Every year, the run for the roses enshrines its winner in sports history; but have you ever wondered what happens to the winners after the sun sets on another Kentucky Derby? Catch up with the winners of the past 27 years of the world’s biggest horse race below.
Authentic distinguished himself after his Kentucky Derby win by capturing the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland in November. After that victory, Authentic was retired and is currently enjoying life as a stallion at Spendthrift Farm.
2019: Country House
Speaking of unforgettable editions of the Derby, 2019’s winner Country House took home the roses after the horse who crossed the finish line first, Maximum Security, was disqualified for interfering with other horses in the race. Country House contracted laminitis, an often-deadly disease of the hoof, shortly after his Kentucky Derby win; fortunately, the colt was able to beat the odds and the illness and currently stands at stud at Darby Dan farm in Kentucky.
Horse racing’s most recent Triple Crown winner retired after his Belmont Stakes win in 2018 and is currently a stallion at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky.
2017: Always Dreaming
2017’s Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming raced into his 4-year-old campaign before retiring to stud at co-owner WinStar farm. His first foals are 1 year old now, so keep an eye peeled for his sons in the 2023 Kentucky Derby!
Nyquist may be a young stallion, but the 2016 Derby winner is already having a successful career at stud for Darley: his daughter Vequist won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at last year’s World Championships.
2015: American Pharoah
American Pharoah’s coronation in Triple Crown history began with his Kentucky Derby win of 2015; now, he’s a stallion at Ashford Stud in Kentucky and his foals are proving to be very successful on the racetrack.
2014: California Chrome
While 2014 Derby winner California Chrome wasn’t able to capture the Triple Crown, he galloped his way into fans’ hearts with his underdog story and his determination on the track. After amassing almost $15 million in earnings on the track, California Chrome settled into stallion duty, first at Taylor Made Stud in Kentucky and now at Arrow Stud in Hokkaido, Japan.
Orb splashed to a victory in 2013’s muddy run for the roses in unforgettable style; now, he’s a stallion at Kentucky’s historic Claiborne Farm.
2012: I’ll Have Another
2012 Derby winner I’ll Have Another was denied a bid for Triple Crown glory when he had to be scratched out of the Belmont Stakes; now, he’s a stallion standing at Ocean Breeze Ranch in Bonsall, Calif.
2011: Animal Kingdom
After his Kentucky Derby win, Animal Kingdom continued his racing success by winning the Dubai World Cup. He’s continued his international adventure and is now a stallion at Jbba Shizunai Stallion Station in Hokkaido, Japan.
2010: Super Saver
Super Saver retired from racing in 2010 and is now performing stallion duties at the Turkish Jockey Club Izmit Stallion Complex, Izmit, Turkey. His best son, Runhappy, is now a stallion at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky following a very successful racing career.
2009: Mine That Bird
If you love a longshot, then you’ll adore Mine That Bird. His Kentucky Derby victory was so spectacular (and unexpected) that it got the star treatment: “50 to 1,” starring Skeet Ulrich, premiered in 2014 and Rapper Lil Wayne referenced Mine That Bird in his track “Always Strapped.” Mine That Bird is retired and is living out his days at Double Eagle Ranch, Roswell, N.M.
2008: Big Brown
After his Kentucky Derby win, Big Brown won the Preakness Stakes before being denied a Triple Crown sweep in the Belmont Stakes. Now he’s a stallion standing at Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions in Stillwater, N.Y.
2007: Street Sense
After his Kentucky Derby win, Street Sense went on to win the 2007 Travers Stakes before retiring to stud at Darley Jonabell Farm in Kentucky, where he’s sired top horses like McKinzie, Maxfield, Aubby K, and more.
After Barbaro’s Derby win, he suffered a catastrophic, career-ending injury in the Preakness Stakes. Barbaro contracted laminitis, a dangerous hoof disease, during his recovery and succumbed to the illness on Jan. 29, 2007. The Barbaro Fund continues to raise money for laminitis research in memory of the beloved Derby winner.
2005’s Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo is currently standing at stud at Oakhurst Equine Veterinary Services in Newberg, Ore.
2004: Smarty Jones
The 2004 fan favorite is a stallion standing in his home state of Pennsylvania at Equistar Training and Breeding.
2003: Funny Cide
If you fell in love with this gutsy New York-bred, you can see him at the Kentucky Horse Park, where he lives in the Hall of Champions.
2002: War Emblem
War Emblem retired to stud duty following his racing career, but showed little interest in mares. He was subsequently retired to Old Friends Farm, where he passed away in 2020 at the age of 21.
After retiring from racing, Monarchos stood at stud at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky; his most successful progeny was Informed Decision, who won the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Monarchos died in 2016 while undergoing surgery.
2000: Fusaichi Pegasus
Affectionately known as FuPeg, Fusaichi Pegasus became a stallion after retiring and his son Ruler On Ice won the 2011 Belmont Stakes. He was retired from stud following the 2020 breeding season and is now pensioned at Ashford Stud in Kentucky.
After winning the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 1999, Charismatic was injured in the Belmont Stakes. After successful stud duties in the United States and Japan, Charismatic was retired to Old Friends Farm where he passed away in 2017.
1998: Real Quiet
After his Derby win, Real Quiet won the Preakness before narrowly losing the Belmont Stakes. Following his retirement in 1999, Real Quiet stood as a stallion before his death in 2010 due to an accident in his pasture.
1997: Silver Charm
Silver Charm raced until he was 5, then became a stallion in the United State before standing in Japan. Upon his retirement from stud duties in 2014, Silver Charm returned to the United States to Old Friends Farm where he greets fans today.
Grindstone was retired after his Kentucky Derby win and stood at stud at Oakhurst Equine Veterinary Services, Newberg, Ore. He was the first Kentucky Derby winner to stand in the Pacific Northwest, and he is currently retired on the farm.
1995: Thunder Gulch
After his retirement in 1995, Thunder Gulch lived out his days as both a sire and then retiree at Ashford Stud until he passed away due to old age in 2015.
1994: Go For Gin
The oldest living Kentucky Derby winner stood at stud for 17 years and is now living out his retirement at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions at the ripe old age of 30.