The Kentucky Derby

One of throughbred horse racings Triple Crown events, the Kentucky Derby is held on the first Saturday of May each year. Horse racing in Kentucky has a rich history, dating back to 1789 when the first race course was laid out in Lexington. However, it was almost 100 years later, in 1875, that Churchill Downs officially opened and began its tradition as "Home of the Kentucky Derby."


The Kentucky Derby Previous Winners

The Kentucky Derby Previous Winners

Year

Winner

Time

Jockey

Trainer

Place

Show

1875

Aristides

2:37¾

Oliver Lewis

Ansel Anderson

Volcano

Verdigris

1876

Vagrant

2:38¼

Bobby Swim

James Williams

Creedmore

Harry Hill

1877

Baden-Baden

2:38

Billy Walker

Ed Brown

Leonard

King William

1878

Day Star

2:37¼

Jimmy Carter

Lee Paul

Himyar

Leveler

1879

Lord Murphy

2:37

Charlie Shauer

George Rice

Falsetto

Strathmore

1880

Fonso

2:37½

George Lewis

Tice Hutsell

Kimball

Bancroft

1881

Hindoo

2:40

Jim McLaughlin

James Rowe Sr.

Lelex

Alfambra

1882

Apollo

2:40¼

Babe Hurd

Green Morris

Runnymede

Bengal

1883

Leonatus

2:43

Billy Donohue

John McGinty

Drake Carter

Lord Raglan

1884

Buchanan

2:40¼

Isaac Murphy

William Bird

Loftin

Audrain

1885

Joe Cotton

2:37¼

Babe Henderson

Alex Perry

Bersan

Ten Booker

1886

Ben Ali

2:36½

Paul Duffy

Jim Murphy

Blue Wing

Free Knight

1887

Montrose

2:39¼

Isaac Lewis

John McGinty

Jim Gore

Jacobin

1888

Macbeth II

2:38¼

George Covington

John Campbell

Gallifet

White

1889

Spokane

2:34½

Thomas Kiley

John Rodegap

Proctor Knott

Once Again

1890

Riley

2:45

Isaac Murphy

Edward Corrigan

Bill Letcher

Robespierre

1891

Kingman

2:52¼

Isaac Murphy

Dud Allen

Balgowan

High Tariff

1892

Azra

2:41½

Lonnie Clayton

John Morris

Huron

Phil Dwyer

1893

Lookout

2:39¼

Eddie Kunze

Wm. McDaniel

Plutus

Boundless

1894

Chant

2:41

Frank Goodale

Eugene Leigh

Pearl Song

Sigurd

1895

Halma

2:37½

Soup Perkins

Byron McClelland

Basso

Laureate

1896

Ben Brush

2:07¾

Willie Simms

Hardy Campbell

Ben Eder

Semper Ego

1897

Typhoon II

2:12½

Buttons Garner

J.C. Cahn

Ornament

Dr. Catlett

1898

Plaudit

2:09

Willie Simms

John E. Madden

Lieber Karl

Isabey

1899

Manuel

2:12

Fred Taral

Robert Walden

Corsini

Mazo

1900

Lieut. Gibson

2:06¼

Jimmy Boland

Charles Hughes

Florizar

Thrive

1901

His Eminence

2:07¾

Jimmy Winkfield

F.B. Van Meter

Sannazarro

Driscoll

1902

Alan-A-Dale

2:08¾

Jimmy Winkfield

T.C. McDowell

Inventor

The Rival

1903

Judge Himes

2:09

Hal Booker

J.P. Mayberry

Early

Bourbon

1904

Elwood

2:08½

Shorty Prior

C.E. Durnell

Ed Tierney

Brancas

1905

Agile

2:10¾

Jack Martin

Robert Tucker

Ram's Horn

Layson

1906

Sir Huon

2:08 4/5

Roscoe Troxler

Pete Coyne

Lady Navarre

James Reddick

1907

Pink Star

2:12 3/5

Andy Minder

W.H. Fizer

Zal

Ovelando

1908

Stone Street

2:15 1/5

Arthur Pickens

J.W. Hall

Sir Cleges

Dunvegan

1909

Wintergreen

2:08 1/5

Vincent Powers

Charles Mack

Miami

Dr. Barkley

1910

Donau

2:06 2/5

Fred Herbert

George Ham

Joe Morris

Fighting Bob

1911

Meridian

2:05

George Archibald

Albert Ewing

Governor Gray

Colston

1912

Worth

2:09 2/5

C.H. Shilling

Frank Taylor

Duval

Flamma

1913

Donerail

2:04 4/5

Roscoe Goose

Thomas Hayes

Ten Point

Gowell

1914

Old Rosebud

2:03 2/5

John McCabe

F.D. Weir

Hodge

Bronzewing

1915

Regret (F)

2:05 2/5

Joe Notter

James Rowe Sr.

