Bill Mott
Trainer Bios

Bill Mott

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

Record at Keeneland

Total Wins: 297
Stakes Wins: 50

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.”

Starters in the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes








My Name Is Michael






Hold Me Back



Taylor’s Special


At Keeneland

Keeneland's leading trainer by wins (297) and third by stakes wins (50).

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

Won the 1984 Blue Grass (G1) with Taylor’s Special. Won two Grade 1 races in 2013: Central Bank Ashland and Juddmonte Spinster, both with Emollient. Other Grade 1 wins are the 2009 Maker’s Mark Mile with Mr. Sidney and Juddmonte Spinster with Mushka; 2010 First Lady with Proviso (GB) and Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup with Crown Queen (2014) and Harvey's Lil Goil (2020).

Won a Spring Meet record four races on a single card on April 9, 1995. (Equaled by Todd Pletcher on April 19, 2008; Kiaran McLaughlin on April 15, 2017, and Wesley Ward on April 23, 2021.)

Won first Keeneland race during the 1979 Fall Meet.

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

Won the 2021 Lexus Raven Run (G2) with Caramel Swirl.


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 wins: 2019 Kentucky Derby (G1) with Country House; 2010 Belmont (G1) with Drosselmeyer.

Breeders’ Cup wins (11): 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); Dirt Mile -- Cody's Wish (2022) and Sprint -- Elite Power (2022).

On June 20, 2020, he recorded his 5,000th victory when Moon Over Miami won the third race at Churchill Downs.

In North America, he has 5,277 wins with earnings of more than $323 million through Jan. 24, 2023.

Click here for his Equibase career record.



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 a former assistant. Riley went out on his own in November 2022.