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Kentucky Derby

Grade 1 race
Kentucky Derby
File:Kentucky Derby.svg
250px
The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports
Location Churchill Downs
Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Inaugurated 1875
Race type Thoroughbred
Website [1]
Race information
Distance 1¼ miles (10 furlongs)
Track Dirt, Left-handed
Qualification 3-year-old
Weight Colt/Gelding: 126 lbs (57.2 kg)
Filly: 121 lbs. (54.9 kg)
Purse US$2 million
1st: $1,425,000
Bonuses US$ 200


The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is one and a quarter miles (2 km) at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57.2 kg) and fillies 121 pounds (54.9 kg).[1] The race is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner. It is the first leg of the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing and is followed by the Preakness Stakes then the Belmont Stakes. The attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders' Cup. For more information, see American Thoroughbred Racing top Attended Events.

Contents

History

The Kentucky Derby is one of the USA's oldest Thoroughbred horse races (the Phoenix Stakes being the oldest, first run in 1831). From the time the region was settled, the fields of the Bluegrass region were noted for producing superior racehorses. In 1872, Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, traveled to England, visiting the Epsom Derby, a famous race that had been running annually since 1780. From there, Clark went on to Paris, France, where in 1863, a group of racing enthusiasts had formed the French Jockey Club and had organized the Grand Prix de Paris, which at the time was the greatest race in France.

File:Kentucky quarter, reverse side, 2001.jpg
A thoroughbred horse is depicted on the reverse of the Kentucky state quarter

Returning home to Kentucky, Clark organized the Louisville Jockey Club for the purpose of raising money to build quality racing facilities just outside of the city. The track would soon become known as Churchill Downs, named for Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr.'s relatives, John and Henry Churchill, who had provided the land for the racetrack. Officially, the racetrack was incorporated as Churchill Downs in 1937.

The Kentucky Derby was first run at 1½ miles (2.4 km), the same distance as the Epsom Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris. In 1896, the distance was changed to its current 1¼ miles (2 km). On May 17, 1875, in front of an estimated crowd of 10,000 people, a field of 15 three-year-old horses contested the first Derby. Under jockey Oliver Lewis, a colt named Aristides, who was trained by future Hall of Famer, Ansel Williamson, won the inaugural Derby. Later that year, Lewis rode Aristides to a second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes.

Although the first race meet proved a success, the track ran into financial difficulties and in 1894 the New Louisville Jockey Club was incorporated with new capitalization and improved facilities. Despite this, the business floundered until 1902 when Col. Matt Winn of Louisville put together a syndicate of businessmen to acquire the facility. Under Winn, Churchill Downs prospered and the Kentucky Derby then became the preeminent stakes race for three year old thoroughbred horses in the North America.

Between 1875 and 1902, African-American jockeys won 15 of the 28 runnings of the Kentucky Derby. On May 11, 1892, African-American jockey Alonzo "Lonnie" Clayton, age 15, became the youngest rider to win the Derby. The 1904 race was won by Elwood, the first Derby starter and winner owned by a woman, Laska Durnell. In 1915, Regret became the first filly to win the Kentucky Derby (of only three in the history of the race), and in 1917, the English bred colt "Omar Khayyam" became the first foreign-bred horse to win the race.

Derby participants are limited to three-year-old horses. No horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without racing at age two.

Thoroughbred owners began sending their successful Derby horses to compete a few weeks later in the Preakness Stakes at the Pimlico Race Course, in Baltimore, Maryland, followed by the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York. The three races offered the largest purse and in 1919 Sir Barton became the first horse to win all three races. However, the term Triple Crown didn't come into use for another eleven years. In 1930, when Gallant Fox became the second horse to win all three races, sportswriter Charles Hatton brought the phrase into American usage. Fueled by the media, public interest in the possibility of a "superhorse" that could win the Triple Crown began in the weeks leading up to the derby. Two years after the term was coined, the race, which had been run in mid-May since inception, was changed to the first Saturday in May to allow for a specific schedule for the Triple Crown races. Since 1931, the order of Triple Crown races has been the Kentucky Derby first, followed by the Preakness Stakes and then the Belmont Stakes. Prior to 1931, eleven times the Preakness was run before the Derby. On May 12, 1917 and again on May 13, 1922, the Preakness and the Derby were run on the same day. On eleven occasions the Belmont Stakes was run before the Preakness Stakes.