Pebbles

Sharpshooter

1916

George Smith

2:04

Johnny Loftus

Hollie Hughes

Star Hawk

Franklin

1917

Omar Khayyam

2:04 3/5

Charles Borel

C.T. Patterson

Ticket

Midway

1918

Exterminator

2:10 4/5

William Knapp

Henry McDaniel

Escoba

Viva America

1919

Sir Barton

2:09 4/5

Johnny Loftus

H. Guy Bedwell

Billy Kelly

Under Fire

1920

Paul Jones

2:09

Ted Rice

Billy Garth

Upset

On Watch

1921

Behave Yourself

2:04 1/5

Charles Thompson

Dick Thompson

Black Servant

Prudery

1922

Morvich

2:04 3/5

Albert Johnson

Fred Burlew

Bet Mosie

John Finn

1923

Zev

2:05 2/5

Earl Sande

David Leary

Martingale

Vigil

1924

Black Gold

2:05 1/5

John Mooney

Hanly Webb

Chilhowee

Beau Butler

1925

Flying Ebony

2:07 3/5

Earl Sande

William Duke

Captain Hal

Son of John

1926

Bubbling Over

2:03 4/5

Albert Johnson

Dick Thompson

Bagenbaggage

Rock Man

1927

Whiskery

2:06

Linus McAtee

Fred Hopkins

Osmand

Jock

1928

Reigh Count

2:10 2/5

Chick Lang

Bert Michell

Misstep

Toro

1929

Clyde Van Dusen

2:10 4/5

Linus McAtee

Clyde Van Dusen

Naishapur

Panchio

1930

Gallant Fox

2:07 3/5

Earl Sande

Jim Fitzsimmons

Gallant Knight

Ned O.

1931

Twenty Grand

2:01 4/5

Charley Kurtsinger

James Rowe Jr.

Sweep All

Mate

1932

Burgoo King

2:05 1/5

Eugene James

Dick Thompson

Economic

Stepenfetchit

1933

Brokers Tip

2:06 4/5

Don Meade

Dick Thompson

Head Play

Charley O.

