1965 Kentucky Derby

Lucky Debonair was an American Thoroughbred, which became famous by winning the 1965 Kentucky Derby. This racehorse was born on May 2nd, 1962 and died on July 10th, 1987.

The owner of the Lucky Debonair was Ada and Dan Rice of Wheaton, Illinois. They took care of this racehorse at Danda Farm, Kentucky, this property once belonged to the HIS (Idle Hour Stock) Farm.  The horse was trained by Vertex who was also the daughter of Count Fleet a Triple Crown Champion in the year 1943. He was trained by Frank Cartone a trainer for racing.

Lucky Debonair Racing Career:

When Lucky Debonair was just a 2-year-old in 1964, he started to race at the ACR (Atlantic City Race) course, later at the age of 3, it was sent to race in California, and Bill Shoemaker rode this unknown clot, he came second in the San Felipe Stake and he won the SVH (San Vicente Handicap), both at SAP (Santa Anita Park) in Arcadia. Lucky Debonair was an extra contestant in the most significant races of West Coast for a 3-year-old at the SAD (Santa Anita Derby). Lucky Debonair won the by four lengths under Shoemakers and it sets a new record of stakes in a 1:47.00 minutes. He continued the victory with another vital win in the BGS (Blue Grass Stakes) at the Keeneland Race course and he was the wagers second choice for the Kentucky Derby.

Under shoemaker, Lucky Debonair gave 3rd Derby win by beating ten other top3-year-old colts, including the strongly favored Bold Lad and American Champion, a 2-year-old colt (10th), the Dapper Dan the fastest Ogden Phipps clot (2nd), Tom Rolfe, US Racing Hall of Fame rookie (3rd), and Hail to all (5th). In the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown at Preakness Stakes, it got bruised ankle and it was almost got withdrawn from the race, but it ran and came 7th position. At Belmont stakes, the clot did not run the race.

Lucky Debonair  returned back to racing track in 1966 at the age of four. He was sent to Venezuela after it retired from the race and at the Rice farm in Kentucky as the Ada rice separated her racing stable. Lucky Debonair won 15 stakes, including the ID (Irish Derby) winner Malacate.  Lucky Debonair died in 1987 at an age of twenty-five.  In the year 2002 on May 4th, the Wheaton city of Illinois honored the racehorse with a memorial rock and plaque at the Danda Equestrian Center.

The  Lucky Debonair’s ran 1 ¼ mile in 2:01.5 minutes and became the second-fastest clot in Derby ever,  the year before Northern Dancer finished in 2:00 minutes. However, the same tricks didn’t work for Lucky in Preakness, and he also suffered bruised leg and finished in 7th position.  After the Preakness race, he retired with 9 wins and 3 seconds in his 16 career starts. The Lucky Debonair won the 1965 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Down under the Hall of Fame rider Bill Shoemaker.