Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby /ˈdɜːrbi/, is a horse race that is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of one and a quarter miles (2.0 km) at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57 kilograms) and fillies 121 pounds (55 kilograms).[2]

The race is often called "The Run for the Roses" on account of the blanket of roses draped over the winner. It is also known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports" or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" in reference to its approximate duration. It is the first leg of the American Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness Stakes, then the Belmont Stakes. Unlike the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, which took hiatuses in 1891–1893 and 1911–1912, respectively, the Kentucky Derby has been run every consecutive year since 1875. The Derby, Preakness and Belmont all were run even every year throughout the Great Depression and both World Wars (when the Olympics and nearly all professional sports seasons were canceled).[3]

A horse must win all three races to win the Triple Crown.[4] In the 2015 listing of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA), the Kentucky Derby tied with the Whitney Handicap as the top Grade 1 race in the United States outside the Breeders' Cup races.[5]

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.[6]

Kentucky Derby
Grade I race
Kentucky Derby

The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports;
The Run for the Roses
LocationChurchill Downs
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Race typeThoroughbred
Race information
Distance1 14 miles (10 furlongs; 2,012 m)
Record1:​59 25, Secretariat (1973)
WeightColt/Gelding: 126 lbs (57.2 kg)
Filly: 121 lb (55 kg)
PurseUS $3 million[1]
1st: $1,860,000


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 in 1863, a group of racing enthusiasts had formed the French Jockey Club and had organized the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp, which at the time was the greatest race in France.

Kentucky quarter, reverse side, 2001
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 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] Officially, the racetrack was incorporated as Churchill Downs in 1937.[9]

The Kentucky Derby was first run at 1 1/2 miles (12 furlongs; 2.4 km) the same distance as the Epsom Derby. The distance was changed in 1896 to its current 1 1/4 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.

Although the first race meeting 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 North America.

Thoroughbred owners began sending their successful Derby horses to compete 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 large purses 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 16, 1925, the first live radio broadcast of the Kentucky Derby was originated by WHAS and was also carried by 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 $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; 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 set in 1973 at 1:59.4 minutes, when Secretariat broke the record set by Northern Dancer in 1964. Not only has Secretariat's record time yet to be topped, in the race itself, he did something unique in Triple Crown races: each successive quarter, his times were faster. Though times for non-winners were not recorded, 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.[13]

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.[14]

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


Since the Kentucky Derby is considered the biggest race in the world, millions of people from around the world bet at various live tracks and online sportsbooks.[15] 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.[16] 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 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.[17]

The race often draws celebrities. HM Queen Elizabeth II, on a visit to the United States, joined the racegoers at Churchill Downs in 2007.[18]


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.[19][20]

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."[21] In 2018, Woodford Reserve replaced Yum Brands as the presenting sponsor.[22]


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 souvenir glasses (first offered in 1939 and available in revised form each year since) printed with all previous Derby winners.[23] Also, burgoo, a thick stew of beef, chicken, pork, and vegetables, is a popular Kentucky dish served at the Derby.[24]

Louisville Clock
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, particularly prior to the jumbotron installation in 2014.[25][26] 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. Following the Call to the Post, as the horses are paraded before the grandstands, the University of Louisville Cardinal Marching Band plays Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home," a tradition which began in 1921.[27] The event attracts spectators from a large area, flying in hundreds of private aircraft to Louisville International Airport.[28]

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 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 Kentucky Derby Trophy. Pop vocalist Dan Fogelberg composed the song "Run for the Roses" which was released in time for the 1980 running of the race.[29]

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, it was recited by a dignitary or celebrity attendee.