On May 3, 1952, the first national television coverage of the Kentucky Derby took place. In 1954, the purse exceeded $100,000 for the first time. In 1968 Dancer's Image became the first (and to this day the only) horse to win the race and then be disqualified after traces of phenylbutazone, an analgesic and anti-inflammatory drug, were found in the horse's urinalysis; unexpectedly, the regulations at Kentucky thoroughbred race tracks were changed some years later, allowing horses to run on phenylbutazone.

The fastest time ever run in the Derby (at its present distance) was set in 1973 at 1 minute 59 2/5 seconds when Secretariat broke the record set by Northern Dancer in 1964. Not only has Secretariat's record time stood for 38 years and counting, but in the race itself, he did something unique in Triple Crown races: each successive quarter, his times were faster. The second sub-two minute time was recorded by Sham, two-fifths of a second behind Secretariat in the same race. Another sub-two minute finish, only the third, was set by in 2001 by Monarchos at 1:59.97.

The 2004 Derby marked the first time that jockeys, as a result of a court order, were allowed to wear corporate advertising logos on their clothing.

In 2005, the purse distribution for the Derby was changed, so that horses finishing fifth would henceforth receive a share of the purse; previously only the first four finishers did so.

Norman Adams has been the designer of the Kentucky Derby Logo since 2002. On February 1, 2006, the Louisville-based fast-food company Yum! Brands, Inc. announced a corporate sponsorship deal to call the race "The Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands." [2]

In 2007, HM Queen Elizabeth II, on a visit to the United States, joined the racegoers at Churchill Downs.

In 2010 Calvin Borel sets a new record, being the first jockey to win 3 out of 4 consecutive Kentucky Derbys.[3]

Traditions

In addition to the race itself, a number of traditions play a large role in the Derby atmosphere. The Mint Julep, an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and a sugar syrup is the traditional beverage of the race. The historic drink can be served in an ice-frosted silver julep cup but most Churchill Downs patrons sip theirs from a souvenir glass printed with all previous Derby winners. Also, burgoo, a thick stew of beef, chicken, pork and vegetables, is a popular Kentucky dish served at the Derby.

File:Louisville Clock.jpg
Louisville Clock (often called the Louisville Derby Clock)

The infield, a spectator area inside the track, offers general admission prices but little chance of seeing much of the race. Instead, revelers show up in the infield to party with abandon. By contrast, "Millionaire's Row" refers to the expensive box seats that attract the rich, the famous and the well-connected. Women appear in fine outfits lavishly accessorized with large, elaborate hats. As the horses are paraded before the grandstands, the University of Louisville marching band plays Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home".

The Derby is frequently referred to as "The Run for the Roses," because a lush blanket of 554 red roses is awarded to the Kentucky Derby winner each year. The tradition originated in 1883 when New York socialite E. Berry Wall presented roses to ladies at a post-Derby party that was attended by Churchill Downs founder and president, Col. M. Lewis Clark. This gesture is believed to have eventually led Clark to the idea of making the rose the race's official flower. However, it was not until 1896 that any recorded account referred to roses being draped on the Derby winner. The Governor of Kentucky awards the garland and the trophy. The late pop vocalist Dan Fogelberg composed the song "Run for the Roses" for the 1980 running of the race.

Records

Most wins by a jockey </dt>

Most wins by a trainer </dt>

Most wins by an owner</dt>

  • 8 - Calumet Farm (1941, 1944, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1957, 1958, 1968)

Stakes record</dt>

Longest length to win a race</dt>

  • 8 lengths - Whirlaway (1941)

Longest shot to win the Derby</dt>

Winners

Year

Winner

Jockey

Trainer

Owner

Time

Grade

2010

Super Saver Calvin Borel Todd Pletcher WinStar Farm

2:04.45

I

2009

Mine That Bird Calvin Borel Bennie L. Woolley, Jr. Double Eagle Ranch et al.

2:02.66

I

2008

Big Brown Kent Desormeaux Rick Dutrow IEAH Stables / P. Pompa

2:01.82

I

2007

Street Sense Calvin Borel Carl Nafzger James B. Tafel

2:02.17

I

2006

Barbaro Edgar Prado Michael R. Matz Lael Stables

2:01.36

I

2005

Giacomo Mike E. Smith John Shirreffs Jerry & Ann Moss

2:02.75

I

2004

Smarty Jones Stewart Elliott John Servis Someday Farm

2:04.06

I

2003

Funny Cide Jose Santos Barclay Tagg Sackatoga Stable

2:01.19

I

2002

War Emblem Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert Thoroughbred Corp.

