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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,Sun reporter | February 17, 2007
Veteran rider Ron Franklin will ask the Maryland Racing Commission for reinstatement as a jockey during a hearing Tuesday afternoon. Franklin, who went to Patapsco High School, made history as a teenager in Baltimore, when he teamed with late trainer Bud Delp and Spectacular Bid for wins in the 1979 Kentucky Derby and Preakness before finishing third in the Belmont Stakes. But since then Franklin has struggled with substance abuse. When he appears Tuesday, it will be the latest of many appeals to the commission.
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By Jon Meoli and The Baltimore Sun | May 17, 2014
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome has just three weeks and 1 1/2 miles of racing in the June 7 Belmont Stakes ahead of him in his bid to become horse racing's 12th Triple Crown winner, a task that has proved impossible in the new era of racing. Since Affirmed last won the Triple Crown in 1978, more horses have completed the Derby-Preakness double (12) without adding the third jewel than have won all three in the series' 139-year-history (11). And with each double-winning horse who falls short at Belmont Park, known as the "Test of the Champion," the racing community is left to wonder whether the three-race sweep will ever be achieved again.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | August 5, 2002
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Grover G. "Bud" Delp set the course of his life when he was a teen-ager. He chose to accompany his stepfather, horse trainer Raymond B. Archer, to work early each morning rather than to mimic most teen-agers and sleep in. "He didn't encourage me," Delp said of Archer. "He never woke me up in the morning. I had to get myself up." A half-century later, Delp, 69, is being rewarded for a lifetime of devotion to horses. Today, he will be inducted into the National Museum of Racing's Hall of Fame, across the street from Saratoga Race Course.
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June 8, 2008
John Servis, trainer of Smarty Jones, the thoroughbred who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but lost the Belmont Stakes in 2004, made some thought-provoking comments about his horse ("Not left in dust," June 3). Servis said his horse didn't settle down, and when jockey Stewart Elliott tried to pull him back, the horse "grabbed that bit and went some more." A similar incident, not quite like Smarty Jones' but ending in the same disappointment, took place in 1979 when 19-year-old Ron Franklin missed the Triple Crown aboard Spectacular Bid. When I interviewed Franklin for an article in The Valley Times in October 2004, he was forthright in his response to my question about what went wrong.
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By Ed Waldman and Ed Waldman,SUN STAFF | April 13, 2005
OXON HILL -- Ron Franklin is returning to Maryland racing. Five years after barring him from setting foot in any racetrack in the state because of continued substance abuse, the Maryland Racing Commission yesterday granted Franklin a one-year license as an exercise rider. And though that's a long way from being the toast of Baltimore -- and the country -- after riding Spectacular Bid to victories in the 1979 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes, it's an equally long way from being out of racing.
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By Mike Klingaman and Mike Klingaman,SUN STAFF | May 15, 2004
Once, a whip and the reins were the tools of his trade. Now, Ron Franklin wrestles with jackhammers and mortar mixers. He has traded his racing helmet for a hard hat, his colorful silks for dusty work clothes. Twenty-five years ago, Franklin, then 19, rode a high-octane horse named Spectacular Bid to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. He and Grover "Bud" Delp made history at Churchill Downs, becoming the first jockey-trainer tandem to win the Derby in their maiden effort.
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By Mike Klingaman and Mike Klingaman,SUN STAFF | May 9, 1999
His coat, once a familiar charcoal-gray, has aged a ghostly white. It shimmers in the morning sun as the stallion grazes, tugging at the sweet spring grass.Then a breeze kicks up, nostrils flare and Spectacular Bid charges off around his two-acre paddock, keeping close to the fence as if hugging the rail down the stretch.Retirement agrees with the old racehorse, whose deeds dwarfed others in his day. Twenty years have passed since Spectacular Bid -- owned, trained and ridden by Marylanders -- won the first two legs of racing's Triple Crown, taking the state on a jingoistic joy ride and staking his claim to greatness.
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BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | June 18, 2003
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The death of Spectacular Bid last week of an apparent heart attack at age 27 left two thoroughbreds who reside side by side as the greatest living racehorses. Cigar and John Henry, revered residents of the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, rank 1-2 among thoroughbreds still alive in accomplishment and, fortunately for fans, visitor accessibility. About 1 million people visit the 1,200-acre park each year, and at least 25 percent come expressly to see Cigar and John Henry, said Cathy Roby, manager of the Hall of Champions.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | August 5, 2002
UNADILLA, N.Y. - You could always dispute the validity of Bud Delp's claim that Spectacular Bid was the greatest horse ever to look through a bridle. But with the death in May of Seattle Slew, few, if any, would argue that Spectacular Bid is the greatest thoroughbred racehorse alive. The winner of 26 of 30 races - including the 1979 Kentucky Derby and Preakness - resides at Milfer Farm in remote Unadilla, N.Y., 50 miles north of the Pennsylvania border. He is 26 and stunningly beautiful.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | June 11, 2003
Spectacular Bid, whom his Maryland trainer Grover G. "Bud" Delp called "the greatest horse ever to look through a bridle," died Monday of an apparent heart attack at Milfer Farm in Unadilla, N.Y. Bid, as he was called, was 27. His passing marks the end of an era. Spectacular Bid, who was probably the greatest living racehorse, was the last of the great horses of the 1970s, the golden decade of racing in America. "The American superstars from that era are gone," said Tim Capps, referring to the likes of Secretariat, Affirmed, Seattle Slew and now Spectacular Bid. "The titans are gone."