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


Speed record:

  • Mile and a Quarter: 1:59​25Secretariat (1973)
  • Mile and a Half: 2:34​12 – Spokane (1889)

Margin of Victory:

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:

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

Longest shot to win the Derby:


  • In 2018, Justify became the first horse since Apollo in 1882, to win the Derby without having raced as a two year old.[30]
  • In 2010, Calvin Borel set a new record, being the first jockey to win 3 out of 4 consecutive Kentucky Derbys.[31]


Kentucky Derby winners[32]
Year Winner Jockey Trainer Owner Distance (miles) Track Condition Time[a]
2018 Justify Triple Crown Winner Mike E. Smith Bob Baffert China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm 1 ¼ Sloppy 2:04.20
2017 Always Dreaming John Velazquez Todd Pletcher MeB Racing, Brooklyn Boyz, Teresa Viola, St. Elias, Siena Farm and West Point 1 ¼ Wet Fast (sealed) 2:03.59
2016 Nyquist Mario Gutierrez Doug O'Neill J. Paul Reddam 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.31
2015 American Pharoah Triple Crown Winner Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert Zayat Stables, LLC 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.02
2014 California Chrome Victor Espinoza Art Sherman Steve Coburn & Perry Martin 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.66
2013 Orb Joel Rosario Claude McGaughey III Stuart S. Janney III & Phipps Stable 1 ¼ Sloppy 2:02.89
2012 I'll Have Another Mario Gutierrez Doug O'Neill J. Paul Reddam 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.83
2011 Animal Kingdom John Velazquez H. Graham Motion Team Valor International 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.04
2010 Super Saver Calvin Borel Todd Pletcher WinStar Farm 1 ¼ Sloppy 2:04.45
2009 Mine That Bird Calvin Borel Bennie L. Woolley, Jr. Double Eagle Ranch et al. 1 ¼ Sloppy 2:02.66
2008 Big Brown Kent Desormeaux Richard E. Dutrow, Jr. IEAH Stables / P. Pompa 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.82
2007 Street Sense Calvin Borel Carl Nafzger James B. Tafel 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.17
2006 Barbaro Edgar Prado Michael R. Matz Lael Stables 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.36
2005 Giacomo Mike E. Smith John Shirreffs Jerry & Ann Moss 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.75
2004 Smarty Jones Stewart Elliott John Servis Someday Farm 1 ¼ Sloppy 2:04.06
2003 Funny Cide José A. Santos Barclay Tagg Sackatoga Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.19
2002 War Emblem Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert Thoroughbred Corp. 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.13
2001 Monarchos Jorge F. Chavez John T. Ward, Jr. John C. Oxley 1 ¼ Fast 1:59.97
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus Kent Desormeaux Neil Drysdale Fusao Sekiguchi 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.00
1999 Charismatic Chris Antley D. Wayne Lukas Bob & Beverly Lewis 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.20
1998 Real Quiet Kent Desormeaux Bob Baffert Michael E. Pegram 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.20
1997 Silver Charm Gary Stevens Bob Baffert Bob & Beverly Lewis 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.40
1996 Grindstone Jerry Bailey D. Wayne Lukas Overbrook Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.00
1995 Thunder Gulch Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Michael Tabor 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.20
1994 Go for Gin Chris McCarron Nick Zito William J. Condren & Joseph M. Cornacchia 1 ¼ Sloppy 2:03.60
1993 Sea Hero Jerry Bailey MacKenzie Miller Rokeby Stables 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.40
1992 Lil E. Tee Pat Day Lynn S. Whiting W. Cal Partee 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.00
1991 Strike the Gold Chris Antley Nick Zito BCC Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.00