2:01.13

I

2001

Monarchos Jorge F. Chavez John T. Ward, Jr. John C. Oxley

1:59.97

I

2000

Fusaichi Pegasus Kent Desormeaux Neil Drysdale Fusao Sekiguchi

2:01.00

I

1999

Charismatic Chris Antley D. Wayne Lukas Bob & Beverly Lewis

2:03.20

I

1998

Real Quiet Kent Desormeaux Bob Baffert Michael E. Pegram

2:02.20

I

1997

Silver Charm Gary Stevens Bob Baffert Bob & Beverly Lewis

2:02.40

I

1996

Grindstone Jerry Bailey D. Wayne Lukas Overbrook Farm

2:01.00

I

1995

Thunder Gulch Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Michael Tabor

2:01.20

I

1994

Go for Gin Chris McCarron Nick Zito Condren & Cornacchia

2:03.60

I

1993

Sea Hero Jerry Bailey MacKenzie Miller Rokeby Stables

2:02.40

I

1992

Lil E. Tee Pat Day Lynn S. Whiting W. Cal Partee

2:03.00

I

1991

Strike the Gold Chris Antley Nick Zito BCC Stable

2:03.00

I

1990

Unbridled Craig Perret Carl Nafzger Frances A. Genter

2:02.00

I

1989

Sunday Silence Pat Valenzuela Charlie Whittingham H-G-W Partners

2:05.00

I

1988

Winning Colors Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein

2:02.20

I

1987

Alysheba Chris McCarron Jack Van Berg D. & P. Scharbauer

2:03.40

I

1986

Ferdinand Bill Shoemaker Charlie Whittingham Elizabeth A. Keck

2:02.80

I

1985

Spend A Buck Angel Cordero, Jr. Cam Gambolati Dennis Diaz

2:00.20

I

1984

Swale Laffit Pincay, Jr. Woody Stephens Claiborne Farm

2:02.40

I

1983

Sunny's Halo Ed Delahoussaye David C. Cross, Jr. D. J. Foster Stable

2:02.20

I

1982

Gato Del Sol Ed Delahoussaye Edwin J. Gregson Hancock & Peters

2:02.40

I

1981

Pleasant Colony Jorge Velasquez John P. Campo Buckland Farm

2:02.00

I

1980

Genuine Risk Jacinto Vasquez LeRoy Jolley Diana Firestone

2:02.00

I

1979

Spectacular Bid Ronnie Franklin Bud Delp Hawksworth Farm

2:02.40

I

1978

Affirmed Steve Cauthen Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm

2:01.20

I

1977

Seattle Slew Jean Cruguet William H. Turner, Jr. Karen L. Taylor

2:02.20

I

1976

Bold Forbes Angel Cordero, Jr. Laz Barrera E. Rodriguez Tizol

2:01.60

I

1975

Foolish Pleasure Jacinto Vasquez LeRoy Jolley John L. Greer

2:02.00

I

1974

Cannonade Angel Cordero, Jr. Woody Stephens John M. Olin

2:04.00

I

1973

Secretariat Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable

1:59.40

I

1972

Riva Ridge Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stud

2:01.80

1971

Canonero II Gustavo Avila Juan Arias Edgar Caibett

2:03.20

1970

Dust Commander Mike Manganello Don Combs Robert E. Lehmann

2:03.40

1969

Majestic Prince Bill Hartack Johnny Longden Frank M. McMahon

2:01.80

1968*

Forward Pass Ismael Valenzuela Henry Forrest Calumet Farm

2:02.20

1967

Proud Clarion Bobby Ussery Loyd Gentry, Jr. Darby Dan Farm

2:00.60

1966

Kauai King Don Brumfield Henry Forrest Ford Stable

2:02.00

1965

Lucky Debonair Bill Shoemaker Frank Catrone Ada L. Rice

2:01.20

1964

Northern Dancer Bill Hartack Horatio Luro Windfields Farm

2:00.00

1963

Chateaugay Braulio Baeza James P. Conway Darby Dan Farm

2:01.80

1962

Decidedly Bill Hartack Horatio Luro El Peco Ranch

2:00.40

1961