1934

Cavalcade

2:04

Mack Garner

Bob Smith

Discovery

Agrarian

1935

Omaha

2:05

Willie Saunders

Jim Fitzsimmons

Roman Soldier

Whiskolo

1936

Bold Venture

2:03 3/5

Ira Hanford

Max Hirsch

Brevity

Indian Broom

1937

War Admiral

2:03 1/5

Charley Kurtsinger

George Conway

Pompoon

Reaping Reward

1938

Lawrin

2:04 4/5

Eddie Arcaro

Ben Jones

Dauber

Can't Wait

1939

Johnstown

2:03 2/5

James Stout

Jim Fitzsimmons

Challedon

Heather Broom

1940

Gallahadion

2:05

Carroll Bierman

Roy Waldron

Bimelech

Dit

1941

Whirlaway

2:01 2/5

Eddie Arcaro

Ben Jones

Staretor

Market Wise

1942

Shut Out

2:04 2/5

Wayne Wright

John Gaver

Alsab

Valdina Orphan

1943

Count Fleet

2:04

Johnny Longden

Don Cameron

Blue Swords

Slide Rule

1944

Pensive

2:04 1/5

Conn McCreary

Ben Jones

Broadcloth

Stir Up

1945

Hoop Jr

2:07

Eddie Arcaro

Ivan Parke

Pot O'Luck

Darby Dieppe

1946

Assault

2:06 3/5

Warren Mehrtens

Max Hirsch

Spy Song

Hampden

1947

Jet Pilot

2:06 4/5

Eric Guerin

Tom Smith

Phalanx

Faultless

1948

Citation

2:05 2/5

Eddie Arcaro

Ben Jones

Coaltown

My Request

1949

Ponder

2:04 1/5

Steve Brooks

Ben Jones

Capot

Palestinian

1950

Middleground

2:01 3/5

William Boland

Max Hirsch

Hill Prince

Mr. Trouble

1951

Count Turf

2:02 3/5

Conn McCreary

Sol Rutchick

Royal Mustang

Ruhe

1952

Hill Gail

2:01 3/5

Eddie Arcaro

Ben Jones

Sub Fleet

Blue Man

1953

Dark Star

2:02

Hank Moreno

Eddie Hayward

Native Dancer

Invigorator

1954

Determine

2:03

Raymond York

Willie Molter

Hasty Road

Hasseyampa

1955

Swaps

2:01 4/5

Bill Shoemaker

Mesh Tenney

Nashua

Summer Tan

1956

Needles

2:03 2/5

David Erb

Hugh Fontaine

Fabius

Come On Red

1957

Iron Liege

2:02 1/5

Bill Hartack

Jimmy Jones

Gallant Man

Round Table

1958

Tim Tam

2:05

Ismael Valenzuela

Jimmy Jones

Lincoln Road

Noureddin

1959

Tomy Lee

2:02 1/5

Bill Shoemaker

Frank Childs

Sword Dancer

First Landing

1960

Venetian Way

2:02 2/5

Bill Hartack

Victor Sovinski

Bally Ache

Victoria Park

1961

Carry Back

2:04

John Sellers

Jack Price

Crozier

Bass Clef

1962

Decidedly

2:00 2/5

Bill Hartack

Horatio Luro

Roman Line

Ridan

1963

Chateaugay

2:01 4/5

Braulio Baeza

James Conway

Never Bend

Candy Spots

1964

Northern Dancer

2:00

Bill Hartack

Horatio Luro

Hill Rise

The Scoundrel

1965

Lucky Debonair

2:01 1/5

Bill Shoemaker

Frank Catrone

Dapper Dan

Tom Rolfe

1966

Kauai King

2:02

Don Brumfield

Henry Forrest

Advocator

Blue Skyer

1967

Proud Clarion

2:00 3/5

Bobby Ussery

Loyd Gentry

Barbs Delight

Damascus

1968

Forward Pass

Ismael Valenzuela

Henry Forrest

Francie's Hat

T.V. Commercial

1969

Majestic Prince

2:01 4/5

Bill Hartack

Johnny Longden

Arts and Letters

Dike

1970

Dust Commander

2:03 2/5

Mike Manganello

Don Combs

My Dad George

High Echelon

1971

Canonero II

2:03 1/5

Gustavo Avila

Juan Arias

Jim French

Bold Reason

1972

Riva Ridge

2:01 4/5

Ron Turcotte

Lucien Laurin

No Le Hace

Hold Your Peace

1973

Secretariat

1:59 2/5

Ron Turcotte

Lucien Laurin

Sham

Our Native

1974

Cannonade

2:04

Angel Cordero Jr.

Woody Stephens

Hudson County

Agitate

1975

Foolish Pleasure

2:02

Jacinto Vasquez

LeRoy Jolley

Avatar

Diabolo

1976

Bold Forbes

2:01 3/5

Angel Cordero Jr.

Laz Barrera

Honest Pleasure

Elocutionist

1977

Seattle Slew

2:02 1/5

Jean Cruguet

Billy Turner

Run Dusty Run

Sanhedrin

1978

Affirmed

2:01 1/5

Steve Cauthen

Laz Barrera

Alydar

Believe It

1979

Spectacular Bid

2:02 2/5

Ron Franklin

Bud Delp

General Assembly

Golden Act

1980

Genuine Risk (F)

2:02

Jacinto Vasquez

LeRoy Jolley

Rumbo

Jaklin Klugman

1981

Pleasant Colony

2:02

Jorge Velasquez

John Campo

Woodchopper

Partez

1982

Gato Del Sol

2:02 2/5

E. Delahoussaye

Eddie Gregson

Laser Light

Reinvested

1983

Sunny's Halo

2:02 1/5

E. Delahoussaye

David Cross Jr.

Desert Wine

Caveat

1984

Swale

2:02 2/5

Laffit Pincay Jr.

Woody Stephens

Coax Me Chad

At The Threshold

1985

Spend A Buck

2:00 1/5

Angel Cordero Jr.