1990 Unbridled Craig Perret Carl Nafzger Frances A. Genter 1 ¼ Good 2:02.00
1989 Sunday Silence Pat Valenzuela Charlie Whittingham H-G-W Partners 1 ¼ Muddy 2:05.00
1988 Winning Colors filly Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.20
1987 Alysheba Chris McCarron Jack Van Berg D. & P. Scharbauer 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.40
1986 Ferdinand Bill Shoemaker Charlie Whittingham Elizabeth A. Keck 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.80
1985 Spend A Buck Angel Cordero, Jr. Cam Gambolati Dennis Diaz 1 ¼ Fast 2:00.20
1984 Swale Laffit Pincay, Jr. Woody Stephens Claiborne Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.40
1983 Sunny's Halo Eddie Delahoussaye David C. Cross Jr. David J. Foster Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.20
1982 Gato Del Sol Eddie Delahoussaye Edwin J. Gregson Hancock & Peters 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.40
1981 Pleasant Colony Jorge Velasquez John P. Campo Buckland Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.00
1980 Genuine Risk filly Jacinto Vasquez LeRoy Jolley Diana M. Firestone 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.00
1979 Spectacular Bid Ronnie Franklin Bud Delp Hawksworth Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.40
1978 Affirmed Triple Crown Winner Steve Cauthen Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.20
1977 Seattle Slew Triple Crown Winner Jean Cruguet William H. Turner, Jr. Karen L. Taylor 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.20 *
1976 Bold Forbes Angel Cordero, Jr. Laz Barrera E. Rodriguez Tizol 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.60
1975 Foolish Pleasure Jacinto Vasquez LeRoy Jolley John L. Greer 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.00
1974 Cannonade Angel Cordero, Jr. Woody Stephens John M. Olin 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.00
1973 Secretariat Triple Crown Winner Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable 1 ¼ Fast 1:59.40
1972 Riva Ridge Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stud 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.80
1971 Canonero II Gustavo Avila Juan Arias Edgar Caibett 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.20
1970 Dust Commander Mike Manganello Don Combs Robert E. Lehmann 1 ¼ Good 2:03.40
1969 Majestic Prince Bill Hartack Johnny Longden Frank M. McMahon 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.80
1968 Forward Pass[b] Ismael Valenzuela Henry Forrest Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.20
1967 Proud Clarion Bobby Ussery Loyd Gentry, Jr. Darby Dan Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:00.60
1966 Kauai King Don Brumfield Henry Forrest Ford Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.00
1965 Lucky Debonair Bill Shoemaker Frank Catrone Ada L. Rice 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.20
1964 Northern Dancer Bill Hartack Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:00.00
1963 Chateaugay Braulio Baeza James P. Conway Darby Dan Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.80
1962 Decidedly Bill Hartack Horatio Luro El Peco Ranch 1 ¼ Fast 2:00.40
1961 Carry Back Johnny Sellers Jack A. Price Katherine Price 1 ¼ Good 2:04.00
1960 Venetian Way Bill Hartack Victor J. Sovinski Sunny Blue Farm 1 ¼ Good 2:02.40
1959 Tomy Lee Bill Shoemaker Frank E. Childs Fred & Juliette Turner 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.20
1958 Tim Tam Ismael Valenzuela Jimmy Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Muddy 2:05.00
1957 Iron Liege Bill Hartack Jimmy Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.20
1956 Needles David Erb Hugh L. Fontaine D & H Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.40
1955 Swaps Bill Shoemaker Mesh Tenney Rex C. Ellsworth 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.80
1954 Determine Raymond York William Molter Andrew J. Crevolin 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.00
