By Mint Julep

Kentucky Derby Winner 1991 Strike the Gold

kentucky derby winner 1991 strike the gold

In 1991, the Kentucky Derby was an unforgettable event where Strike the Gold made a stunning victory against top contenders like Best Pal and Mane Minister. Jockey Chris Antley showcased his exceptional skills while trainer Nick Zito’s strategic expertise played a crucial role in their triumph at America’s premier horse racing competition. Discover how Strike the Gold, an unexpected champion, left a lasting mark on horse racing history with his remarkable win that solidified his legendary status.

Background of the 1991 Kentucky Derby

The 117th edition of the Kentucky Derby in 1991 was a thrilling event, attracting over 135,000 excited fans to Churchill Downs. The atmosphere buzzed with excitement as top contenders like Best Pal and Mane Minister were hyped as favorites for the prestigious Grade I stakes race.

Jockey Chris Antley was the talk of the town as he skillfully guided Strike the Gold towards victory. Trained by Nick Zito, this powerful pair had dedicated themselves to intense training leading up to the big day, and their hard work was about to pay off in grand fashion.

As the horses raced down that famous track, it became evident that anything could happen – showcasing horse racing at its most unpredictable. The suspense built with each stride these majestic animals took, all competing for glory in what would be an unforgettable race.

In a sport where split-seconds determine success or failure, Strike the Gold displayed his true potential with a breathtaking show of speed and endurance. This underdog defied expectations by rising above adversity, leaving spectators amazed and thrilled at witnessing such an extraordinary achievement on that revered turf.

By clinching victory at the 1991 Kentucky Derby, Strike the Gold secured his place in racing history alongside legendary champions from years past. Jockey Chris Antley’s expert handling and trainer Nick Zito’s guidance propelled this talented colt to greatness on America’s premier stage for thoroughbred racing – demonstrating that sometimes unexpected heroes can captivate our hearts and reign supreme amidst fierce competition.

Contenders in the Race

The 1991 Kentucky Derby showcased a lineup of top contenders, each with their own remarkable stories of success in horse racing history. Fly So Free, Best Pal, and Hansel were the favored horses to win at Churchill Downs that day. Their impressive speed and skills on the track had fans eagerly awaiting what was set to be an exciting race.

But it was Strike the Gold who captured everyone’s attention as he charged down the homestretch, leaving spectators stunned by his incredible performance. Trained by Nick Zito and ridden by Chris Antley, Strike the Gold displayed sheer determination and grit as he surged past his competitors to secure a surprising victory. The underdog had defied all expectations and emerged triumphant in one of America’s most prestigious horse races.

While Green Alligator raced alongside Quintana and Alydavid made a valiant effort to catch up with Sea Cadet, Mane Minister battled fiercely against Paulrus for position. The competition was intense, with jockeys encouraging their horses forward amid cheers from the crowd reverberating through Churchill Downs like thunder rolling across open plains.

The 1991 Kentucky Derby will always be remembered as a pivotal moment in horse racing history – where unexpected triumphs unfolded amidst fierce rivalry and unwavering spirit. Strike the Gold’s legacy lives on as a testament to perseverance and passion on those sacred grounds where champions are crowned amidst moments that captivate our hearts and spark our imaginations.

The Pros & Cons of Derby Day Drama


  1. Get pumped and eager as the race approaches

  2. Witness history in the making firsthand

  3. Enjoy a lively vibe with friends and other racing fans

  4. Dress to impress in fashionable Derby outfits


  1. Dealing with packed venues and waiting in long lines for food, drinks, and betting

  2. Weather conditions that can be unpredictable and affect the event

  3. Premium seating areas come with expensive ticket prices

  4. Getting to and from the event is a hassle due to traffic congestion

Favorite’s Journey to Victory

The 1991 Kentucky Derby victory by Strike the Gold was truly remarkable. After finishing second to Fly So Free at the Florida Derby, Strike the Gold bounced back with a big win at the Blue Grass Stakes just before heading to Churchill Downs. The rivalry between these two talented colts added an exciting element to their showdown at America’s most prestigious horse race.

The atmosphere at Churchill Downs on that first Saturday in May was buzzing as fans eagerly awaited the Run for Roses. With strong contenders like Best Pal and Mane Minister also in play, all eyes were on Strike the Gold and Fly So Free as they geared up for their face-off on racing’s biggest stage. Trainer Nick Zito had meticulously readied his colt for this moment, building confidence in jockey Chris Antley that they could conquer tough odds and come out victorious.

As post time approached, tension rose among spectators who sensed they were about to witness something extraordinary unfold at Churchill Downs. When the starting gates opened, it became a wide-open race with horses vying for position down that iconic homestretch where champions are crowned or defeated. In an intense display of skill and determination, Strike The Gold surged forward with each stride under Antley’s expert guidance, leaving rivals struggling to keep up.

