Ronnie Franklin, jockey for Spectacular Bid, dies at 58

Horse Racing

BALTIMORE — Ronnie Franklin, who rode Spectacular Bid to victory within the 1979 Kentucky Derby and Preakness earlier than their Triple Crown attempt was derailed within the Belmont, has died. He was 58.

Franklin’s nephew, Walter Cullum, mentioned the previous Maryland-based jockey died of lung most cancers in Baltimore on Thursday.

Franklin was 19 when he guided Spectacular Bid to victory as a Three-5 favourite within the Kentucky Derby. After profitable the Preakness by 5+ lengths, Franklin’s bid to seize the Triple Crown ended within the Belmont when Spectacular Bid completed third.

The colt stepped on a security pin in his stall earlier than the race.

Within the 1+-mile Belmont, Spectacular Bid chased a speedy longshot early within the race and drained within the stretch. Franklin was blamed for the loss by the horse’s coach.

Every week later, Franklin was arrested for possession of cocaine.

He by no means rode Spectacular Bid once more, having been changed by Corridor of Fame jockey Invoice Shoemaker, who guided the colt to a dominant Four-year-old season.

Franklin rode 1,403 winners in 9,242 begins from 1978-92 and had purse earnings of greater than $14 million. He gained the Eclipse Award because the nation’s excellent apprentice jockey.

The Belmont was a crushing defeat, however Cullum mentioned Franklin labeled his time aboard Spectacular Bid as “the highlight” of his profession.

“He was so proud of that,” Cullum mentioned.

Franklin struggled with substance abuse within the ensuing years and was repeatedly denied licenses from state commissions due to his issues.

However Cullum insisted Franklin “had been clean for years” earlier than his demise.

Cullum mentioned Franklin was working with horses in California when identified with most cancers in March 2017. Franklin returned to Baltimore to obtain remedy, and he and Cullum spent many a day crabbing.

Cullum was 5 years previous when Franklin rode Spectacular Bid, and his uncle’s success impressed the younger boy to comply with in his footsteps. Cullum had greater than Four,000 mounts earlier than retiring in 2010.

Born Dec. 20, 1959, in Baltimore, Franklin grew up the youngest of six kids within the hardscrabble space of Dundalk. He dropped out of highschool at 16 and headed for the native racetrack on the lookout for work.

Franklin met coach Bud Delp, who employed him as a stablehand, and Franklin started studying the racing enterprise from the bottom up. Delp grew to become a father determine to Franklin, taking him in to stay along with his household.

Delp despatched Franklin to a coaching heart in Middleburg, Virginia, the place he developed a rapport with the younger Spectacular Bid. The horse gained seven of 9 races and was named the nation’s champion 2-year-old earlier than his Triple Crown marketing campaign.

Franklin is survived by his mom, Marian; brother, Tony Franklin; and 4 sisters, Sharon Wallace, Carolyn Franklin, Barbara Kaminkow and Nancy Fram.

A personal service is deliberate.

AP Racing Author Beth Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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