1953 Dark Star Henry E. Moreno Eddie Hayward Cain Hoy Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.00
1952 Hill Gail Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.60
1951 Count Turf Conn McCreary Sol Rutchick Jack J. Amiel 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.60
1950 Middleground William Boland Max Hirsch King Ranch 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.60
1949 Ponder Steve Brooks Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.20
1948 Citation Triple Crown Winner Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Sloppy 2:05.40
1947 Jet Pilot Eric Guerin Tom Smith Maine Chance Farm 1 ¼ Slow 2:06.80
1946 Assault Triple Crown Winner Warren Mehrtens Max Hirsch King Ranch 1 ¼ Slow 2:06.60
1945 Hoop Jr. Eddie Arcaro Ivan H. Parke Fred W. Hooper 1 ¼ Muddy 2:07.00
1944 Pensive Conn McCreary Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Good 2:04.20
1943 Count Fleet Triple Crown Winner Johnny Longden Don Cameron Fannie Hertz 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.00
1942 Shut Out Wayne D. Wright John M. Gaver, Sr. Greentree Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.40
1941 Whirlaway Triple Crown Winner Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.40
1940 Gallahadion Carroll Bierman Roy Waldron Milky Way Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:05.00
1939 Johnstown James Stout Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.40
1938 Lawrin Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Herbert M. Woolf 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.80
1937 War Admiral Triple Crown Winner Charley Kurtsinger George Conway Glen Riddle Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.20
1936 Bold Venture Ira Hanford Max Hirsch Morton L. Schwartz 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.60
1935 Omaha Triple Crown Winner Willie Saunders Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1 ¼ Good 2:05.00
1934 Cavalcade Mack Garner Bob Smith Brookmeade Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.00
1933 Brokers Tip Don Meade Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1 ¼ Good 2:06.80
1932 Burgoo King Eugene James Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1 ¼ Fast 2:05.20
1931 Twenty Grand Charley Kurtsinger James G. Rowe, Jr. Greentree Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.80
1930 Gallant Fox Triple Crown Winner Earl Sande Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1 ¼ Good 2:07.60
1929 Clyde Van Dusen Linus McAtee Clyde Van Dusen Herbert P. Gardner 1 ¼ Muddy 2:10.80
1928 Reigh Count Chick Lang Bert S. Michell Fannie Hertz 1 ¼ Heavy 2:10.40
1927 Whiskery Linus McAtee Fred Hopkins Harry P. Whitney 1 ¼ Slow 2:06.00
1926 Bubbling Over Albert Johnson Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.80
1925 Flying Ebony Earl Sande William B. Duke Gifford A. Cochran 1 ¼ Sloppy 2:07.60
1924 Black Gold J. D. Mooney Hanley Webb Rosa M. Hoots 1 ¼ Fast 2:05.20
1923 Zev Earl Sande David J. Leary Rancocas Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:05.40
1922 Morvich Albert Johnson Fred Burlew Benjamin Block 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.60
1921 Behave Yourself Charles Thompson Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.20
1920 Paul Jones Ted Rice William M. Garth Ral Parr 1 ¼ Slow 2:09.00
1919 Sir Barton Triple Crown Winner Johnny Loftus H. Guy Bedwell J. K. L. Ross 1 ¼ Heavy 2:09.80
1918 Exterminator Willie Knapp Henry McDaniel Willis Sharpe Kilmer 1 ¼ Muddy 2:10.80
1917 Omar Khayyam Charles Borel Charles T. Patterson Billings & Johnson 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.60
1916 George Smith Johnny Loftus Hollie Hughes John Sanford 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.00
1915 Regret filly Joe Notter James G. Rowe, Sr. Harry P. Whitney 1 ¼ Fast 2:05.40
1914 Old Rosebud John McCabe Frank D. Weir Hamilton C. Applegate 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.40