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By Kevin Van Valkenburg and Kevin Van Valkenburg,Sun Reporter | May 21, 2008
They came to the Timonium Fairgrounds yesterday, braving the mud and the rain, many clutching wrinkled pieces of paper or catalogs with worn-down edges and scribbled notes in the margins. Some had millions to spend, others just a few thousand. And although they were in town to buy horses, what's really for sale at the annual Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Preferred Two-Year-Olds in Training auction - where more than 300 horses can change hands over two days - is something more abstract. They are buying dreams.
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By Sandra McKee and Sandra McKee,SUN REPORTER | February 20, 2007
Ron Franklin, who became famous as the teenage rider of Spectacular Bid in 1979 before his career was derailed by drug use, said last night he is prepared to face the Maryland Racing Commission today and ask for his jockey's license back. "I'm comfortable asking, though I think I'll get a little nervous when actually talking to them face-to-face," Franklin said. "I've done everything they've asked." Franklin, 47, who grew up in Dundalk and attended Patapsco High School, rode the Bud Delp-trained Spectacular Bid to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness 28 years ago at age 19. He first lost his jockey's license in 1992 and was rejected by the commission when he tried to get it restored in 1996.
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By Kent Baker and Mike Klingaman and Kent Baker and Mike Klingaman,SUN REPORTERS | December 31, 2006
Grover G. "Bud" Delp, a Maryland thoroughbred trainer who became nationally known for his work with Spectacular Bid, died Friday of cancer at his home in Ellicott City. He was 74. Ebullient, sassy and blustery, Delp gained a reputation worldwide during the 1979 Triple Crown campaign of Spectacular Bid, the iron-gray colt who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, then finished third in the Belmont Stakes after a safety pin was discovered embedded in his hoof. Delp, a native of Bel Air, often proclaimed the horse was "the best that ever looked through a bridle" and, once before the Derby, told a confidant: "If bull was electricity, I'd be a power plant."
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By Ed Waldman and Ed Waldman,SUN STAFF | April 13, 2005
OXON HILL -- Ron Franklin is returning to Maryland racing. Five years after barring him from setting foot in any racetrack in the state because of continued substance abuse, the Maryland Racing Commission yesterday granted Franklin a one-year license as an exercise rider. And though that's a long way from being the toast of Baltimore -- and the country -- after riding Spectacular Bid to victories in the 1979 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness and a third-place finish in the Belmont Stakes, it's an equally long way from being out of racing.
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By Mike Klingaman and Mike Klingaman,SUN STAFF | May 15, 2004
Once, a whip and the reins were the tools of his trade. Now, Ron Franklin wrestles with jackhammers and mortar mixers. He has traded his racing helmet for a hard hat, his colorful silks for dusty work clothes. Twenty-five years ago, Franklin, then 19, rode a high-octane horse named Spectacular Bid to victories in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. He and Grover "Bud" Delp made history at Churchill Downs, becoming the first jockey-trainer tandem to win the Derby in their maiden effort.
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By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF | April 26, 2004
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Bud Delp and Ronnie Franklin returned yesterday to Churchill Downs - 25 years after Spectacular Bid stormed to victory in the Kentucky Derby and nearly to a Triple Crown. As guests of Churchill Downs, the Maryland residents met with reporters and signed autographs for fans. Earlier they signed Spectacular Bid bobbleheads that the track gave Saturday to some of its biggest bettors. Asked how clearly he remembered Bid's 2 3/4 -length victory as the 3-5 Derby favorite, Delp said: "I remember like it was yesterday.
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By Kent Baker and Mike Klingaman and Kent Baker and Mike Klingaman,SUN REPORTERS | December 31, 2006
Grover G. "Bud" Delp, a Maryland thoroughbred trainer who became nationally known for his work with Spectacular Bid, died Friday of cancer at his home in Ellicott City. He was 74. Ebullient, sassy and blustery, Delp gained a reputation worldwide during the 1979 Triple Crown campaign of Spectacular Bid, the iron-gray colt who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, then finished third in the Belmont Stakes after a safety pin was discovered embedded in his hoof. Delp, a native of Bel Air, often proclaimed the horse was "the best that ever looked through a bridle" and, once before the Derby, told a confidant: "If bull was electricity, I'd be a power plant."
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June 8, 2008
John Servis, trainer of Smarty Jones, the thoroughbred who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness but lost the Belmont Stakes in 2004, made some thought-provoking comments about his horse ("Not left in dust," June 3). Servis said his horse didn't settle down, and when jockey Stewart Elliott tried to pull him back, the horse "grabbed that bit and went some more." A similar incident, not quite like Smarty Jones' but ending in the same disappointment, took place in 1979 when 19-year-old Ron Franklin missed the Triple Crown aboard Spectacular Bid. When I interviewed Franklin for an article in The Valley Times in October 2004, he was forthright in his response to my question about what went wrong.
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BY A SUN STAFF WRITER | June 18, 2003
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The death of Spectacular Bid last week of an apparent heart attack at age 27 left two thoroughbreds who reside side by side as the greatest living racehorses. Cigar and John Henry, revered residents of the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, rank 1-2 among thoroughbreds still alive in accomplishment and, fortunately for fans, visitor accessibility. About 1 million people visit the 1,200-acre park each year, and at least 25 percent come expressly to see Cigar and John Henry, said Cathy Roby, manager of the Hall of Champions.
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