Trainer Bios

Bill Mott

Born: July 29, 1953 in Mobridge, S.D.

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 275

Stakes Wins: 41

Career Firsts

First Grade 1 Win: 1984 Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park with Heatherten

First Stakes Win: 1977 Red Bank at Monmouth Park with Playin’ Footsie

First Graded Stakes Win: 1984 Louisiana Derby (G2) at Fair Grounds with Taylor’s Special

First Career Win: “My Assets at the bush tracks when I was 15. She dead-heated for first.” According to Equineline, the first official win was in 1976.

Starters in the Toyota Blue Grass





My Name Is Michael






Hold Me Back



Taylor’s Special


At Keeneland

Second all time by victories (275) and third by stakes wins (41).

Leading trainer six times (Spring 1995, 2001, 2009; Fall 1981,1986, 2007).

Won the JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) with Harmonize during the 2015 Fall Meet.

Won two Grade 1 races in 2013: Central Bank Ashland and Juddmonte Spinster, both with Emollient.

Won the 1984 Blue Grass (G1) with Taylor’s Special.

Other Grade 1 wins are the 2009 Maker’s Mark Mile with Mr. Sidney and Juddmonte Spinster with Mushka and 2010 Abu Dhabi First Lady (G1) with Proviso (GB).

Won a record four races on a single card on April 9, 1995. (Equaled by Todd Pletcher on April 19, 2008.)

Won first Keeneland race during the 1979 Fall Meet.

First Keeneland stakes win was the 1983 Phoenix with Shot n’ Missed.


Became the youngest person to be voted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1998 when he was 45.

Three-time Eclipse Award winner as outstanding trainer in North America: 1995, 1996, 2011.

Triple Crown win: 2010 Belmont (G1) with Drosselmeyer.

Breeders’ Cup wins (10): Classic – Cigar (1995), Drosselmeyer (2011); Turf -- Theatrical (IRE) (1987), Fraise (1992); Distaff/Ladies’ Classic – Ajina (1997), Escena (1998), Unrivaled Belle (2010), Royal Delta (2011-2012); Mile -- Tourist (2016).

Trained Eclipse Award winners Ajina, Cigar, Close Hatches, Escena, Paradise Creek, Theatrical (IRE) and Royal Delta.

North American career earnings exceed $263 million with 4,806 wins through January 29, 2018.

2017 earnings were $9,238,920 with 104 wins, including the Alabama (G1) and Beldame (G1) with Elate, Jim Dandy presented by NYRA Bets (G2) with Good Samaritan and Glens Falls (G3) with Harmonize.

2016 earnings were $9,801,660 with 95 wins, including the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) and Fourstardave (G1) with Tourist, Del Mar Oaks (G1) with Harmonize, Just a Game (G1) with Celestine and Acorn (G1) with Carina Mia.

2015 earnings were $11,437,452 with 129 wins, including the Hal’s Hope (G3) with Lea, the Indiana Derby (G2) with Tiz Shea D and the Honey Fox (G2) with Lady Lara (IRE).

2014 earnings were $10,476,606 with 107 wins, including the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland and the Knob Creek Lake Placid (G2) with Crown Queen, and the Apple Blossom (G1), Ogden Phipps (G1) and Personal Ensign (G1) with Close Hatches.

2013 earnings were $11,760,692 with 113 wins, including the Cotillion (G1) with Close Hatches, Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) with Ron the Greek, Cigar Mile (G1) with Flat Out and Delaware (G1) with Royal Delta.


Bill’s father, who was a veterinarian, introduced him to Thoroughbreds. “After watching him treat a variety of ailments, I knew that I wanted to spend my life working with horses,” he said.

While still in high school, Bill trained horses with money earned from the sale of cattle and pigs he raised. His first win was with My Assets, a $320 mare he raced at unrecognized meetings in South Dakota. With purse earnings and savings, he bought Kosmic Tour for $2,000 and won the South Dakota Futurity with his new acquisition. At 19, he went to work for trainer Bob Irwin after losing his only horse in a claiming race. After three years, he joined Racing Hall of Famer Jack Van Berg’s operation, staying with him for several years until he went out on his own.

His son, Riley, who graduated from the University of Kentucky, is his Keeneland assistant.