By Mint Julep

Spend a Buck Kentucky Derby Winner 1985

spend a buck kentucky derby winner 1985

In 1985, Spend a Buck made history at the Kentucky Derby by showcasing unmatched speed and skill as a legendary Thoroughbred racehorse. Over 100,000 spectators at Churchill Downs witnessed the exhilarating victory as he crossed the finish line first, leaving an enduring legacy in horse racing. Trainer Cam Gambolati’s strategic brilliance and jockey Ángel Cordero Jr.’s expert finesse culminated in a historic win that continues to captivate racing enthusiasts worldwide.

Background of Spend a Buck

Spend a Buck’s incredible journey to stardom was truly awe-inspiring. Starting from his modest origins at Hunter Farm and then reaching the grand stage of the Kentucky Derby, this chestnut colt won over fans with his exceptional speed and unwavering determination on the racetrack. The 1985 Kentucky Derby became a pivotal moment in Spend a Buck’s career as he defied expectations, outpacing his rivals and leaving spectators amazed by his remarkable talent.

As excitement built up for the 111th edition of the Kentucky Derby, there was an electrifying buzz in the air. With jockeys ready on their horses and crowds eagerly anticipating the race at Churchill Downs, Spend a Buck stood confidently poised for success. When the starting gates opened, he burst forth with lightning-fast speed, seizing an early lead that he never let go of. While other competitors struggled to keep up, Spend a Buck surged ahead with unyielding determination that seemed destined for victory.

The thunderous sound of hooves echoed through time as Spend a Buck crossed the finish line first at Churchill Downs on that unforgettable day in 1985. His triumph not only cemented his status among racing greats but also revolutionized betting outcomes worldwide. Those who believed in him were handsomely rewarded as he galloped into their hearts forever – marking an indelible moment in horse racing history courtesy of one extraordinary colt named Spend a Buck!

Path to Victory at the Kentucky Derby

Under the guidance of trainer Cam Gambolati and jockey Ángel Cordero Jr., Spend a Buck blazed its way to victory at the prestigious Kentucky Derby in 1985, showcasing exceptional speed and skill. The dynamic duo delivered an outstanding performance on May 4, 1985, electrifying Churchill Downs with their display of prowess.

The odds were stacked against Spend a Buck that day; few believed it could outshine its competitors. However, this underdog had other plans! With unwavering determination and grace, Spend a Buck defied expectations by galloping into the history books with a breathtaking demonstration of strength and agility.

Amidst the resounding cheers reverberating across Churchill Downs, it became evident that something extraordinary had unfolded before our very eyes. Spend a Buck’s triumph transcended mere victory; it symbolized resilience and showcased what true grit is all about.

Betting outcomes trembled as spectators bore witness to an unexpected twist of fate. Those who placed their faith in Spend a Buck reaped immeasurable rewards – both financially and emotionally. It serves as a compelling reminder never to underestimate the fiery spirit of an underdog!

That momentous day wasn’t just about winning a race for Spend a Buck; it was about capturing hearts globally through tenacity and spirit. His legacy endures as proof that greatness often emanates from unlikely sources – imparting valuable lessons on perseverance, belief, and pursuing aspirations regardless of how daunting they may appear initially.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Motivates upcoming racers for the future

  2. Makes lasting memories in sports history

  3. Demonstrates the skill and commitment of jockeys and trainers

  4. Sparks enthusiasm and love for horse racing

  5. Shines a spotlight on the grace and power of thoroughbred horses

  6. Increases the appeal and grandeur of racing events


  1. Horses and riders face a risk of getting injured or harmed.

  2. Participants feel pressured to excel in high-stakes events.

  3. There is a chance of animals being treated unethically in the industry.

  4. Owners, trainers, and jockeys bear a financial burden.

  5. Racing receives criticism for its association with gambling aspects.

  6. Lesser-known racers have limited opportunities to gain recognition.

Unforgettable Kentucky Derby Win

In a remarkable show of skill, Spend a Buck zoomed past the competition to claim victory at the 1985 Kentucky Derby. He clocked an impressive time of 2:00.20 on a speedy dirt track, leaving no doubt about his dominance that day in front of a crowd of over 108,000 spectators.

The audience was captivated as Spend a Buck surged ahead with incredible speed and determination down the final stretch. Guided expertly by his jockey who executed flawless timing and strategy, he left all other contenders trailing in his wake.

Spend a Buck’s stunning triumph not only earned him widespread praise but also caused quite a commotion among bettors worldwide. The unexpected result sparked both joy and disbelief as this underdog defied the odds with an exceptional performance that shattered expectations.

