Steve Cauthen (born May 1, 1960) is a retired American jockey.
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. He rode his first race on May 12, 1976 at Churchill Downs; he finished last, riding King of Swat. He rode his first winner (Red Pipe) less than a week later, at River Downs. His rise to prominence was meteoric; 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 on a three-year-old filly called Little Happiness in the sixth race at Aqueduct Racetrack. After that, he was called "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "Stevie Wonder."
In 1977, he won numerous awards, including Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, Sporting News Sportsman of the Year, Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year and ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year. In the same year, he won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey and the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in the United States.
In 1978 he became the youngest jockey to ever win the U. S. Triple Crown, riding Affirmed.
As he left his teens and matured, he had increasing problems making weight. In 1979 he moved to England, where jockeys normally compete at higher weights, and became a highly successful rider there. His move and first ride were very high profile in the UK. His very first ride in the UK resulted in a winner, when Marquee Universal, trained by Barry Hills won the Grand Foods Handicap at Salisbury Racecourse on April 7, 1979. Cauthen was British Champion Jockey three times, and won English classic races ten times, including the 2,000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby twice, and the St. Leger Stakes three times. He also won the Irish Oaks twice and in 1989 rode European Horse of the Year, Old Vic to victory in the French Derby and the Irish Derby. In 1991 he won the Derby Italiano on Hailsham.
In 1984, Cauthen received the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, which honors a rider whose career and personal conduct exemplifies the very best example of participants in the sport of thoroughbred racing. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1994.
He married his wife Amy, also a Kentucky native, in 1992 and they have three daughters.
Read more about Steve Cauthen: Major Winners
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