In a surprising upset that stunned experts and thrilled fans alike, Strike The Gold crossed the finish line first in a dazzling show of speed and endurance that solidified his status as one of America’s top racehorses. As he reveled in glory surrounded by roses draped over him, Strike The Gold secured his place in history while creating lasting memories for those captivated by horse racing’s timeless magic.

Full Results of the Race

The 1991 Kentucky Derby was an epic showdown of top-tier racehorses, with Strike the Gold proving his worth by galloping across the finish line first. Best Pal and Mane Minister finished closely behind in second and third place. The competition included star horses like Green Alligator, Fly So Free, Quintana, and Sea Cadet, adding to the excitement of this famous race.

Jockey Chris Antley’s expert moves on Strike the Gold captured spectators’ hearts as they witnessed an underdog triumph over tough rivals such as Best Pal and Mane Minister. Trainer Nick Zito’s smart tactics played a crucial role in shaping this unexpected win that resonated throughout horse racing circles.

As hooves pounded down Churchill Downs that day, fans eagerly watched these magnificent animals compete for victory on one of America’s most prestigious racetracks. The result surprised many as Strike the Gold outshone more favored competitors.

This iconic Kentucky Derby not only marked a turning point in jockey Chris Antley and trainer Nick Zito’s careers but also solidified Strike the Gold’s legacy as an exceptional racehorse who made history with each stride towards greatness amidst roses blooming along Churchill Downs’ revered grounds.

Thrilling Finishers at the Derby!

Finished Post Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Time / behind
1st 5 Strike the Gold Chris Antley Nick Zito Brophy, Condren, Cornacchia 2:03.08
2nd 15 Best Pal Gary Stevens Gary F. Jones Golden Eagle Farm
3rd 10 Mane Minister Alex Solis J. Paco Gonzalez T. McCaffery & J. Toffan
4th 8 Green Alligator Corey Nakatani Murray W. Johnson Anderson Fowler
5th 1 Fly So Free José A. Santos Scotty Schulhofer Thomas F. Valando
6th 16 Quintana Angel Cordero Jr. David C. Cross Jr. Gary Garber
7th 11 Paulrus Shane Sellers Steven C. Penrod Hermitage Farms
8th 4 Sea Cadet Chris McCarron Ronald McAnally VHW Stable, Inc. Lessee
9th 12 Corporate Report Pat Day D. Wayne Lukas Overbrook Farm & D. W. Lukas
10th 6 Hansel Jerry D. Bailey Frank L. Brothers Lazy Lane Farms
11th 14 Happy Jazz Band Cash Asmussen Philip A. Gleaves Straus-Medina Ranch
12th 9 Lost Mountain Herb McCauley Tom Bohannan Loblolly Stable
13th 13 Another Review Art Madrid, Jr. John P. Campo Buckland Farm
14th 2 Alydavid Corey Black Philip M. Hauswald David’s Farm
15th 3 Wilder Than Ever Joe Deegan John E. Churchman, Jr. Raymond Cottrell, Sr.
16th 7 Forty Something Andrea Seefeldt Reginald S. Vardon Sam Morrell

Breeding Information

Calumet Farm, a renowned name in the horse racing world, proudly bred Strike the Gold, who emerged victorious at the prestigious 1991 Kentucky Derby. With an impressive lineage stemming from generations of esteemed bloodlines, Strike the Gold was destined for greatness since birth. Calumet Farm’s careful selection and expert pairing of stallions and mares laid a strong foundation that allowed Strike the Gold to shine on race day.

The blend of genetics and lineage came to life as Strike the Gold raced down Churchill Downs, captivating spectators with his speed and stamina. Each stride he took felt like a graceful dance—a true showcase not just of his training but also his exceptional breeding. Crossing that finish line ahead of tough competitors marked more than just a win for him; it was a historic moment where breeding met brilliance on one unforgettable Derby day.

With every thundering beat against the turf during that iconic race, you could sense echoes of past champions resonating through Strike The Gold’s veins—each ancestor playing their part in this glorious unfolding chapter before us. Calumet Farm’s meticulous attention to selecting mating pairs reverberated through time as Strike The Gold galloped towards destiny exuding power and elegance with each step.

The legacy created by that triumphant run went beyond mere moments; it became woven into horse racing lore—an homage to how precise breeding can produce stars shining brightest when tested on grand stages like Churchill Downs’ revered track. Looking back at 1991’s Kentucky Derby winner reveals more than just a horse named Strike The Gold—it embodies heritage and lineage converging to create pure racing magic beneath those Twin Spires.

