Nafzger trained Unbridled who won the 1990 Kentucky Derby and Breeders' Cup Classic. In 1990 he was voted the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer and the Big Sport of Turfdom Award. In 1994, he wrote a book on the training of Thoroughbred horses titled Traits Of A Winner that was published by R. Meerdink Co. (ISBN 978-0929346328).
In 1998, Nafzger trained Banshee Breeze who won that year's Eclipse Award for Outstanding 3-Year-Old Filly. In 2006 he was back in the national spotlight as the trainer of the colt Street Sense who won the 2006 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the 2007 Kentucky Derby. Now in semi-retirement, Nafzger will only train for two clients, James B. Tafel, owner of Street Sense, and for Bentley Smith, who now has eight horses being trained by Nafzger. Smith's first wife (who died in 1999) was the daughter of Unbridled's owner, Frances A. Genter, and ran the Genter stable before its dissolution.
Nafzger was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2008.
Bull riding career
Horse training career
Following the end of his bull riding career, Nafzger went to California from his home in Texas and began training Thoroughbred racehorses. He had his first Kentucky Derby win in 1990, with Unbridled. His second Kentucky Derby winner was Street Sense, in 2007.
Awards and honors
Nafzger was inducted into the Professional Bull Riders Heroes and Legends Celebration Ring of Honor in 2007. In 2008 he was inducted into both the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame. Also in 2007 he was inducted into the Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Lastly, he was inducted into the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame.
- "Professional Bull Riders - Heroes and Legends Celebration: Ring of Honor". Professional Bull Riders. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- "Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame | Fort Worth Texas". texascowboyhalloffame.org. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- "Carl Nafzger | National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame". www.racingmuseum.org. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- "Carl Nafzger". Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
- Software, Bengal. "TRCHF: Past Inductees". www.texasrodeocowboy.com. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
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