Kentucky Derby

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Kentucky Derby
Grade I race
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Derby.jpg
"The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports"
"The Run for the Roses"
Location Churchill Downs
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Inaugurated May 17, 1875 (149 years ago) (1875-05-17)
Race type Thoroughbred
Sponsor Woodford Reserve[1] (Brown–Forman)
Website www.kentuckyderby.com
Race information
Distance Lua error in Module:Convert at line 452: attempt to index field 'titles' (a nil value).
Record 1:59.4, Secretariat (1973) more
Surface Dirt
Track Left-handed
Qualification 3-year-old
Weight Colt/Gelding: 126 lbs (57.2 kg)
Filly: 121 lb (55 kg)
Purse US$5 million[2]
1st: $3.1 million

The Kentucky Derby (/ˈdɜːrbi/) is an American Grade I stakes race run at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The race is run by three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of Lua error in Module:Convert at line 452: attempt to index field 'titles' (a nil value)., the first time horses in the field race that distance. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57 kilograms) and fillies 121 pounds (55 kilograms).[3]

Held annually on the first Saturday in May, the race is the first leg of the Triple Crown. The Derby is known as "The Run for the Roses", as the winning horse is draped in a blanket of roses. Lasting approximately two minutes, the race has also been called "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports". It is preceded by the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.[4]

The race was first run in 1875. Unlike the other races of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes, the Kentucky Derby, along with its sibling race, the Kentucky Oaks, has been run annually since its first edition. They were twice rescheduled within the same year, the first time due to World War II in 1945, and the second time due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.[5] Further, the Derby and the Oaks are the oldest continuously held major sporting events in the US, as well as the oldest thoroughbred stakes races held in the same location since their beginning.[6]

The Derby is the most-watched and most-attended horse race in the United States. The 2024 Kentucky Derby marks the 150th running of the race.

History

In 1872, Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, traveled to England, visiting Epsom in Surrey where The Derby had been running annually since 1780.[7] From there, Clark went on to Paris, France, where a group of racing enthusiasts had formed the French Jockey Club in 1863. They had organized the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp, which at the time was the greatest race in France. Returning home to Kentucky, Clark organized the Louisville Jockey Club to raise money for building quality racing facilities just outside the city. The track would soon become known as Churchill Downs, named for John and Henry Churchill, who provided the land for the racetrack.[8] The naming went official in 1937.[9]

The Kentucky Derby was first run at ​1 12 miles (12 furlongs; 2.4 km) the same distance as the Epsom Derby, before changing lengths in 1896 to its current ​1 14 miles (10 furlongs; 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.

Initially a successful venue, the track ran into financial difficulties due to a protracted, gambling-related horseman boycott removing it from the upper echelons of racing that would last until the Winn era (see below). In 1894 the New Louisville Jockey Club was incorporated with the new capitalization and improved facilities. Despite this, the business floundered until 1902, when a syndicate led by Col. Matt Winn of Louisville acquired the facility. Under Winn, Churchill Downs prospered, and the Kentucky Derby then became the preeminent stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses in North America.

Thoroughbred owners began sending their successful Derby horses to compete in two other races. These two are the Preakness Stakes at the Pimlico Race Course, in Baltimore, and the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York. The three races offered large purses, and in 1919 Sir Barton became the first horse to win all three races. However, the term Triple Crown did not 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 went in use, the race (until that time ran in mid-May since inception) changed the date to the first Saturday in May. This change allows 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. Before 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 took place on the same day. On eleven occasions the Belmont Stakes was run before the Preakness Stakes, and in 2020, the Belmont was run first, then the Kentucky Derby, and the Preakness Stakes last.

On May 16, 1925, the first live radio broadcast of the Kentucky Derby aired on WHAS as well as on WGN in Chicago.[10] On May 7, 1949, the first television coverage of the Kentucky Derby took place, produced by WAVE-TV, the NBC affiliate in Louisville. This coverage was aired live in the Louisville market and sent to NBC as a kinescope newsreel recording for national broadcast. On May 3, 1952, the first national television coverage of the Kentucky Derby took place, aired from then-CBS affiliate WHAS-TV.[11] In 1954, the purse exceeded US$100,000 for the first time. In 1968, Dancer's Image became the first horse to win the race and then face disqualification. A urine test revealed traces of phenylbutazone (an anti-inflammatory painkiller drug) inside Dancer's Image. Forward Pass won after a protracted legal battle by the owners of Dancer's Image (which they lost). Forward Pass thus became the eighth winner for Calumet Farm. Unexpectedly, the regulations at Kentucky thoroughbred race tracks were changed some years later, allowing horses to run on phenylbutazone. In 1970, Diane Crump became the first female jockey to ride in the Derby, finishing 15th aboard Fathom.[12]

The fastest time ever run in the Derby was in 1973 at 1:59.4 minutes, when Secretariat broke the record set by Northern Dancer in 1964. Also during that race, Secretariat did something unique in Triple Crown races: for each successive quarter run, his times were faster. Although the races do not record times for non-winners, in 1973 Sham finished second, two and a half lengths behind Secretariat in the same race. Using the thoroughbred racing convention of one length equaling one-fifth of a second to calculate Sham's time, he also finished in under two minutes. Another sub-two-minute finish, only the third, was set in 2001 by Monarchos at 1:59.97, the first year the race used hundredths of seconds instead of fifths in timing.[13]

