Ronnie Franklin, who won the 1979 Kentucky Derby and Preakness aboard Spectacular Bid, passed away at 58 years old. Ronnie lost the mount on Spectacular Bid following a defeat to Coastal under Ruben Hernandez in the Belmont Stakes.
Many blamed Ronnie and his early backside move for the defeat but the Bid had stepped on a safety pin the morning of the race puncturing his foot. Coastal also ran huge with a nice rail move by Ruben who was an excellent rider especially in stakes at that time.
Nine days later Ronnie was arrested for cocaine possession in the Disneyland parking lot. His riding career stalled and his reputation was marred by substance abuse issues. he was only 19 when he won the Derby and Preakness.
RIP Ronnie, forever a part of history in the Sport of Kings.