The late George Steinbrenner was best known for his success as the owner of the New York Yankees. Steinbrenner had an attitude of spending money in order to win. In his time as the owner of the Yankees to team was a solid contender for their division year in and year out. They had success in winning their division, making the World Series and even won the World Series seven times during his tenure. Despite all of this success in baseball, many people know that Steinbrenner also had a desire to spread his success to horse racing.
Steinbrenner has long possessed a dream of winning the Kentucky Derby. His attempts commenced more than 30 years ago. Steinbrenner owned an enormous breeding operation in Ocala, CA where he would train up his horses in hopes of winning the big race.
Unfortunately for Steinbrenner the success that he hoped for simply never came. He tried several times over the years to produce a horse that would compete in the biggest race in the sport, but it seemed that he could never get a horse that would win the race for him.
This being said, it isn’t as if Steinbrenner never produced a solid contender for the race. Over the years Steinbrenner had horses that even finished in the top 5 in the race.
The first horse that Steinbrenner entered in the race actually finished as well as any horse he ever entered as an owner. “Steve’s Friend” was the horse that was entered in 1977. The horse finished fifth in the race and brought high hopes to Steinbrenner.
Although he never managed to take a horse any higher than 5th place there were other milestones highlighting his efforts. In 2005 Steinbrenner managed to do something that he had never done before. He had the horse that would be the favorite entering the race. The horse was named “Bellamy Road.” Bellamy road was trained by the great Nick Zito. Nick Zito is well known for his ability to train top level horses. To illustrate that point, he had 5 horses that year that participated in horse racing.
Unfortunately for Steinbrenner, the favorite for the race did not come through. With the odds favoring Bellamy Road, the horse was not able to come through. The horse ended the race with a 7th place finish. This was a solid finish, but certainly not what Steinbrenner had hoped for entering the race.
Steinbrenner’s love for horse racing actually began to be contagious on friends around him. These effects were seen on many friends including the former Manager of the New York, Joe Torre. Torre also entered into a Kentucky Derby in hopes of winning big. Torre did not have any more success than Steinbrenner, finishing just 16th in the race.
Steinbrenner is known for his fiery attitude towards winning in baseball and those close to him said that he had the same attitude towards racing. He had the desire to win every race that he took part in and was willing to pay as much money as he needed to do it.