In 2005, the purse distribution for the Derby changed, so that horses finishing fifth would henceforth receive a share of the purse; previously only the first four finishers did so.[14]

The Kentucky Derby began offering $3 million in purse money in 2019. Churchill Downs officials have cited the success of historical race wagering terminals at their Derby City Gaming facility in Louisville as a factor behind the purse increase. The Derby first offered a $1 million purse in 1996; it was doubled to $2 million in 2005.[15]

In 2020, the Derby was postponed from May 2 to September 5 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[16] This was the second time in history the race had been postponed, the other being in 1945. Churchill Downs used a new singular 20-stall starting gate for the 2020 Kentucky Derby, replacing the previous arrangement that used a standard 14-stall gate and an auxiliary six-stall gate.[17] The old setup contributed to congestion at the start of the race, especially in the gap between the two gates.[17]

In January 2024, the purse for the Kentucky Derby was increased to $5 million.[2]

Attendance

Millions of people from around the world bet at various live tracks and online sportsbooks.[18] In 2017, a crowd of 158,070 watched Always Dreaming win the Derby, making it the seventh biggest attendance in the history of the racetrack. The track reported a wagering total of $209.2 million from all the sources on all the races on the Kentucky Derby Day program. It was a 9 percent increase compared to the total of $192.6 million in 2016 and an increase of 8 percent over the previous record set in 2015 of $194.3 million.[19] TwinSpires, a platform for betting online and a partner of the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders' Cup, recorded $32.8 million in handle on the Churchill Down races for the Kentucky Derby Day program. This record was a 22 percent increase over the preceding year. On the Kentucky Derby race alone, the handle of TwinSpires was $20.1 million, which is a 22 percent rise compared to the prior year.[20]

The race often draws celebrities. HM Queen Elizabeth II, on a visit to the United States, joined the racegoers at Churchill Downs in 2007.[21]

Sponsorship

The 2004 Kentucky Derby marked the first time that jockeys —as a result of a court order— were allowed to wear corporate advertising logos on their clothing.[22][23]

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."[24] In 2018 Woodford Reserve replaced Yum! Brands as the presenting sponsor.[1]

Traditions

In addition to the race itself, several traditions play a significant role in the Derby atmosphere. The mint julep—an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint, and sugar syrup—is the traditional beverage of the race. The historic beverage comes served in an ice-frosted silver julep cup. However, most Churchill Downs patrons sip theirs from souvenir glasses (first offered in 1939 and available in revised form each year since) printed with all previous Derby winners.[25] Also, burgoo, a thick stew of beef, chicken, pork, and vegetables, is a popular Kentucky dish served at the Derby.[26]

Louisville Clock (often called the Louisville Derby Clock), which was dismantled in 2015

The infield—a spectator area inside the track—offers general admission prices but little chance of seeing much of the race, particularly before the jumbotron installation in 2014.[27][28] 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 elegant outfits lavishly accessorized with large, elaborate hats. Following the Call to the Post played on bugle by Steve Buttleman, as the horses start to parade before the grandstands, the University of Louisville Cardinal Marching Band plays Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home". This song is a tradition which began in 1921.[29] The event attracts spectators from a large area, flying in hundreds of private aircraft to Louisville International Airport.[30]

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 City socialite E. Berry Wall presented roses to ladies at a post-Derby party. The Churchill Downs founder and president, Col. M. Lewis Clark, attended that event. This gesture is believed to have 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 draping roses on the Derby winner. The Governor of Kentucky and the Chairman of Churchill Downs Incorporated present the garland and the Kentucky Derby Trophy to the winner. Pop vocalist Dan Fogelberg composed the song "Run for the Roses", released in time for the 1980 running of the race.[31]

Celebrity galas, such as the Barnstable Brown event, are an annual tradition leading up to the Kentucky Derby. These events frequently raise funds for nonprofit organizations.[32]

Riders Up!

"Riders Up!" is the traditional command from the Paddock Judge for jockeys to mount their horses in advance of the upcoming race. Since 2012, the grand marshal recites this phrase.

Year Grand Marshal
2024 TBA
2023 Patrick Mahomes
2022 Jack Harlow
2021 D. Wayne Lukas
2020 No grand marshal due to COVID-19 Pandemic
2019 Baker Mayfield
2018 Laila Ali
2017 Jeff Bridges
2016 Sean Payton
2015 Teddy Bridgewater
2014 Julius Irving
2013 Charlie Strong
2012 John Calipari

National Anthem performers

Festival

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In the weeks preceding the race, numerous activities took place for the Kentucky Derby Festival. Thunder Over Louisville—an airshow and fireworks display—generally begins the festivities in earnest two weeks before the Derby.

Records

Horse records

Secretariat set the record for speed in 1973 with a time of 1:59.4. During its first two decades when the Derby was run at ​1 12 miles, and the record was 2:34.5, set by Spokane in 1889.