Carry Back Johnny Sellers Jack A. Price Katherine Price

2:04.00

1960

Venetian Way Bill Hartack Victor J. Sovinski Sunny Blue Farm

2:02.40

1959

Tomy Lee Bill Shoemaker Frank E. Childs Fred & Juliette Turner

2:02.20

1958

Tim Tam Ismael Valenzuela Jimmy Jones Calumet Farm

2:05.00

1957

Iron Liege Bill Hartack Jimmy Jones Calumet Farm

2:02.20

1956

Needles David Erb Hugh L. Fontaine D & H Stable

2:03.40

1955

Swaps Bill Shoemaker Mesh Tenney Rex C. Ellsworth

2:01.80

1954

Determine Raymond York William Molter Andrew J. Crevolin

2:03.00

1953

Dark Star Hank Moreno Eddie Hayward Cain Hoy Stable

2:02.00

1952

Hill Gail Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm

2:01.60

1951

Count Turf Conn McCreary Sol Rutchick Jack J. Amiel

2:02.60

1950

Middleground William Boland Max Hirsch King Ranch

2:01.60

1949

Ponder Steve Brooks Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm

2:04.20

1948

Citation Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm

2:05.40

1947

Jet Pilot Eric Guerin Tom Smith Maine Chance Farm

2:06.80

1946

Assault Warren Mehrtens Max Hirsch King Ranch

2:06.60

1945

Hoop Jr. Eddie Arcaro Ivan H. Parke Fred W. Hooper

2:07.00

1944

Pensive Conn McCreary Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm

2:04.20

1943

Count Fleet Johnny Longden Don Cameron Fannie Hertz

2:04.00

1942

Shut Out Wayne D. Wright John M. Gaver, Sr. Greentree Stable

2:04.40

1941

Whirlaway Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm

2:01.40

1940

Gallahadion Carroll Bierman Roy Waldron Milky Way Farm

2:05.00

1939

Johnstown James Stout Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud

2:03.40

1938

Lawrin Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Herbert M. Woolf

2:04.80

1937

War Admiral Charley Kurtsinger George Conway Glen Riddle Farm

2:03.20

1936

Bold Venture Ira Hanford Max Hirsch Morton L. Schwartz

2:03.60

1935

Omaha Willie Saunders Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud

2:05.00

1934

Cavalcade Mack Garner Bob Smith Brookmeade Stable

2:04.00

1933

Brokers Tip Don Meade Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley

2:06.80

1932

Burgoo King Eugene James Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley

2:05.20

1931

Twenty Grand Charley Kurtsinger James G. Rowe, Jr. Greentree Stable

2:01.80

1930

Gallant Fox Earl Sande Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud

2:07.60

1929

Clyde Van Dusen Linus McAtee Clyde Van Dusen Herbert P. Gardner

2:10.80

1928

Reigh Count Chick Lang Bert S. Michell Fannie Hertz

2:10.40

1927

Whiskery Linus McAtee Fred Hopkins Harry P. Whitney

2:06.00

1926

Bubbling Over Albert Johnson Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley

2:03.80

1925

Flying Ebony Earl Sande William B. Duke Gifford A. Cochran

2:07.60

1924

Black Gold John D. Mooney Hanley Webb Rosa M. Hoots

2:05.20

1923

Zev Earl Sande David J. Leary Rancocas Stable

2:05.40

1922

Morvich Albert Johnson Fred Burlew Benjamin Block

2:04.60

1921

Behave Yourself Charles Thompson Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley

