As the 1970's came to an end, following in the footsteps of Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Affirmed, the racing "gods made one more attempt to create the perfect racehorse."*
Spectacular Bid, who was as close to the perfect racehorse as any before and after him, was not the most handsome horse, nor the most well-bred, but he could do almost anything on the racetrack. During his career, his versatility and speed enabled him to break seven track records, winning 26 of 30 starts.
The son of Bold Bidder, Spectacular Bid sold for $37,000 as a yearling. A champion at two, three and four, he won races at 15 different racetracks in nine different states. Commonly known as 'The Bid', the horse racked up victories in the Hutcheson Stakes, the Florida Derby, the Flamingo Stakes and the Blue Grass Stakes. An epic showdown between Spectacular Bid and California champion Flying Paster never materialized in the 1979 Kentucky Derby with 'The Bid' cruising home by two and three quarter lengths. It was a similar scenario in the Preakness. But his next race was a different story, thanks to a loose safety pin in the horse's stall.
'The Bid' struggled home in third place, as it became obvious that the horse was not himself. A deep infection in his hoof was eventually discovered, treated and cured. Although denied the Triple Crown, 'The Bid' went on to a champion career as a four year old. He was retired to Claiborne Farm in Kentucky in 1981 due to an old sesamoid injury. He eventually was moved to Milfer Farm in New York, where "he was pampered and treated like a king… just as the racing gods intended."*