The largest margin of victory is 8 lengths, a feat tied by four different horses: Old Rosebud in 1914, Johnstown in 1939, Whirlaway in 1941, and Assault in 1946.

The highest odds of a winning horse were 91 to 1 for Donerail in 1913. The second-highest odds occurred in 2022, when Rich Strike went off at 80 to 1 and won the race.

Three horses have won the Kentucky Derby without competing as a two-year-old: Apollo (1882), Justify (2018), and Mage (2023).[33]

Jockey records

107 jockeys have won the Kentucky Derby, with 27 doing so multiple times. Isaac Murphy (1890–91), Jimmy Winkfield (1901–02), Ron Turcotte (1972–73), Eddie Delahoussaye (1982–83), Calvin Borel (2009–10), and Victor Espinoza (2014–15) are the only jockeys to win the Derby in back-to-back years. Borel is the only jockey with three wins in a four-year span (2007, '09, '10).[34]

Multi-time Kentucky Derby-Winning Jockeys
Jockey Wins Mounts Years Won
Eddie Arcaro 5 21 1938, 1941, 1945, 1948, 1952
Bill Hartack 12 1957, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1969
Bill Shoemaker 4 26 1955, 1959, 1965, 1986
Isaac Murphy 3 11 1884, 1890, 1891
Earl Sande 8 1923, 1925, 1930
Ángel Cordero Jr. 17 1974, 1976, 1985
Gary Stevens 22 1988, 1995, 1997
Kent Desormeaux 22 1998, 2000, 2008
Calvin Borel 12 2007, 2009, 2010
Victor Espinoza 10 2002, 2014, 2015
John Velazquez 24 2011, 2017, 2020
Willie Simms 2 2 1896, 1898
Jimmy Winkfield 4 1901, 1902
Johnny Loftus 6 1916, 1919
Albert Johnson 7 1922, 1926
Linus McAtee 7 1927, 1929
Charley Kurtsinger 4 1931, 1937
Conn McCreary 10 1944, 1951
Ismael Valenzuela 8 1958, 1968
Ron Turcotte 5 1972, 1973
Jacinto Vásquez 8 1975, 1980
Eddie Delahoussaye 13 1982, 1983
Chris McCarron 18 1987, 1994
Chris Antley 17 1991, 1999
Jerry Bailey 8 1993, 1996
Mike Smith 28 2005, 2018
Mario Gutierrez 3 2012, 2016

Trainer records

116 trainers have won the Kentucky Derby, with 19 doing so multiple times. Six trainers have won the Derby in back-to-back years: Herbert J. Thompson (1932–33), Ben Jones (1948–49), Jimmy Jones (1957–58), Lucien Laurin (1972–73), D. Wayne Lukas (1995–96), and Bob Baffert (1997–98).

Multi-time Kentucky Derby-Winning Trainers
Trainer Wins Starts Years Won
Ben Jones 6 11 1938, 1941, 1944, 1948, 1949, 1952
Bob Baffert 24 1997, 1998, 2002, 2015, 2018, 2020
Herbert J. Thompson 4 26 1921, 1926, 1932, 1933
D. Wayne Lukas 49 1988, 1995, 1996, 1999
James Fitzsimmons 3 11 1930, 1935, 1939
Max Hirsch 14 1936, 1946, 1950
James Rowe Sr. 2 17 1881, 1915
Jimmy Jones 4 1957, 1958
Horatio Luro 4 1962, 1964
Henry Forrest 2 1966, 1968
Lucien Laurin 5 1972, 1973
Laz Barrera 5 1976, 1978
LeRoy Jolley 13 1975, 1980
Woody Stephens 14 1974, 1984
Charlie Whittingham 7 1986, 1989
Nick Zito 26 1991, 1994
Carl Nafzger 3 1990, 2007
Doug O'Neill 8 2012, 2016
Todd Pletcher 62 2010, 2017

Owner Records

Seventeen owners have won the Kentucky Derby multiple times with horses they fully or partially owned.

Owner Wins Starts Years Won
Calumet Farm 8 28 1941, 1944, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1957, 1958, 1968
Edward R. Bradley 4 28 1921, 1926, 1932, 1933
Belair Stud 3 8 1930, 1935, 1939
Bashford Manor Stable 2 11 1892, 1906
Harry Payne Whitney 19 1915, 1927
Greentree Stable 19 1931, 1942
Fannie Hertz 3 1928, 1943
King Ranch 5 1946, 1950
Darby Dan Farm 7 1963, 1967
Meadow Stable 4 1972, 1973
Arthur B. Hancock III* 6 1982, 1989
William J. Condren* 4 1991, 1994
Joseph M. Cornacchia* 3 1991, 1994
Bob & Beverly Lewis 9 1997, 1999
J. Paul Reddam 7 2012, 2016
WinStar Farm* 23 2010, 2018
Starlight Racing* 13 2018, 2020

* Partnered with other entities in an ownership group for one or more winning horses.