Payout Details

Strike The Gold surprised everyone by winning the Kentucky Derby in 1991, beating out favored competitors like Best Pal and Mane Minister who came in second and third. The betting payout for Strike The Gold’s victory was $11.60 for a win ticket, showing just how unexpected his triumph was.

The race at Churchill Downs that day will always be remembered as one of the most exciting upsets in horse racing history. Jockey Chris Antley skillfully guided Strike The Gold through a tight spot during the final stretch, wowing spectators with their bold move that led to an unforgettable win.

Trainer Nick Zito had meticulously prepared Strike The Gold for this big moment, and his hard work paid off when his colt outperformed some of the best horses in the sport with determination and grit. This victory not only brought Zito into the limelight but also proved he was a top trainer capable of producing champions when it counted.

In a world where favorites usually steal the show, Strike The Gold’s underdog story captured fans’ hearts worldwide. Despite facing tough odds, this dark bay colt defied expectations on that Saturday afternoon in May with pure heart and perseverance. It serves as a reminder that anything is possible in horse racing – or life – if you believe enough and keep pushing forward.

When strike crossed the finish line amid cheers from excited fans, it marked not only an important milestone for jockey Chris Antley but also solidified his special connection with this remarkable racehorse forever linked to Kentucky Derby glory. Their partnership represented trust between man and beast—a perfect blend of skill and instinct that propelled them to greatness on one of racing’s biggest stages.

Strike the Gold: Myths and Mystique

  1. ### Unveiling the Aura of Strike the Gold

  2. **Myth: The Charm of Number Seven**

  3. – Nick Zito, trainer of Strike the Gold, had already won six Kentucky Derbies before guiding this horse to victory. This sparked curiosity about whether their partnership was truly blessed by the number seven.

  4. **Interesting Tidbit: A Late Bloomer's Tale**

  5. – It took five races for Strike the Gold to clinch his first win as a two-year-old. This slow start highlighted his journey from an average racer to a champion in later years.

  6. **Myth: Preakness Letdown**

  7. – Despite triumphing at the Kentucky Derby, Strike the Gold placed a disappointing sixth in the Preakness Stakes. Rumors began circulating that he struggled on tracks outside Churchill Downs.

  8. **Engaging Fact: Inherited Greatness**

  9. – Alydar, who sired Strike the Gold, famously rivaled Triple Crown winner Affirmed in past races. Having such legendary lineage only added to Strike's allure and mystique.

  10. **Myth Busted: Redemption at Belmont**

  11. – After faltering at Preakness, Strike redeemed himself with an impressive second-place finish at Belmont Stakes – proving his versatility and resilience on different tracks.

Surrounding Events – Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes

Strike the Gold continued his journey towards potential Triple Crown glory, with the next race being the Preakness Stakes held at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Fans eagerly awaited to see if this Kentucky Derby champion could secure another victory. Despite putting up a strong fight, Strike the Gold finished in fourth place, proving that each leg of the Triple Crown is indeed a tough challenge even for top contenders.

The excitement then shifted to Belmont Park in New York for the final showdown – The Belmont Stakes. This grueling 1.5-mile race has been known as “The Test of Champions,” having dashed hopes of many Triple Crown aspirants over time. For Strike the Gold and his team led by Nick Zito and Chris Antley, it was a chance at redemption following their setback at Pimlico.

On that decisive day at Belmont Park, cheers filled the air as Strike The Gold surged ahead with unwavering determination. Jockey Chris Antley expertly guided him through Big Sandy’s demanding stretch run; outpacing competitors who struggled under pressure or succumbed to exhaustion.

In an incredible display of resilience and talent reminiscent of his triumph at the Kentucky Derby, Strike The Gold crossed that finish line first at Belmont Park – not just clinching victory but also carving his name into horse racing history alongside legendary champions!

Historical Significance

The 1991 Kentucky Derby was an exciting event that perfectly captured the thrill of horse racing. Strike The Gold’s surprising victory over favored horses like Best Pal and Mane Minister shocked the racing world, establishing him as a remarkable racehorse in history.

Chris Antley showed his skillful riding during the 1991 Kentucky Derby, not only securing their win but also marking a turning point in both their careers. His expert jockeying and unwavering determination won over spectators globally, making him a legend in the sport.

Trainer Nick Zito’s thorough preparation and strategic planning before the 1991 Kentucky Derby played a crucial role in Strike The Gold’s triumph on that special day. Zito’s expertise and dedication stood out as he guided his horse to glory against all odds, leaving their mark on racing history.

The intense competition among top contenders at the 1991 Kentucky Derby added an extra layer of excitement to this electrifying event. As horses raced down the homestretch, fans held their breaths unsure of who would emerge victorious in this high-stakes battle for supremacy at Churchill Downs’ revered grounds.