It wasn’t just about winning; it was about rewriting what seemed impossible. Spend A Buck’s legacy went far beyond that memorable day at Churchill Downs; it became synonymous with seizing opportunities against all odds, inspiring people to dream big and strive for greatness despite any challenges they may face.

As fans look back on that pivotal race in ’85, they can still feel the thrill and wonder that filled the air when Spend A Buck made his historic dash towards victory—a reminder that sometimes fairy tales do come true even amidst thundering hooves on sacred grounds.

Payouts and Prizes

In 1985, Spend a Buck pulled off an incredible win at the Kentucky Derby that stunned the racing world. His victory defied all expectations and left bettors amazed. While his odds were not as high as some of his competitors that day – US$10.20 to win, US$5.40 to place, and US$3.40 to show – those who believed in him reaped significant rewards.

The excitement of horse racing was vividly on display as Spend a Buck raced towards history, leaving the favorites behind and claiming the prestigious Garland of Roses with determination and elegance. The thrill of seeing an underdog surpass all predictions is what makes events like the Kentucky Derby so thrilling – it’s not just about luck; it’s about heart, strategy, and confidence in one’s abilities.

After Spend a Buck’s triumph, cheers filled Churchill Downs as fans celebrated both an outstanding sporting accomplishment and their own foresight in supporting this unexpected winner when others hesitated. The impact extended well beyond that memorable day, influencing future races’ dynamics and inspiring generations of racegoers with stories of perseverance against all odds.

As eager punters lined up to collect their winnings from betting on Spend a Buck’s surprising victory at Churchill Downs, more than money changed hands – there was also validation for those who trusted their instincts over conventional wisdom. This brave colt didn’t just win a race; he captured hearts globally by embodying the defiant spirit that characterizes champions throughout history.

Kentucky Derby 111th: Race Day Standings

Finished Post Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Time / behind
1st 9 Spend a Buck Ángel Cordero Jr. Cam Gambolati Hunter Farm 2:00.20
2nd 5 Stephan’s Odyssey Laffit Pincay Jr. Woody Stephens Henryk de Kwiatkowski
3rd 3 Chief’s Crown Don MacBeth Roger Laurin Star Crown Stable
4th 12 Fast Account Chris McCarron Patricia L. Johnson William R. Hawn
5th 10 Proud Truth Jorge Velásquez John M. Veitch Darby Dan Farm
6th 11 Skywalker Eddie Delahoussaye Michael C. Whittingham Oak Cliff Stable
7th 4 Tank’s Prospect Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Mr. & Mrs. E. Klein
8th 8 Floating Reserve Sandy Hawley Joseph A. Manzi Robert E. Hibbert
9th 1 Rhoman Rule Jacinto Vásquez Angel A. Penna Jr. Brownell Combs II
10th 6 Encolure Ronald Ardoin Tommie T. Morgan Fred Porter Estate
11th 2 Irish Fighter Pat Day Billy S. Borders Izzie Proler
12th 1a Eternal Prince Richard Migliore John J. Lenzini Jr. Hurst, Steinbrenner, Post & Spendthrift Farm
13th 7 I Am the Game Darrel McHargue King T. Leatherbury Leatherbury & Mandjuris

Legacy of Spend a Buck

The 1985 Kentucky Derby was rocked by Spend a Buck’s unexpected victory, shaking up the world of horse racing. His win wasn’t just a triumph; it changed the game for many spectators, leaving bookies puzzled and punters ecstatic.

Spend a Buck’s underdog tale instantly made him a hero on the racetrack, winning over hearts with his determination and spirit. His impressive surge in the final stretch to secure first place showcased his talent and fierce resolve—a true testament to defying expectations.

Beyond being crowned as a Kentucky Derby champion, Spend a Buck left an enduring legacy that inspired future generations of racehorses. He became a symbol of resilience and grace under pressure—setting an example for those striving for greatness despite facing odds against them.

The impact of Spend A Buck’s historic win resonated throughout the racing community, forever changing perceptions about what could be achieved on the track. Fans were awestruck by his remarkable feat and its profound implications when he defeated tough competitors that day—he proved that passion can conquer even the strongest rivals.

As time passed and new champions emerged worldwide on racetracks, Spend A Buck remained etched in our memories not just as another winner but as a symbol of bravery in adversity. His story continues to inspire both seasoned fans and newcomers alike with its timeless lesson: never underestimate unwavering determination paired with raw talent when pursuing your dreams—whether on or off-track.