"Oaks/Derby Double"

Jockeys, trainers, and owners competing in the Kentucky Derby often will compete in the Kentucky Oaks, a race for fillies held the day before the Derby. Winning both these races in the same year is referred to as an "Oaks/Derby Double;" 7 jockeys, 3 trainers, and 4 owners have accomplished this feat:

Year Kentucky Oaks Winner Kentucky Derby Winner Jockey Trainer Owner
1884* Modesty Buchanan Isaac Murphy different different
1933* Barn Swallow Brokers Tip Don Meade Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley
1949 Wistful Ponder different Ben Jones different
1950 Ari's Mona Middleground Bill Boland different different
1952 Real Delight Hill Gail Eddie Arcaro Ben Jones Calumet Farm
1966 Native Sunset Kauai King Don Brumfield different different
1993 Dispute Sea Hero Jerry Bailey different different
2009 Rachel Alexandra Mine That Bird Calvin Borel different different
2018 Monomoy Girl Justify different different Head of Plains Partners/Monomoy Stables

*Until the 1950s, the Oaks was held several days or weeks after the Derby.

Winners

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Triple Crown winners are in bold and highlighted with gold.

Kentucky Derby winners[35]
Year Winner Jockey Trainer Owner Distance
(miles)
Track
condition
Time[lower-alpha 1]
2023 Mage Javier Castellano Gustavo Delgado OGMA Investments, Ramiro Restrepo, Sterling Racing, CMNWLTH[36] 1 14 Fast 2:01.57
2022 Rich Strike Sonny Leon Eric Reed RED TR-Racing 1 14 Fast 2:02.61
2021 Mandaloun[lower-alpha 2] Florent Geroux Brad Cox Juddmonte 1 14 Fast 2:01.02
2020 Authentic (Named American Horse of the Year) John Velazquez Bob Baffert Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables, Starlight Racing 1 14 Fast 2:00.61
2019 Country House[lower-alpha 3] Flavien Prat Bill Mott Mrs. J.V. Shields Jr., E. J. M. McFadden Jr., LNJ Foxwoods 1 14 Sloppy 2:03.93
2018 Justify (Named American Horse of the Year) Mike Smith Bob Baffert China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing, WinStar Farm 1 14 Sloppy 2:04.20
2017 Always Dreaming John Velazquez Todd Pletcher MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz, Teresa Viola, St. Elias, Siena Farm, West Point Thoroughbreds 1 14 Wet Fast (sealed) 2:03.59
2016 Nyquist Mario Gutierrez Doug O'Neill Reddam Racing 1 14 Fast 2:01.31
2015 American Pharoah (Named American Horse of the Year) Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert Zayat Stables 1 14 Fast 2:03.02
2014 California Chrome (Named American Horse of the Year) Victor Espinoza Art Sherman Steve Coburn & Perry Martin 1 14 Fast 2:03.66
2013 Orb Joel Rosario Claude McGaughey III Stuart S. Janney III, Phipps Stable 1 14 Sloppy 2:02.89
2012 I'll Have Another Mario Gutierrez Doug O'Neill Reddam Racing 1 14 Fast 2:01.83
2011 Animal Kingdom John Velazquez Graham Motion Team Valor International 1 14 Fast 2:02.04
2010 Super Saver Calvin Borel Todd Pletcher WinStar Farm 1 14 Sloppy 2:04.45
2009 Mine That Bird Calvin Borel Bennie Woolley Jr. Double Eagle Ranch, Buena Suerte Equine 1 14 Sloppy 2:02.66
2008 Big Brown Kent Desormeaux Rick Dutrow Jr. IEAH Stables, Paul Pompa Jr. 1 14 Fast 2:01.82
2007 Street Sense Calvin Borel Carl Nafzger Jim Tafel 1 14 Fast 2:02.17
2006 Barbaro Edgar Prado Michael Matz Lael Stables 1 14 Fast 2:01.36
2005 Giacomo Mike Smith John Shirreffs Jerry & Ann Moss 1 14 Fast 2:02.75
2004 Smarty Jones Stewart Elliott John Servis Someday Farm 1 14 Sloppy 2:04.06
2003 Funny Cide José Santos Barclay Tagg Sackatoga Stable 1 14 Fast 2:01.19
2002 War Emblem Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert The Thoroughbred Corp. 1 14 Fast 2:01.13
2001 Monarchos Jorge Chavez John Ward Jr. John Oxley 1 14 Fast 1:59.97
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus Kent Desormeaux Neil Drysdale Fusao Sekiguchi 1 14 Fast 2:01.0
1999 Charismatic (Named American Horse of the Year) Chris Antley D. Wayne Lukas Bob & Beverly Lewis 1 14 Fast 2:03.2
