Steve Cauthen is a retired American jockey.
Cauthen, the son of a trainer and a farrier, grew up in Walton, Kentucky around horses, which 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 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.
In 1978 he became the youngest jockey to ever win the U. S. Triple Crown, riding Affirmed.