In the first meeting of Kentucky Derby winners in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Ferdinand held off Alysheba by a nose to win the 1987 renewal at Hollywood Park. Ferdinand’s victory gave Hall of Fame rider Bill Shoemaker his only Breeders’ Cup victory and was the first of two Championships victories for Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham. Ferdinand earned Eclipse Awards as champion older male and Horse of the Year as he won his final four starts of 1987.
A winner at four tracks in his career, Ferdinand posted his first victory at Santa Anita on Nov. 3, 1985 in his fourth start. In addition to the 1986 Kentucky Derby, Ferdinand also won the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup in 1987 and four other stakes, two of them graded.