1998 Real Quiet Kent Desormeaux Bob Baffert Michael E. Pegram 1 14 Fast 2:02.2
1997 Silver Charm (Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Gary Stevens Bob Baffert Bob & Beverly Lewis 1 14 Fast 2:02.4
1996 Grindstone Jerry Bailey D. Wayne Lukas Overbrook Farm 1 14 Fast 2:01.0
1995 Thunder Gulch Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Michael Tabor 1 14 Fast 2:01.2
1994 Go for Gin Chris McCarron Nick Zito Bill Condren, Joe Cornacchia 1 14 Sloppy 2:03.6
1993 Sea Hero Jerry Bailey MacKenzie Miller Rokeby Stables 1 14 Fast 2:02.4
1992 Lil E. Tee Pat Day Lynn Whiting Cal Partee 1 14 Fast 2:03.0
1991 Strike the Gold Chris Antley Nick Zito Bill Condren, Joe Cornacchia, B. Giles Brophy 1 14 Fast 2:03.0
1990 Unbridled Craig Perret Carl Nafzger Frances A. Genter Stable 1 14 Good 2:02.0
1989 Sunday Silence (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Pat Valenzuela Charlie Whittingham H-G-W Partners 1 14 Muddy 2:05.0
1988 Winning Colors (Filly)(Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Eugene Klein 1 14 Fast 2:02.2
1987 Alysheba (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Chris McCarron Jack Van Berg Dorothy & Pamela Scharbauer 1 14 Fast 2:03.4
1986 Ferdinand Bill Shoemaker Charlie Whittingham Elizabeth Keck 1 14 Fast 2:02.8
1985 Spend A Buck Ángel Cordero Jr. Cam Gambolati Hunter Farm 1 14 Fast 2:00.2
1984 Swale Laffit Pincay Jr. Woody Stephens Claiborne Farm 1 14 Fast 2:02.4
1983 Sunny's Halo Eddie Delahoussaye David Cross Jr. D.J. Foster Racing Stable 1 14 Fast 2:02.2
1982 Gato Del Sol Eddie Delahoussaye Edwin Gregson Arthur B. Hancock III, Leone J. Peters 1 14 Fast 2:02.4
1981 Pleasant Colony Jorge Velásquez John Campo Buckland Farm 1 14 Fast 2:02.0
1980 Genuine Risk (Filly)(Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Jacinto Vásquez LeRoy Jolley Diana M. Firestone 1 14 Fast 2:02.0
1979 Spectacular Bid (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Ronnie Franklin Bud Delp Hawksworth Farm 1 14 Fast 2:02.4
1978 Affirmed (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Steve Cauthen Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm 1 14 Fast 2:01.2
1977 Seattle Slew (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Jean Cruguet Billy Turner Jr. Karen Taylor 1 14 Fast 2:02.2
1976 Bold Forbes Ángel Cordero Jr. Laz Barrera E. Rodriguez Tizol 1 14 Fast 2:01.6
1975 Foolish Pleasure (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Jacinto Vásquez LeRoy Jolley John Greer 1 14 Fast 2:02.0
1974 Cannonade Ángel Cordero Jr. Woody Stephens John Olin 1 14 Fast 2:04.0
1973 Secretariat (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable 1 14 Fast 1:59.4
1972 Riva Ridge (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable 1 14 Fast 2:01.8
1971 Canonero II Gustavo Ávila Juan Arias Edgar Caibett 1 14 Fast 2:03.2
1970 Dust Commander Mike Manganello Don Combs Robert Lehmann 1 14 Good 2:03.4
1969 Majestic Prince (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Bill Hartack Johnny Longden Frank McMahon 1 14 Fast 2:01.8
1968 Forward Pass[lower-alpha 4] Ismael Valenzuela Henry Forrest Calumet Farm 1 14 Fast 2:02.2
1967 Proud Clarion Bobby Ussery Loyd Gentry Jr. Darby Dan Farm 1 14 Fast 2:00.6
1966 Kauai King Don Brumfield Henry Forrest Ford Stable 1 14 Fast 2:02.0
1965 Lucky Debonair Bill Shoemaker Frank Catrone Ada Rice 1 14 Fast 2:01.2
1964 Northern Dancer (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Bill Hartack Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 1 14 Fast 2:00.0
1963 Chateaugay Braulio Baeza James P. Conway Darby Dan Farm 1 14 Fast 2:01.8
1962 Decidedly Bill Hartack Horatio Luro El Peco Ranch 1 14 Fast 2:00.4
1961 Carry Back (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Johnny Sellers Jack Price Katherine Price 1 14 Good 2:04.0
1960 Venetian Way Bill Hartack Victor Sovinski Sunny Blue Farm 1 14 Good 2:02.4
