This 1986 ESPN special features insightful profiles of thoroughbred race horse, Badger Land, trained by D Wayne Lukas….and Snow Chief….who were the two favorites going into the 1986 Kentucky Derby.
Snow Chief (March 17, 1983 in California – May 18, 2010) was an American Champion Thoroughbred racehorse
Conditioned by veteran California trainer Mel Stute, Snow Chief made 9 starts at age 2….while winning five….including the Norfolk Stakes and the Hollywood Futurity. His 1985 performances earned him California Horse of the Year honors….but Tasso, the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner, was voted the Eclipse Award for American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt.
As a three-year-old, Snow Chief made 9 more starts….when in California, he won 2 stakes races….then was sent to Florida….where he won the important Florida Derby…..and back in California, he established himself as the solid Kentucky Derby favorite with a win in that state’s most important race for three-year-olds, the Santa Anita Derby….as seen in the video herewith.
Snow Chief was sent off at even money as the bettors’ choice in the Kentucky Derby…..but in a 16 horse field, he finished 11th to winner Ferdinand….however, Snow Chief returned to form in the Preakness Stakes by defeating runner-up Ferdinand by 4 lengths.
His handlers chose not to run him in the 1½ mile Belmont Stakes…..when rather choosing to send him to Garden State Park….where he won the Jersey Derby. For his performances in 1986, Snow Chief was named California Horse of the Year for the second straight year and was voted American Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse.
Badger Land was trained and owned by Jeff Lukas, son of legendary horse trainer D Wayne Lukas…. a horse who was a really good thoroughbred horse….with 3 to 1 odds going into the race….for we have posted a story about Jeff Lukas….a man of great courage in dark times….that tells the story of Jeff and his horse Badger Land.