Post-derby Racing Career

After winning the Derby, Spend a Buck continued racing in an impressive manner. He triumphed in the Cherry Hill Mile, Garden State Stakes, and Jersey Derby following his historic win at Churchill Downs. His determination and skill shone through in every race he participated in, establishing him as one of the all-time greats in horse racing.

With each run on the track, Spend a Buck mesmerized spectators with his unmatched speed and unwavering spirit. Fans were amazed by how effortlessly he dominated races, leaving other competitors far behind. His legacy only grew brighter with each victory he achieved, cementing his place as a legendary figure who transcended ordinary athleticism.

As Spend a Buck gracefully approached retirement, he left an unforgettable impact not just on the sport but also on those who followed his remarkable journey. His legacy stands as inspiration for up-and-coming jockeys and trainers – proof of what hard work, dedication, and raw talent can accomplish within the realm of horse racing.

Legendary Tales of Spend a Buck's Triumph

  1. # Spend a Buck's Unique Workout Routine:

  2. – Spend a Buck stood out for his one-of-a-kind training regimen, which involved swimming in a pool and using a mechanical horse to exercise. This different approach helped him get stronger and boost his stamina, making him stand out from other racehorses.

  3. # Bold Choice to Skip the Preakness Stakes:

  4. – In 1985, Spend a Buck's owners bravely decided to skip the Preakness Stakes after winning the Kentucky Derby. Instead, they opted to compete in the Jersey Derby, where Spend a Buck clinched victory along with a $2 million bonus.

  5. # Missing Out on Triple Crown Glory:

  6. – Despite an impressive win at the Kentucky Derby and success in other races, Spend A Buck chose not to take part in the Belmont Stakes, losing out on an opportunity to vie for the prestigious Triple Crown title.

  7. # Setting Records at The Kentucky Derby:

  8. – Spend A Buck broke track records during his 1985 Kentucky Derby triumph by finishing in 2:20 for 1 1/4 miles—showcasing extraordinary speed and talent as a racehorse.

  9. # Remembering His Legacy as Champion:

  10. – By securing victory at the 1985 Kentucky Derby, Spend A Bucks cemented his spot among racing legends—a champion known for unique training techniques and remarkable accomplishments on racetracks.

Impact on Owner Hunter Farm

During the 1985 Kentucky Derby, Hunter Farm proudly owned Spend a Buck and basked in newfound recognition and praise from the horse racing community. Winning the Derby elevated their status and showcased their expertise in breeding top-notch Thoroughbreds.

Opting to skip the Preakness Stakes after clinching victory at the Derby to chase an alluring $2 million bonus by entering the Jersey Derby was met with doubt initially. However, this daring decision paid off handsomely, highlighting not only their strategic thinking but also cementing Spend a Buck’s place in racing history.

The unconventional path taken by Spend a Buck to success generated buzz, injecting an element of excitement and unpredictability into an already thrilling sport. Fans were captivated by this tale of an underdog turned legend, forever immortalizing Hunter Farm and Spend a Buck in racing folklore.

This remarkable chapter in Hunter Farm’s legacy serves as a prime example of taking risks, seizing opportunities, and reaping unimaginable rewards. Their alliance with Spend a Buck stands as proof of perseverance, vision, and unwavering belief in one extraordinary racehorse that captured hearts globally.

Trainer Cam Gambolati’s Strategy

Spend a Buck made impressive strides leading up to the 1985 Kentucky Derby under trainer Cam Gambolati’s expert guidance. Gambolati’s precise training regimen pushed the horse to its peak physical condition, preparing it to conquer the challenging 1.25-mile track at Churchill Downs with strength and agility. This meticulous preparation not only elevated Spend a Buck’s performance but also boosted jockey Angel Cordero Jr.’s confidence, setting the stage for a memorable victory that would make history in horse racing.

The triumph at the Kentucky Derby wasn’t just about winning; it was about defying expectations and reshaping betting outcomes across the board. Spend a Buck’s surprising win as an underdog contender sent shockwaves through both spectators and bookmakers in the world of horse racing. Those who believed in Spend a Buck were handsomely rewarded, while those who underestimated him learned an important lesson: never underestimate an determined underdog.

Spend A Buck’s legacy extends beyond one remarkable victory; it embodies resilience, passion, and unwavering dedication within global horse racing circles. Trainer Cam Gambolati’s innovative strategies opened doors for future trainers to challenge traditional methods and embrace creative approaches when preparing horses for prestigious competitions like the Kentucky Derby. More than just another winner, Spend A Buck stands as a beacon of hope for dreamers and inspiration for believers – proof that determination, grace…and perhaps some luck can lead to greatness!