1959 Tomy Lee Bill Shoemaker Frank Childs Fred & Juliette Turner Jr. 1 14 Fast 2:02.2
1958 Tim Tam (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Ismael Valenzuela Jimmy Jones Calumet Farm 1 14 Muddy 2:05.0
1957 Iron Liege Bill Hartack Jimmy Jones Calumet Farm 1 14 Fast 2:02.2
1956 Needles (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) David Erb Hugh Fontaine D & H Stable 1 14 Fast 2:03.4
1955 Swaps (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Bill Shoemaker Mesh Tenney Rex Ellsworth 1 14 Fast 2:01.8
1954 Determine Raymond York William Molter Andy Crevolin 1 14 Fast 2:03.0
1953 Dark Star Henry Moreno Eddie Hayward Cain Hoy Stable 1 14 Fast 2:02.0
1952 Hill Gail Eddie Arcaro Ben Jones Calumet Farm 1 14 Fast 2:01.6
1951 Count Turf Conn McCreary Sol Rutchick Jack Amiel 1 14 Fast 2:02.6
1950 Middleground William Boland Max Hirsch King Ranch 1 14 Fast 2:01.6
1949 Ponder Steve Brooks Ben Jones Calumet Farm 1 14 Fast 2:04.2
1948 Citation (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Eddie Arcaro Ben Jones Calumet Farm 1 14 Sloppy 2:05.4
1947 Jet Pilot Eric Guerin Tom Smith Maine Chance Farm 1 14 Slow 2:06.8
1946 Assault (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Warren Mehrtens Max Hirsch King Ranch 1 14 Slow 2:06.6
1945 Hoop Jr. Eddie Arcaro Ivan Parke Fred Hooper 1 14 Muddy 2:07.0
1944 Pensive Conn McCreary Ben Jones Calumet Farm 1 14 Good 2:04.2
1943 Count Fleet (Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Johnny Longden Don Cameron Fannie Hertz 1 14 Fast 2:04.0
1942 Shut Out Wayne Wright John Gaver Sr. Greentree Stable 1 14 Fast 2:04.4
1941 Whirlaway (Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Eddie Arcaro Ben Jones Calumet Farm 1 14 Fast 2:01.4
1940 Gallahadion Carroll Bierman Roy Waldron Milky Way Farm 1 14 Fast 2:05.0
1939 Johnstown (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) James Stout Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1 14 Fast 2:03.4
1938 Lawrin Eddie Arcaro Ben Jones Woolford Farm 1 14 Fast 2:04.8
1937 War Admiral (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Charley Kurtsinger George Conway Glen Riddle Farms 1 14 Fast 2:03.2
1936 Bold Venture Ira Hanford Max Hirsch Morton Schwartz 1 14 Fast 2:03.6
1935 Omaha (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Willie Saunders Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1 14 Good 2:05.0
1934 Cavalcade (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Mack Garner Bob Smith Brookmeade Stable 1 14 Fast 2:04.0
1933 Brokers Tip Don Meade Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1 14 Good 2:06.8
1932 Burgoo King Eugene James Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1 14 Fast 2:05.2
1931 Twenty Grand (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Charley Kurtsinger James Rowe Jr. Greentree Stable 1 14 Fast 2:01.8
1930 Gallant Fox (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Earl Sande Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1 14 Good 2:07.6
1929 Clyde Van Dusen Linus McAtee Clyde Van Dusen Herbert Gardner 1 14 Muddy 2:10.8
1928 Reigh Count (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Chick Lang Bert Michell Fannie Hertz 1 14 Heavy 2:10.4
1927 Whiskery Linus McAtee Fred Hopkins Harry Payne Whitney 1 14 Slow 2:06.0
1926 Bubbling Over Albert Johnson Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley (Idle Hour Stock Farm) 1 14 Fast 2:03.8
1925 Flying Ebony Earl Sande William Duke Gifford Cochran 1 14 Sloppy 2:07.6
1924 Black Gold (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) John Mooney Hanley Webb Rosa Hoots 1 14 Fast 2:05.2
1923 Zev (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Earl Sande David Leary Rancocas Stable 1 14 Fast 2:05.4
1922 Morvich Albert Johnson Fred Burlew Ben Block 1 14 Fast 2:04.6
1921 Behave Yourself Charles Thompson Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1 14 Fast 2:04.2
1920 Paul Jones Ted Rice William Garth Ral Parr 1 14 Slow 2:09.0
