Owned by media mogul Merv Griffin, Stevie Wonderboy was so respected by trainer Doug O’Neill that he was entered in the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile even though he had not won his first and only start. He ran a bit unruly that day while lugging out on the turn. Undaunted, O’Neill brought him back three weeks later and he won easily. Four weeks later he would have his breakout race with a last-to-first domination of ten rivals in the Grade 2 Del Mar futurity.
There were several hurdles Stevie Wonderboy would have to clear for a win in the Juvenile – an unprecedented 52-day layoff; shipping from California to New York, and a meeting with the undefeated Grade 1 winner First Samurai. He cleared every hurdle with ease. Adapting to the new surroundings at Belmont Park he put in a strong advance from 11th to win by 1 1/4 lengths while giving Garrett Gomez his first Breeders’ Cup victory.