Jockey Ángel Cordero Jr.’s Skill

Watching Ángel Cordero Jr. expertly guide Spend a Buck around the twists and turns of Churchill Downs was truly captivating. Every move he made showed his incredible talent in predicting the colt’s next step, creating a strong connection between him and the horse.

The 1985 Kentucky Derby will always be remembered for Ángel Cordero Jr.’s outstanding skills. His smart decisions while riding Spend a Buck helped them outshine their rivals with impressive finesse, leaving everyone amazed at how well he handled the pressure.

Cordero’s excellent communication with Spend a Buck went beyond just working together; it was like watching a perfect dance of trust and harmony that led to their victorious race at the Run for the Roses. The way he balanced control with aggression highlighted his mastery of racing, cementing his status as one of the all-time greats.

Looking back now, it’s clear that without Ángel Cordero Jr.’s exceptional abilities guiding them towards success, Spend a Buck might not have won on that important day in 1985. Their victory is proof of how teamwork, talent, and determination continue to leave an impact on horse racing fans worldwide even after many years have passed.

Commemoration of Historic Win

The story of Spend a Buck’s incredible win at the 111th Kentucky Derby still lives on today, celebrated in horse racing circles and historical records that highlight his victory among the prestigious list of champions at this renowned event.

In 1985, with jockey Angel Cordero Jr. aboard, Spend a Buck captivated fans by taking an early lead and holding onto it to secure the win. His bold front-running strategy went against tradition, creating one of the most unforgettable upsets in Derby history.

This surprising triumph not only amazed spectators but also had a significant impact on betting results. Spend a Buck’s victory led to record-breaking payouts for bettors, reshaping views on underdog contenders and proving that anything is possible when odds are defied.

Even years after his historic win, Spend a Buck is remembered as a symbol of perseverance, determination, and unwavering spirit in horse racing legend. Fans who witnessed his memorable run at Churchill Downs still feel nostalgic when recalling his remarkable journey.

As we celebrate Spend A Buck’s extraordinary rise from obscurity to glory on that special day in May 1985, let us not forget that true champions are defined by more than just their speed or endurance – they are defined by their heart; something Spend A Buck possessed abundantly. So let’s raise our hats (or horseshoes) to this legendary racehorse whose legacy has left an enduring mark on history!


1. What made Spend a Buck's win at the 1985 Kentucky Derby so historic and memorable?

The 1985 Kentucky Derby victory of Spend a Buck showed his incredible skill and smart thinking. He not only won the race but also broke tradition by skipping the Preakness Stakes to win a $2.6 million bonus in the Jersey Derby, making a big impact on horse racing history.

2. How did Spend a Buck's victory impact betting outcomes and odds in the 1985 Kentucky Derby?

In the 1985 Kentucky Derby, Spend a Buck pulled off a stunning upset with a powerful win that completely changed the betting game and odds. This unexpected victory shocked everyone and made a lasting impact on the horse racing scene.

3. What was the lasting legacy of Spend a Buck in the world of horse racing after his triumph at the 1985 Kentucky Derby?

After winning the 1985 Kentucky Derby, Spend a Buck made a bold move that changed horse racing forever. Instead of running in the Preakness Stakes, he went for a $2 million bonus at the Jersey Derby. This decision shook up how races were scheduled and how people bet on them.

4. How did Spend a Buck's performance at the 1985 Kentucky Derby compare to other notable wins in horse racing history?

The 1985 Kentucky Derby win by Spend a Buck is celebrated for showcasing his remarkable skill and unwavering determination. It firmly cements his position as one of the most unforgettable and influential victories in the world of horse racing.

5. What factors contributed to Spend a Buck's success at the 1985 Kentucky Derby, and how did he stand out from other competitors?

Spend a Buck dominated the 1985 Kentucky Derby with his remarkable speed, endurance, and smart front-running tactics. His unique skills set him apart from other horses and secured his spot in the annals of racing history.

6. In what ways did Spend a Buck's victory at the 1985 Kentucky Derby captivate racing enthusiasts worldwide and leave an enduring impression on the sport?

The 1985 Kentucky Derby was a game-changer thanks to Spend a Buck's incredible win. This unexpected victory not only amazed racing fans worldwide but also shook up betting results, highlighting the amazing talent and spirit of this remarkable racehorse.