1919 Sir Barton (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Johnny Loftus H. Guy Bedwell J. K. L. Ross 1 14 Heavy 2:09.8
1918 Exterminator (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Willie Knapp Henry McDaniel Willis Sharpe Kilmer 1 14 Muddy 2:10.8
1917 Omar Khayyam Charles Borel Charles T. Patterson C.K.G. Billings, Frederick Johnson 1 14 Fast 2:04.6
1916 George Smith Johnny Loftus Hollie Hughes John Sanford 1 14 Fast 2:04.0
1915 Regret (Filly)(Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Joe Notter James Rowe Sr. Harry Payne Whitney 1 14 Fast 2:05.4
1914 Old Rosebud (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) John McCabe Frank Weir Hamilton Applegate 1 14 Fast 2:03.40
1913 Donerail Roscoe Goose Thomas P. Hayes Thomas P. Hayes 1 14 Fast 2:04.8
1912 Worth Carroll Shilling Frank Taylor Harry Hallenbeck 1 14 Muddy 2:09.4
1911 Meridian George Archibald Albert Ewing Richard F. Carman 1 14 Fast 2:05.0
1910 Donau Frederick Herbert George Ham William Gerst 1 14 Fast 2:06.4
1909 Wintergreen Vincent Powers Charles Mack Jerome B. Respess 1 14 Slow 2:08.2
1908 Stone Street Arthur Pickens John Hall C. E. & J. W. Hamilton 1 14 Heavy 2:15.2
1907 Pink Star Andy Minder William H. Fizer J. Hal Woodford 1 14 Heavy 2:12.6
1906 Sir Huon Roscoe Troxler Peter Coyne Bashford Manor Stable 1 14 Fast 2:08.8
1905 Agile Jack Martin Robert Tucker Samuel S. Brown 1 14 Heavy 2:10.75
1904 Elwood Shorty Prior Charles Durnell Laska Durnell 1 14 Fast 2:08.5
1903 Judge Himes Harold Booker John P. Mayberry Charles R. Ellison 1 14 Fast 2:09.0
1902 Alan-a-Dale Jimmy Winkfield Thomas Clay McDowell Thomas Clay McDowell 1 14 Fast 2:08.75
1901 His Eminence Jimmy Winkfield Frank B. Van Meter Frank B. Van Meter 1 14 Fast 2:07.75
1900 Lieut. Gibson Jimmy Boland Charles Hughes Charles H. Smith 1 14 Fast 2:06.25
1899 Manuel Fred Taral Robert Walden A. H. & D. H. Morris 1 14 Fast 2:12.0
1898 Plaudit Willie Simms John E. Madden John E. Madden 1 14 Good 2:09.0
1897 Typhoon II Buttons Garner Julius C. Cahn Julius C. Cahn 1 14 Heavy 2:12.5
1896 Ben Brush (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Willie Simms Hardy Campbell Mike F. Dwyer 1 14 Fast 2:07.75
1895 Halma James Perkins Byron McClelland Byron McClelland 1 12 Fast 2:37.5
1894 Chant Frank Goodale Eugene Leigh Eugene Leigh, Robert Rose 1 12 Fast 2:41.0
1893 Lookout Eddie Kunze William McDaniel J.E. Cushin, J. Orth 1 12 Fast 2:39.25
1892 Azra Alonzo Clayton John Morris Bashford Manor Stable 1 12 Heavy 2:41.5
1891 Kingman Isaac Murphy Dudley Allen Jacobin Stable 1 12 Fast 2:52.25
1890 Riley Isaac Murphy Edward Corrigan Ed Corrigan 1 12 Muddy 2:45.0
1889 Spokane Thomas Kiley John Rodegap Noah Armstrong 1 12 Fast 2:34.5
1888 Macbeth II George Covington John Campbell Chicago Stable 1 12 Fast 2:38.25
1887 Montrose Isaac Lewis John McGinty Labold Brothers 1 12 Fast 2:39.25
1886 Ben Ali Paul Duffy Jim Murphy James B. Haggin 1 12 Fast 2:36.5
1885 Joe Cotton Erskine Henderson Abraham Perry James T. Williams 1 12 Good 2:37.25
1884 Buchanan Isaac Murphy William Bird William Cottrill, Sam S. Brown 1 12 Good 2:40.25
1883 Leonatus William Donohue Raleigh Colston Sr. Jack P. Chinn, George Morgan 1 12 Heavy 2:43.0
1882 Apollo Babe Hurd Green Morris Green Morris, J.D. Patton 1 12 Fast 2:40.25
1881 Hindoo (Named American Horse of the Year)(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Jim McLaughlin James Rowe Sr. Dwyer Brothers 1 12 Fast 2:40.0
1880 Fonso George Lewis Tice Hutsell J.S. Shawhan 1 12 Fast 2:37.50
1879 Lord Murphy Charlie Shauer George Rice George W. Darden & Co. 1 12 Fast 2:37.00
1878 Day Star Jimmy Carter Lee Paul Thomas J. Nichols 1 12 Fast 2:37.25
1877 Baden-Baden Billy Walker Ed Brown Daniel Swigert 1 12 Fast 2:38.0
1876 Vagrant Robert Swim James Williams William Astor Jr. 1 12 Fast 2:38.25
1875 Aristides Oliver Lewis Ansel Williamson Hal Price McGrath 1 12 Fast 2:37.75
Notes

