5 Trainers That Produces The Most Kentucky Derby Winners


One of the most significant factors in the success of thoroughbreds is their trainers. That’s why the bettor should also get to know the man training the horse when choosing a colt to win in the Kentucky Derby.

Throughout the Kentucky Derby’s history, five trainers have put their hearts out and produced the most winners in the said event. They are all listed below.

Bob Baffert

When someone says “successful horse race trainer,” the first thing most people come to mind is Bob Baffert. Despite getting involved in a controversy last 2021, he is still one of the only two trainers who produced the most winners throughout Kentucky Derby history.

Baffert has already produced seven Kentucky Derby winners in history. These winners are:

— 1997: Silver Charm

— 1998: Real Quiet

— 2002: Warm Emblem

— 2015: American Pharoah

— 2018: Justify

— 2020: Authentic

— 2021: Medina Spirit (disqualified due to a positive drug test result conducted after the Horse’s death)

American Pharoah and Justify even won the Triple Crown title in their respective years. Baffert also won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer for three consecutive years. This was in 1997,1998, and 1999.

He also helped eleven thoroughbreds win the title of Horse in a Year in their corresponding divisions. In 2009, Bob Baffert was inducted into the National Museum of Racing.

Unfortunately, because of his suspension, Bob Baffert couldn’t participate in the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby, and you can’t put your money on his horses this year. Even so, you can look for another contender on the Fanduel 2023 Derby picks from other trainers who are also starting to make names in the industry.

Ben A. Jones

The second horse trainer that produces most Kentucky Derby winners is Ben A. Jones. Jones established his name in the horse racing industry when he trained six horses that won the Kentucky Derby. These horses are:

–1938: Larwin

— 1941: Whirlaway

— 1944: Pensive

— 1948: Citation

— 1949: Ponder

–1952: Hill Gail

Two Kentucky Derby Winners, Whirlaway and Citation, won the Triple Crown in their respective years. He really was one of the greatest horse trainers in the history of the Kentucky Derby. To this day, many trainers look up to him. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing in 1958.

D. Wayne Lukas

The third of the greatest trainers who conditioned Kentucky Derby winners is D. Wayne Lukas. Lukas received the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer for three straight years (1985 to 1987).

He produced a total of four winners throughout the Kentucky Derby’s history. Lukas got his first Kentucky Derby win in 1988 with Winning Colors. Winning Colors was the third filly to acquire the championship title in history.

It’s worth noting that most of the Kentucky Derby winners are males, and only a few female horses succeed in the race. That’s why D. Wayne Lukas was extremely proud when his filly thoroughbred defeated her male opponents and grabbed the championship title that year.

Lukas’ other Kentucky Derby winners are Thunder Gulch in 1995, Grindstone in 1996, and Charismatic in 1999. His Horse even surpassed $100 million in total winnings in 1990, making him the first trainer to do so.

Herbert J. Thompson

Aside from D. Wayne Lukas, Herbert J. Thompson had also produced four Kentucky Derby Winners in history. Thompson, also known as the “Derby Dick,” earned this nickname since he was the first trainer to saddle four Kentucky Derby winners.

Thompson acquired his first major win when he was 38 years old with Busy Signal in the Golden Rod Stakes, held on Churchill Downs. After two years, Thomspon returned to the racetrack and started to build his reputation as one of the horse trainers that produced the most Kentucky Derby Winner.

His first win in the Kentucky Derby was Behave Yourself, which defeated Black Servant by a head. That year was presumed to be the start of Thompson’s incredible career. After Behave Yourself, Thompson also trained Kentucky Derby winners Bubbling Over, who won in 1926, Burgoo King, who was the 1932 winner, and Brokers Tip, who won in 1933.

He was inducted into the US Racing Hall of Fame in 1969 and became known as one of the most successful Kentucky Derby trainers in history.

Jim Fitzsimmons

Fifth on the list comes Jim Fitzsimmons, who has won the Kentucky Derby three times. But that wasn’t his only achievement; he also won the Preakness Stakes four times and the Belmont Stakes six times.

He was indeed one of the most successful horse trainers in the horse racing industry. Only twelve horses won all three races in the Triple Crown, and Fitzsimmons trained two of these twelve winners, Omaha in 1935 and Gallant Fox in 1930.

Aside from Omaha and Gallant Fox, Fitzsimmons’s horse Johnstown also won the Kentucky Derby in 1939 but failed to dominate two other Triple Crown races. All in all, Jim Fitzsimmons has claimed 2,200 wins throughout his training career.

In Conclusion

Many incredible trainers in the horse racing industry throughout history vie for the Kentucky Derby title. However, only five have become legends in doing just that. Their amazing feats in the equestrian industry had cemented their names to be the greatest of all time.