2:04.20

1920

Paul Jones Ted Rice Billy Garth Ral Parr

2:09.00

1919

Sir Barton Johnny Loftus H. Guy Bedwell J. K. L. Ross

2:09.80

1918

Exterminator William Knapp Henry McDaniel Willis Sharpe Kilmer

2:10.80

1917

Omar Khayyam Charles Borel Charles T. Patterson Billings & Johnson

2:04.60

1916

George Smith Johnny Loftus Hollie Hughes John Sanford

2:04.00

1915

Regret Joe Notter James G. Rowe, Sr. Harry P. Whitney

2:05.40

1914

Old Rosebud John McCabe Frank D. Weir Hamilton C. Applegate

2:03.40

1913

Donerail Roscoe Goose Thomas P. Hayes Thomas P. Hayes

2:04.80

1912

Worth Carroll H. Shilling Frank M. Taylor Henry C. Hallenbeck

2:09.40

1911

Meridian George Archibald Albert Ewing Richard F. Carman

2:05.00

1910

Donau Frederick Herbert George Ham William Gerst

2:06.40

1909

Wintergreen Vincent Powers Charles Mack Jerome B. Respess

2:08.20

1908

Stone Street Arthur Pickens J. W. Hall C. E. & J. W. Hamilton

2:15.20

1907

Pink Star Andy Minder W. H. Fizer J. Hal Woodford

2:12.60

1906

Sir Huon Roscoe Troxler Pete Coyne Bashford Manor Stable

2:08.80

1905

Agile Jack Martin Robert Tucker Samuel S. Brown

2:10.75

1904

Elwood Shorty Prior Charles E. Durnell Mrs. C. E. Durnell

2:08.50

1903

Judge Himes Hal Booker John P. Mayberry Charles R. Ellison

2:09.00

1902

Alan-a-Dale Jimmy Winkfield Thomas C. McDowell Thomas C. McDowell

2:08.75

1901

His Eminence Jimmy Winkfield Frank B. Van Meter Frank B. Van Meter

2:07.75

1900

Lieut. Gibson Jimmy Boland Charles Hughes Charles H. Smith

2:06.25

1899

Manuel Fred Taral Robert J. Walden A. H. & D. H. Morris

2:12.00

1898

Plaudit Willie Simms John E. Madden John E. Madden

2:09.00

1897

Typhoon II Buttons Garner J. C. Cahn J. C. Cahn

2:12.50

1896

Ben Brush Willie Simms Hardy Campbell, Jr. Mike F. Dwyer

2:07.75

1895

Halma Soup Perkins Byron McClelland Byron McClelland

2:37.50

1894

Chant Frank Goodale H. Eugene Leigh Leigh & Rose

2:41.00

1893

Lookout Eddie Kunze William McDaniel Cushing & Orth

2:39.25

1892

Azra Alonzo Clayton John H. Morris Bashford Manor Stable

2:41.50

1891

Kingman Isaac Murphy Dud Allen Jacobin Stable

2:52.25

1890

Riley Isaac Murphy Edward Corrigan Edward Corrigan

2:45.00

1889

Spokane Thomas Kiley John Rodegap Noah Armstrong

2:34.50

1888

Macbeth II George Covington John Campbell Chicago Stable

2:38.00

1887

Montrose Isaac Lewis John McGinty Labold Brothers

2:39.25

1886

Ben Ali Paul Duffy Jim Murphy J. B. A. Haggin

2:36.50

1885

Joe Cotton Erskine Henderson Abe Perry James T. Williams

2:37.25

1884

Buchanan Isaac Murphy William Bird William Cottrill

2:40.25

1883

Leonatus Billy Donohue Raleigh Colston Chinn & Morgan

2:43.00

1882

Apollo Babe Hurd Green B. Morris Morris & Patton

2:40.00

1881

Hindoo Jim McLaughlin James G. Rowe, Sr. Dwyer Bros. Stable

2:40.00

1880

Fonso George Lewis Tice Hutsell J. Snell Shawhan

2:37.50

1879

Lord Murphy Charlie Shauer George Rice (horseman) Darden & Co

2:37.00

1878

Day Star Jimmy Carter Lee Paul T. J. Nichols

2:37.25

1877

Baden-Baden Billy Walker Edward D. Brown Daniel Swigert

2:38.00

1876

Vagrant Bobby Swim James Williams William Astor, Jr.

2:38.25

1875

Aristides Oliver Lewis Ansel Williamson Hal P. McGrath

2:37.75

See also: Highest combined Triple Crown finish
A † designates a Triple Crown Winner.
A ‡ designates a filly.

*In 1968, Dancer's Image, ridden by Bobby Ussery, trained by Lou Cavalaris, Jr., and owned by Peter Fuller, finished first, but was disqualified after a post-race urine sample revealed traces of a banned drug in the horse. The drug in question - phenylbutazone - is now legal for use on racehorses in many states, including Kentucky.

Notes

  • The 1882 Winning horse Apollo was the only 3 year old horse to win the derby without having raced the year before as a 2 year old.
  • D. Wayne Lukas swept the 1995 Triple Crown with two different horses.
  • The Kentucky Derby is the oldest, continuous sporting event in the United States.[citation needed]
  • The 2008 second place winner, Eight Belles, marks the first time that any horse has died in the Kentucky Derby. The filly came in second place before breaking both front ankles on the cool-down. She was immediately euthanized. Churchill Downs has since announced that a magnolia tree will be planted in the garden of the Kentucky Derby Museum for Eight Belles and that her remains will be interred at its base. Churchill Downs has also announced that it will rename the La Troienne Stakes (Gr. III) in honor of Eight Belles. There are also plans for a ceremony on Derby Day 2009 in her memory.
  • 2008 Kentucky Derby Winner Big Brown did not wear the blanket of roses he earned in the race because of the fact that he hates flowers. Kent Desormeaux (Big Brown's jockey) did not want to upset the horse and so would not let the Winner's Circle handlers place the roses on Big Brown.

See also

  • American Thoroughbred Racing top Attended Events
  • Derby pie
  • List of attractions and events in Louisville, Kentucky
  • "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved", a seminal sports article by Hunter S. Thompson.

References


External links





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