.

4. Can you elaborate on Frank E. Childs’ impact on the Kentucky Derby and his success in the prestigious race?

Frank E. Childs made a lasting impact on the Kentucky Derby when he skillfully rode Tomy Lee to victory in the 1959 Run for the Roses. This win showcased his exceptional talent and training abilities, establishing him as a respected trainer and an important figure in Thoroughbred racing history.

5. How did Frank E. Childs inspire future generations of trainers with his innovative approaches to horsemanship?

Frank E. Childs inspired upcoming trainers by changing how horses are trained and helping champion racehorses like Tomy Lee succeed, making a lasting impact on Thoroughbred racing.

6. What qualities and strategies set Frank E. Childs apart as a legendary figure in the history of Thoroughbred racing?

Frank E. Childs became a legend in Thoroughbred racing for his groundbreaking training techniques, strategic thinking, and talent for developing champion racehorses like Tomy Lee. His legacy still inspires trainers and fans today, showing the lasting impact of his work on the sport.