Cam Gambolati

Stephan's Odyssey

Chief's Crown

1986

Ferdinand

2:02 4/5

Bill Shoemaker

Chas. Whittingham

Bold Arrangement

Broad Brush

1987

Alysheba

2:03 2/5

Chris McCarron

Jack Van Berg

Bet Twice

Avies Copy

1988

Winning Colors (F)

2:02 1/5

Gary Stevens

D. Wayne Lukas

Forty Niner

Risen Star

1989

Sunday Silence

2:05

Pat Valenzuela

Chas. Whittingham

Easy Goer

Awe Inspiring

1990

Unbridled

2:02

Craig Perret

Carl Nafzger

Summer Squall

Pleasant Tap

1991

Strike The Gold

2:03

Chris Antley

Nick Zito

Best Pal

Mane Minister

1992

Lil E. Tee

2:03

Pat Day

Lynn Whiting

Casual Lies

Dance Floor

1993

Sea Hero

2:02 2/5

Jerry Bailey

Mack Miller

Prairie Bayou

Wild Gale

1994

Go For Gin

2:03 3/5

Chris McCarron

Nick Zito

Strodes Creek

Blumin Affair

1995

Thunder Gulch

2:01 1/5

Gary Stevens

D. Wayne Lukas

Tejano Run

Timber Country

1996

Grindstone

2:01

Jerry Bailey

D. Wayne Lukas

Cavonnier

Prince of Thieves

1997

Silver Charm

2:02 2/5

Gary Stevens

Bob Baffert

Captain Bodgit

Free House

1998

Real Quiet

2:02 1/5

Kent Desormeaux

Bob Baffert

Victory Gallop

Indian Charlie

1999

Charismatic

2:03 1/5

Chris Antley

D. Wayne Lukas

Menifee

Cat Thief

2000

Fusaichi Pegasus

2:01 1/5

Kent Desormeaux

Neil Drysdale

Aptitude

Impeachment

2001

Monarchos

1:59 4/5

Jorge Chavez

John Ward

Invisible Ink

Congaree

2002

War Emblem

2:01.13

Victor Espinoza

Bob Baffert

Proud Citizen

Perfect Drift

2003

Funny Cide

2:01.19

Jose Santos

Barclay Tagg

Empire Maker

Peace Rules

2004

Smarty Jones

2:04.06

Stewart Elliott

John Servis

Lion Heart

Imperialism

2005

Giacomo

2:02.75

Mike Smith

John Shirreffs

Closing Argument

Afleet Alex

2006

Barbaro

2:01.36

Edgar Prado

Michael Matz

Bluegrass Cat

Steppenwolfer

2007

Street Sense

2:02.00

Calvin Borel

Carl Nafzger

Hard Spun

Curlin

2008

Big Brown

2:01 4/5

Kent Desormeaux

Rick Dutrow Jr.

Eight Belles (f)

Denis of Cork

2009

Mine That Bird

2:02.66

Calvin Borel

Bennie Woolley, Jr.

Pioneer of The Nile

Musket Man

(F) indicates filly

Race was 1.5 miles from 1887-95. Changed to 1.25 miles in 1896.

(picture from kentuckyderby.com)

 

Kentucky Derby - History

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most famous and prestigous horse races in the world. It is the first leg of the United States Triple Crown of horse racing. Churchill Downs where the race is held the first Saturday in May reach year, was started by a group headed by a man named M. Lewis Clark in 1874. The group built the racetrack on land owned by the Churchill family of Louisville, Kentucky. The track officially opened on May 17, 1875 and that was the day of the first Kentucky Derby won by Aristides.

The races from 1875-1895 were modeled after the English Derby and were 1.5 miles long. In 1896 they changed the length of the Kentucky Derby to 1.25 miles, and this is the current length of the dirt surface track.

However, the Derby was just another regional race until 1902, when Colonel Matt J. Winn took over the track. Although he had seen every Kentucky Derby since the beginning, Winn knew little about horse racing or running tracks. But he was a very good promoter.

After raising money to save Churchill Downs from bankruptcy, Winn began making frequent trips to New York, then the center of American racing, to persuade owners to enter their horses in the Kentucky Derby. His persistence paid off. By 1920, the Derby had become the best-known race in North America and it was attracting the top three-year-olds from all over the country.

Today as the first leg in the pursuit of the Triple Crown the Kentucky Derby is viewed by many as the most exciting two minutes in sports. The twin spires atop the homestretch grandstands were added in 1895 and remain one of the most recognized structures in all of sports.