Canonero II

Another Undisputed Example of Altitude Training

Nearly 40 years ago!

In 1971, CANONERO II won both the Kentucky Derby and The Preakness after being prepped at altitude in Venezuela weeks prior to the Derby. Canonero II may have been the most illogical Kentucky Derby winner ever, or at least until Mine That Bird. He sold for $1,200 at the Keeneland sale and raced primarily in Venezuela. In his final race weeks before the Kentucky Derby, he finished third in a handicap race in Venezuela that had a $3,500 purse.

All racing experts in Venezuela and the U.S. were convinced he had no chance in the Derby; he was "hopelessly outclassed." But like Mine That Bird, Canonero II sat far back early before unleashing a powerful move. He came from 20 lengths back to win by an incredible 4 lengths! Two weeks later, he won the Preakness by 2 lengths. Then, like Mine That Bird, the positive effects of high altitude began to dimmish.

Weeks later he finished 4th in the Belmont. After the Belmont he was sold to American interests and remained in the United States, but struggled. He had eight starts the following year, winning just one. And like Mine That Bird, retired from racing.