Steve Cauthen (born May 1, 1960) is a retired American jockey.
Cauthen, the son of a trainer and a farrier, grew up in Walton, Kentucky around horses, which (along with his small size) made race-riding a logical career choice. He rode his first race on May 12, 1976 at Churchill Downs; he finished last, riding King of Swat. He rode his first winner (Red Pipe) less than a week later, at River Downs. His rise to prominence was meteoric; he was the nation's leader in race wins in 1977 with 487. In only his second year of riding, he became the first jockey to win $6 million in a single season, passing that mark in December 1977 on a three-year-old filly called Little Happiness in the sixth race at Aqueduct Racetrack. After that, he was called "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "Stevie Wonder."
In 1977, he won numerous awards, including Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, Sporting News Sportsman of the Year, Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year and ABC's Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year. In the same year, he won the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Apprentice Jockey and the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Jockey in the United States.
As he left his teens and matured, he had increasing problems making weight. In 1979 he moved to England, where jockeys normally compete at higher weights, and became a highly successful rider there. His move and first ride were very high profile in the UK. His very first ride in the UK resulted in a winner, when Marquee Universal, trained by Barry Hills won the Grand Foods Handicap at Salisbury Racecourse on April 7, 1979. Cauthen was British Champion Jockey three times, and won English classic races ten times, including the 2,000 Guineas, the Epsom Derby twice, and the St. Leger Stakes three times. He also won the Irish Oaks twice and in 1989 rode European Horse of the Year, Old Vic to victory in the French Derby and the Irish Derby. In 1991 he won the Derby Italiano on Hailsham.
After he finished his riding career, he returned to Kentucky, where he is an executive at Turfway Park, the nearest major track to his hometown.
In 1984, Cauthen received the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, which honors a rider whose career and personal conduct exemplifies the very best example of participants in the sport of thoroughbred racing. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1994.
He married his wife Amy, also a Kentucky native, in 1992 and they have three daughters.
- 1,000 Guineas - (1) - Oh So Sharp (1985)
- 2,000 Guineas - (1) - Tap on Wood (1979)
- Ascot Gold Cup - (2) - Gildoran (1984), Paean (1987)
- Champion Stakes - (2) - Cormorant Wood (1983), In the Groove (1990)
- Cheveley Park Stakes - (1) - Desirable (1983)
- Coronation Cup - (3) - Time Charter (1984), Triptych (1988), In the Groove (1991)
- Coronation Stakes - (1) - Chimes of Freedom (1990)
- Derby - (2) - Slip Anchor (1985), Reference Point (1987)
- Eclipse Stakes - (1) - Pebbles (1985)
- Falmouth Stakes - (2) - Meis El-Reem (1984), Chimes of Freedom (1990)
- Fillies' Mile - (2) - Invited Guest (1986), Diminuendo (1987)
- International Stakes - (3) - Cormorant Wood (1984), Triptych (1987), In the Groove (1990)
- July Cup - (1) - Never So Bold (1985)
- King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes - (1) - Reference Point (1987)
- King's Stand Stakes - (2) - Indian Ridge (1989), Elbio (1991)
- Lockinge Stakes - (2) - Motavato (1982), Cormorant Wood (dead heat 1984)
- Middle Park Stakes - (4) - Creag an Sgor (1983), Gallic League (1987), Balla Cove (1989), Zieten (1992)
- Nassau Stakes - (1) - Nom de Plume (1987)
- Nunthorpe Stakes - (2) - Sharpo (1982), Never So Bold (1985)
- Oaks - (3) - Oh So Sharp (1985), Diminuendo (1988), Snow Bride (1989)
- Prince of Wales's Stakes - (2) - Kind of Hush (1982), Stagecraft (1991)
- Racing Post Trophy - (2) - Be My Chief (1989), Peter Davies (1990)
- St. James's Palace Stakes - (2) - Horage (1983), Shavian (1990)
- St. Leger - (3) - Oh So Sharp (1985), Reference Point (1987), Michelozzo (1989)
- Sun Chariot Stakes - (1) - Cormorant Wood (1983)
- Yorkshire Oaks - (1) - Diminuendo (1988)
- Grand Prix de Paris - (2) - Risk Me (1987), Saumarez (1990)
- Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud - (2) - Diamond Shoal (1983), Acatenango (1986)
- Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp - (2) - Committed (1984), Keen Hunter (1991)
- Prix de Diane - (1) - Indian Skimmer (1987)
- Prix d'Ispahan - (1) - Indian Skimmer (1989)
- Prix Jacques Le Marois - (1) - Lirung (1986)
- Prix Jean Prat - (2) - Lapierre (1988), Kitwood (1992)
- Prix du Jockey Club - (1) - Old Vic (1989)
- Prix Maurice de Gheest - (1) - Never So Bold (1984)
- Prix Royal-Oak - (1) - El Cuite (1986)
- Prix Saint-Alary - (2) - Indian Skimmer (1987), Rosefinch (1992)
- Aral-Pokal - (1) - Almaarad (1988)
- Bayerisches Zuchtrennen - (1) - Imperial Fling (1979)
- Grosser Preis von Baden - (2) - Diamond Shoal (1983), Gold and Ivory (1985)
- Preis von Europa - (1) - Gold and Ivory (1984)
- Irish 1,000 Guineas - (1) - In the Groove (1990)
- Irish Derby - (1) - Old Vic (1989)
- Irish Oaks - (2) - Diminuendo (dead heat 1988), Possessive Dancer (1991)
- Irish St. Leger - (1) - Mashaallah (1992)
- Moyglare Stud Stakes - (1) - Chimes of Freedom (1989)
- Tattersalls Gold Cup - (1) - Opera House (1992)
- Derby Italiano - (1) - Hailsham (1991)
- Gran Criterium - (1) - Tanque Verde (1985)
- Gran Premio di Milano - (2) - Diamond Shoal (1983), Mashaallah (1992)
- Gran Premio d'Italia - (1) - El Cuite (1986)
- Gran Premio del Jockey Club - (1) - Gold and Ivory (1984)
- Premio Roma - (1) - Orban (1987)
- Kentucky Derby - (1) - Affirmed (1978)
- Preakness Stakes - (1) - Affirmed (1978)
- Belmont Stakes - (1) - Affirmed (1978)
- Soon thereafter Cauthen won his first race at the historic Churchill Downs aboard Miss Flaming Bry for owner T.W. Cox's Abbeydale Farm.