(Filly) Designates a filly.

(Named American Horse of the Year) Designates a horse that won American Horse of the Year in the same year they won the Derby.

(Later inducted into the Hall of Fame) Designates a horse that was inducted in subsequent years into the National Racing Hall of Fame.

  1. The race was timed to ​14 second from 1875 to 1905, to ​15 second from 1906 to 2000, and to 0.01 second since 2001.
  2. Medina Spirit crossed the finish line first, but was disqualified due to a positive test for betamethasone.
  3. Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, but was disqualified for interference.
  4. Dancer's Image, ridden by Bobby Ussery, trained by Lou Cavalaris Jr., and owned by Peter D. 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.

Sire lines

Winners of the Kentucky Derby can be connected to each other due to the practice of arranging horse breeding based on their previous success. All of the horses can be traced back to the three foundational sires, with Godolphin Arabian the ancestor of 7 winners, Byerley Turk the ancestor of 11 winners, and Darley Arabian is the ancestor of 130 winners, including all winners since 1938.

Darley Arabian line

The Darley Arabian (1700c) sire line (all branched through the Eclipse (1764) line)[37] produced 131 Derby winners (123 colts, 5 geldings, 3 fillies), including all winners from 1938 to present.[38] The main branches of this sire line are:

  • The King Fergus (1775) branch (all branched through the Voltigeur (1847) line), produced 14 winners. His sire line continued primarily through his son Vedette (1854) with 12 winners, due to his sons Speculum (1865) with 6 winners (nearly exclusively through Sundridge (1898) with 5 winners, most recently Count Turf in 1951) and Galopin (1872) with 6 winners (exclusively through St. Simon (1881), most recently Go For Gin in 1994).[39][40][41]
  • The Potoooooooo (1773) branch[42] produced 117 winners (all branched through the Waxy (1790) line), including all winners from 1995 to present. The primary branch of this sire line is through Whalebone (1807), which has produced 112 winners. In turn, the primary branch continues through Sir Hercules (1826), which has produced 90 winners (including all winners since 2006), and then the Birdcatcher (1833) branch[43] which produced 78 winners. From Birdcatcher, the branch of The Baron (1842) has produced 68 winners, of which 66 winners trace to Stockwell (1849).[44] Stockwell's son Doncaster (1870) sired Bend Or (1877), whose sire line accounts for 64 winners.[45] The main branch of the Bend Or sire line continued through his son Bona Vista (1889) with 55 winners, exclusively through the Phalaris (1913) line, which has dominated in the last several decades (including all winners from 2006 to present) through the following sons:[46][47]
    • The Pharamond (1925) branch (4 winners all through the Tom Fool (1949) line, most recently Silver Charm in 1997).[46]
    • The Sickle (1924) branch, which has produced all winners from 2022 to present (24 winners all branched through the Native Dancer (1950) line, nearly exclusively through Raise a Native (1961) with 23 winners, continued primarily through Mr Prospector (1970) with 16 winners (including all winners since 2022) through 8 different sons: Fusaichi Pegasus, winner of the 2000 Kentucky Derby, and 7 other sons through their progeny (most recently Mage in 2023, with his son Fappiano (1977) accounting for 6 winners (most recently Always Dreaming in 2017)).
    • The Pharos (1920) branch (27 winners all branched through the Nearco (1935) line, through his sons Royal Charger (1942), Nearctic (1954), and Nasrullah (1940)). The Royal Charger branch produced 5 winners (most recently Barbaro in 2006), the Nearctic branch produced 8 winners, exclusively through his son Northern Dancer (1961) with his win in the 1964 Kentucky Derby, and direct male progeny of 7 winners (most recently Mandaloun in 2021), while the Nasrullah branch produced 14 winners (most recently Nyquist in 2016) primarily due to his son Bold Ruler (1954) with 10 winners (most recently California Chrome in 2014).
    • Special notes:
      • The Waxy (1790) branch produced two main lines: the primary branch of Whalebone (1807), and the secondary branch of Whisker (1812) which produced 5 winners (exclusively through the King Tom (1851) line), most recently 1909 Kentucky Derby winner Wintergreen.[48]
      • An offshoot of the Whalebone (1807) branch, the Camel (1822) branch (18 winners exclusively through the Touchstone (1831) line), produced 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo through his grandson Orlando's (1841) branch.[49][50] Since then, each winner of the Kentucky Derby has gone through Whalebone's more frequent sire line branch of Sir Herecules (1826). The Orlando branch (6 winners exclusively through the Himyar (1875) line) is the less common of the two branches derived through Camel. Orlando's brother Newminster (1848) produced 12 winners (primarily through the Hyperion (1930) line with 8 winners), most recently Chateaugay in 1963.[51]
      • The Sir Hercules (1826) branch produced two main lines: the primary branch of Birdcatcher (1833), and the secondary branch of Faugh-a-Ballagh (1841) which produced 12 winners (exclusively through the Leamington (1853) line), most recently 1908 Kentucky Derby winner Stone Street.[52]
      • The Birdcatcher (1833) branch produced two main lines: the primary branch of The Baron (1842), and the secondary branch of Oxford (1857) which produced 10 winners (primarily through the Swynford (1907) line with 8 winners), most recently 1965 Kentucky Derby winner Lucky Debonair.[53]
      • The Bend Or (1877) branch produced two main lines: the primary branch of Bona Vista (1889), and the secondary branch of Ormonde (1883) which produced 8 winners (exclusively through the Teddy (1913) line), most recently 1957 Kentucky Derby winner Iron Liege.[54]

Byerley Turk line

The Byerley Turk (1680c) sire line[55][56][57] produced 11 winners (8 colts, 3 geldings). The main branches of this sire (all branched through the Herod (1758) line) are:

Godolphin Arabian line

Kentucky Derby winners with male-line descendants including other Kentucky Derby winners

See also

References

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  3. "Tenth Race Churchill May 1, 2004". May 1, 2004. Daily Racing Forum. Accessed on May 9, 2006.
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  5. https://www.tvg.com/promos/kentucky-derby/kentucky-derby-history.html Archived January 27, 2019, at the Wayback Machine Kentucky Derby History
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  10. "Derby To Go On The Air", The New York Times, May 16, 1925, p. 11
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Further reading

  • David Domine, Insiders' Guide to Louisville. Guilford, Connecticut: Globe-Pequot Press, 2010.
  • James C. Nicholson, The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America's Premier Sporting Event. Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2012.

External links