Strike The Gold’s historic win at the 1991 Kentucky Derby had a lasting impact on the horse racing community, making it truly unforgettable. This underdog story showcased perseverance, passion, and incredible talent coming together seamlessly to create magic on one memorable spring afternoon.

Impact on Jockey and Trainer Careers

At the 1991 Kentucky Derby, jockey Chris Antley skillfully guided Strike the Gold past tough competitors with such finesse that it was truly captivating. He and his horse seemed to move as one, effortlessly weaving through the field and securing their place in racing history. Antley’s exceptional riding skills were on full display that day at Churchill Downs, showing why he was considered one of the best jockeys of his time.

Trainer Nick Zito also played a crucial role in this thrilling victory. His strategic brilliance became evident as Strike the Gold surged ahead down the homestretch, leaving fans and experts amazed by their triumph. Zito’s thorough preparation and deep understanding of his horse’s abilities were key factors in winning such a prestigious race. His dedication to unlocking Strike the Gold’s potential showcased why he was regarded as a masterful figure in horse training.

The partnership between Antley and Zito not only led to success at Churchill Downs but also marked a significant moment in their careers. Their teamwork exemplified perfect coordination between rider and trainer, demonstrating how collaboration can result in remarkable achievements on racetracks worldwide. This monumental win elevated both individuals to legendary status within racing circles, cementing their positions among elite figures who have made lasting contributions to thoroughbred racing history.

As word spread rapidly about Antley’s tactical prowess and Zito’s expert guidance propelling Strike The Gold to victory at America’s most iconic race – The Run for Roses – it became clear that this triumph signified more than just another achievement; it was a defining moment that placed them alongside legends whose accomplishments continue inspiring generations within horse racing lore.

Legacy of Winner – Strike the Gold

In 1991, Strike The Gold won the Kentucky Derby in a thrilling race on a fast dirt track at Churchill Downs. This victory solidified his place among the elite winners of America’s premier horse racing event – The Run for Roses.

As the horses lined up at the starting gate, fans were filled with anticipation, eagerly waiting to see who would come out on top. Best Pal and Mane Minister were popular choices that day, expected to provide tough competition.

Amidst cheers from the crowd and bets being placed left and right, Strike The Gold took charge with determination and grace. Jockey Chris Antley skillfully maneuvered him through tight spots and crowded areas, showcasing his exceptional abilities under pressure.

Trainer Nick Zito’s careful preparation paid off as Strike The Gold maintained a strong pace throughout the challenging 1 1/4-mile race. Every stride brought them closer to victory against all odds, leaving even experienced bettors amazed by this unexpected dark horse’s stellar performance.

Crossing the finish line in an impressive show of speed and endurance, Strike The Gold cemented his status as one of horse racing’s legends. His remarkable win not only established his own legacy but also propelled jockey Chris Antley and trainer Nick Zito into greater prominence in equestrian sports—a testament to perseverance triumphing over adversity.


1. What were the odds of Strike the Gold winning the 1991 Kentucky Derby?

In the 1991 Kentucky Derby, Strike the Gold pulled off an unexpected win at odds of 4-1. This surprising victory amazed onlookers and firmly secured his spot in racing history.

2. How did jockey Chris Antley strategize to guide Strike the Gold to victory in the race?

Jockey Chris Antley skillfully guided Strike the Gold along the inside rail, staying close to the edge and biding his time for just the right opportunity to surge ahead, leading them to an impressive win at the 1991 Kentucky Derby.

3. What were some of the key challenges faced by Strike the Gold during the 1991 Kentucky Derby?

In the 1991 Kentucky Derby, Strike the Gold faced strong competition from top horses Best Pal and Mane Minister. Despite starting slow and being placed in a wide position, Strike the Gold managed to pull off an impressive win against all odds.

4. How did trainer Nick Zito prepare Strike the Gold for his historic win at Churchill Downs?

Trainer Nick Zito carefully trained Strike the Gold, working on improving his endurance and perfecting his racing tactics. This hard work paid off when they won the 1991 Kentucky Derby in a thrilling victory.

5. What impact did Strike the Gold's victory have on the landscape of horse racing following the 1991 Kentucky Derby?

Strike the Gold won the 1991 Kentucky Derby, changing horse racing forever. This victory established him as an exceptional racehorse, boosting jockey Chris Antley and trainer Nick Zito's careers while highlighting the thrilling and unpredictable nature of this sport.

6. How does Strike the Gold's triumph in 1991 compare to other memorable upsets in Kentucky Derby history?

The unexpected victory of Strike the Gold in the 1991 Kentucky Derby was like a thrilling underdog win that added to the exciting history of surprising moments at this iconic horse race.