Derby Innovator is the story of the making of Animal Kingdom by Barry Irwin, a self-taught, self-styled sportsman and entrepreneur who shook racing’s Establishment to its very foundations by employing unconventional methods and practices to break all the rules in winning the Kentucky Derby, a race that has been called “the greatest two minutes in sports.”
Born into a family in Los Angeles that shunned horse racing, Irwin turned a childhood pipedream of winning a racehorse in a tobacco company’s naming contest into a stable full of horses that have won some of the most historic and lucrative prizes on The Turf, not only in America, but in Great Britain, Europe, China, the Middle East and South Africa.
Experience the intoxicating brand of excitement that only Thoroughbred racing can deliver, as horses bred, bought and managed by Irwin plunder riches and beat royalty at Longchamp, Meydan, Churchill Downs, Santa Anita and Sha Tin.
Join Irwin as he prospects for potential Champions in such faraway locales as Uruguay, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Croatia. Learn his methods of finding obscure bloodlines that he blends with American pedigrees to produce Breeders’ Cup and Classic winners at Churchill Downs.
Rub elbows with some of the biggest movers and shakers in international racing such as Dubai Ruler Sheik Mohammed, MGM CEO Gary Barber, South African trainer Mike de Kock, South African movie producer Anant Singh, trainer Graham Motion, Australian stallion developer John Messara, trainer Todd Pletcher, South African breeder Gaynor Rupert.
Share an elusive Derby triumph and a heartbreaking Derby head-bob loss. Feel what it’s like to reach the heights as well as the terrible losses. They are all here in Derby Innovator.