ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) – Bud Delp, the Hall of Fame trainer who guided Spectacular Bid to Kentucky Derby and Preakness victories in 1979, has died. He was 74.

Delp, who died of cancer Friday at home, was inducted into horse racing’s Hall of Fame in August 2002. Known for saying that races were won in the morning, Delp trained 70 stakes winners.

He finished in ninth place on the career wins list with 3,674, totaling nearly $41 million in purses. Delp was cremated Saturday morning without a memorial service, said Mike Gathagan, the vice president of communications for the Maryland Jockey Club.

“Most of all my dad was a father and one of my best friends,” said Cleve Delp, the youngest of Delp’s three sons. “What he did in this business was amazing. He went from claiming cheap horses and doing a lot of the work himself to reaching the pinnacle of his profession.”

Spectacular Bid gave him his biggest racing accomplishments.

One year after Spectacular Bid captured the first two legs of the Triple Crown, Delp trained the prized horse to an undefeated mark in nine races – earning the Eclipse Award for trainer of the year.

At Laurel Park, Delp earned his first victory in 1962 and reached 3,000 wins by 1990. In 1963, he had 26 horses and began to gain stature as one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier trainers, Gathagan said.

Delp’s final horse, Crafty Bear, will run Monday at Laurel Park. He is a 9-5 favorite in the $90,000 Dancing Count Stakes.

“The chief’s gone but we’re going to continue to do what it takes,” Cleve Delp said. “He loved to develop young horses, and this is just another horse that he’s developed into what looks like a horse that’s going to be around for a while.

“It would be great to have him win because the last win picture I have with my dad is with this horse.”

In addition to his sons, Delp is survived by his wife Regina, a daughter and two grandsons.

“He was the epitome of his profession,” Regina Delp said.

AP-ES-12-30-06 1706EST


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