Steve Cauthen

Steve Cauthen (born May 1, 1960) is a retired American jockey.

Steve Cauthen
Steve Cauthen at the 2014 Belmont Stakes
Born (1960-05-01) May 1, 1960
Covington, Kentucky, U.S.
Career wins2,794
Major racing wins
Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap (1977)
Hollywood Derby (1978)
United States Triple Crown (1978)
2,000 Guineas (1979)
1,000 Guineas (1985)
Ascot Gold Cup (1984, 1987)
Epsom Derby (1985, 1987)
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (1987)
Epsom Oaks (1985, 1988, 1989)
St. Leger Stakes (1985, 1987, 1989)
Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (1983, 1986)
Grosser Preis von Baden (1983, 1985)
Irish Derby (1989)
Irish Oaks (1988, 1991)
Derby Italiano (1991)
Gran Premio del Jockey Club (1984)
Racing awards
United States Champion Jockey by earnings (1977)
Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey (1977)
Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey (1977)
Eclipse Award of Merit (1977)
George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award (1984)
British Champion Jockey (1984, 1985, 1987)
Associated Press Athlete of the Year (1977)
Sports Illustrated - Sportsman of the Year (1977)
Golden Plate Award, American Academy of Achievement (1978)[1][2]
United States Racing Hall of Fame (1994)
Significant horses
Affirmed, Old Vic, Gold and Ivory, Triptych, Pebbles, Oh So Sharp, Slip Anchor, Reference Point, Saumarez, Never So Bold, Indian Skimmer
1000 Guineas (1)
Oh So Sharp Al Bahathri Bella Colora
2000 Guineas (1)
Tap On Wood Kris Young Generation
Derby (2)
Slip Anchor Law Society Damister
Reference Point Most Welcome Bellotto
Oaks (3)
Oh So Sharp Triptych Dubian
Diminuendo Sudden Love Animatrice
Snow Bride Aliysa Roseate Tern
St Leger (3)
Oh So Sharp Phardante Lanfranco
Reference Point Mountain Kingdom Dry Dock
Michelozzo Sapience Roseate Tern

In 1977 he became the first jockey to win over $6 million in a year working with agent Lenny Goodman,[3] and in 1978 he became the youngest jockey to win the U. S. Triple Crown. Cauthen is the only jockey ever named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.[4]

After riding for a few years in the United States, he began racing in Europe. He is the only jockey to have won both the Kentucky Derby and the Epsom Derby.


Cauthen, the son of a trainer and a farrier, grew up in Walton, Kentucky around horses, which (along with his small size) made race-riding a logical career choice.

Racing career

North America

He rode his first race on May 12, 1976 at Churchill Downs at age 16; he finished last, riding King of Swat. He rode his first winner (Red Pipe) less than a week later, at River Downs.[5]

He was the nation's leader in race wins in 1977 with 487. In only his second year of riding, he became the first jockey to win $6 million in a single season, passing that mark in December 1977.[5]

In 1978 he became the youngest jockey to ever win the U. S. Triple Crown, riding Affirmed, and he was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.[6]

He had increasing problems making the weight and moved to the UK, where jockey weights were higher.[7]


A June 16, 1985 feature story in the New York Times titled "Cauthen's Success Amazes Britain" said "Cauthen was lured to Britain by Robert Sangster." Quoting The Guardian newspaper's Richard Baerlein, a respected racing correspondent for more than 50 years in England, as saying that "He's matured into the perfect jockey." The Times story also reported that "Henry Cecil signed Cauthen to replace Piggott as the main jockey for his powerful stable."[8]

In his first race in the UK in April 1979 Cauthen rode Marquee Universal to victory at Salisbury.[9]

Steve Cauthen was British Champion Jockey three times, and won English classic races ten times, including the 2,000 Guineas, the Derby twice, and the St Leger three times. In 1985 he won three Classics riding Oh So Sharp. In 1989 he rode European Horse of the Year Old Vic to victory in the French Derby and the Irish Derby. In 1991 he won the Italian Derby on Hailsham.[7]


After he finished his riding career, Cauthen returned to Kentucky and bought a stud farm.[7] He participated in Prince Edward of the United Kingdom's 1987 charity television special The Grand Knockout Tournament.

In 1999, the Racing Post ranked Cauthen as eighth in their list of the Top 50 jockeys of the 20th century.[10]

Cauthen and his wife, Amy have three daughters.

Major winners

Great Britain




United States[4]


  1. "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement.
  2. "They love Cauthen, 'No great student' is among greats honored at Golden Plate awards" (PDF). The Kentucky Press.
  3. Strine, Gerald (21 December 1977). "Steve Cauthen". The Washington Post. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  4. Joe Posnanski. "Zenith and Nadir". NBC Sports. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  5. "Steve Cauthen". National Museum of Racing. Retrieved 10 September 2018..
  6. "Steve Cauthen". Derby Legends. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  7. "Steve Cauthen: career profile". Racing Post. Archived from the original on 20 October 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  8. "Cauthen's Success Amazes Britain". New York Times, Section 5, page 6. 16 June 1985. Retrieved 1 June 2021.
  9. Richard Edmondson (6 November 1998). "Racing: Cauthen finds bluegrass is greener". The Independent. Archived from the original on 25 May 2022. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  10. "A century of racing - 50 greatest flat jockeys". The Racing Post. 17 May 1999. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
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