1913 Donerail Roscoe Goose Thomas P. Hayes Thomas P. Hayes 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.80
1912 Worth Carroll H. Shilling Frank M. Taylor Henry C. Hallenbeck 1 ¼ Muddy 2:09.40
1911 Meridian George Archibald Albert Ewing Richard F. Carman 1 ¼ Fast 2:05.00
1910 Donau Frederick Herbert George Ham William Gerst 1 ¼ Fast 2:06.40
1909 Wintergreen Vincent Powers Charles Mack Jerome B. Respess 1 ¼ Slow 2:08.20
1908 Stone Street Arthur Pickens J. W. Hall C. E. & J. W. Hamilton 1 ¼ Heavy 2:15.20
1907 Pink Star Andy Minder William H. Fizer J. Hal Woodford 1 ¼ Heavy 2:12.60
1906 Sir Huon Roscoe Troxler Pete Coyne Bashford Manor Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:08.80
1905 Agile Jack Martin Robert Tucker Samuel S. Brown 1 ¼ Heavy 2:10.75
1904 Elwood Shorty Prior Charles E. Durnell Mrs. C. E. Durnell 1 ¼ Fast 2:08.50
1903 Judge Himes Hal Booker John P. Mayberry Charles R. Ellison 1 ¼ Fast 2:09.00
1902 Alan-a-Dale Jimmy Winkfield Thomas C. McDowell Thomas C. McDowell 1 ¼ Fast 2:08.75
1901 His Eminence Jimmy Winkfield Frank B. Van Meter Frank B. Van Meter 1 ¼ Fast 2:07.75
1900 Lieut. Gibson Jimmy Boland Charles Hughes Charles H. Smith 1 ¼ Fast 2:06.25
1899 Manuel Fred Taral Robert J. Walden A. H. & D. H. Morris 1 ¼ Fast 2:12.00
1898 Plaudit Willie Simms John E. Madden John E. Madden 1 ¼ Good 2:09.00
1897 Typhoon II Buttons Garner Julius C. Cahn Julius C. Cahn 1 ¼ Heavy 2:12.50
1896 Ben Brush Willie Simms Hardy Campbell, Jr. Mike F. Dwyer 1 ¼ Dusty 2:07.75
1895 Halma Soup Perkins Byron McClelland Byron McClelland 1 ½ Fast 2:37.50
1894 Chant Frank Goodale H. Eugene Leigh Leigh & Rose 1 ½ Fast 2:41.00
1893 Lookout Eddie Kunze William McDaniel Cushing & Orth 1 ½ Fast 2:39.25
1892 Azra Alonzo Clayton John H. Morris Bashford Manor Stable 1 ½ Heavy 2:41.50
1891 Kingman Isaac Murphy Dud Allen Jacobin Stable 1 ½ Fast 2:52.25
1890 Riley Isaac Murphy Edward Corrigan Edward Corrigan 1 ½ Muddy 2:45.00
1889 Spokane Thomas Kiley John Rodegap Noah Armstrong 1 ½ Fast 2:34.50
1888 Macbeth II George Covington John Campbell Chicago Stable 1 ½ Fast 2:38.00
1887 Montrose Isaac Lewis John McGinty Labold Brothers 1 ½ Fast 2:39.25
1886 Ben Ali Paul Duffy Jim Murphy J. B. A. Haggin 1 ½ Fast 2:36.50
1885 Joe Cotton Erskine Henderson Abraham Perry James T. Williams 1 ½ Good 2:37.25
1884 Buchanan Isaac Murphy William Bird Samuel S. Brown & William Cottrill 1 ½ Good 2:40.25
1883 Leonatus Billy Donohue Raleigh Colston Sr. Chinn & Morgan 1 ½ Heavy 2:43.00
1882 Apollo[c] Babe Hurd Green B. Morris Morris & Patton 1 ½ Fast 2:40.00
1881 Hindoo Jim McLaughlin James G. Rowe, Sr. Dwyer Bros. Stable 1 ½ Fast 2:40.00
1880 Fonso George Lewis Tice Hutsell J. Snell Shawhan 1 ½ Dusty 2:37.50
1879 Lord Murphy Charlie Shauer George Rice Darden & Co 1 ½ Fast 2:37.00
1878 Day Star Jimmy Carter Lee Paul T. J. Nichols 1 ½ Dusty 2:37.25
1877 Baden-Baden Billy Walker Edward D. Brown Daniel Swigert 1 ½ Fast 2:38.00
1876 Vagrant Bobby Swim James Williams William Astor, Jr. 1 ½ Fast 2:38.25
1875 Aristides Oliver Lewis Ansel Williamson H. Price McGrath 1 ½ Fast 2:37.75

Triple Crown Winner designates a Triple Crown Winner.
filly designates a filly.

  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. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Apollo (1882) was the only horse to have won the Derby without having raced at age two, until Justify in 2018.[33]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Angst, Frank (10 January 2019). "Kentucky Derby Purse Increased to $3 Million". The Bloodhorse. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Tenth Race Churchill May 1, 2004". May 1, 2004. Daily Racing Forum. Accessed on May 9, 2006.
  3. ^ Kentucky Derby History
  4. ^ Novak, Claire (September 23, 2013). "Will Take Charge Wins Pennsylvania Derby". Blood Horse. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  5. ^ "The World's Top 100 G1 Races for 3yo's and upwards" (PDF). International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  6. ^ ^ 2009 The Original Racing Almanac, page 140 for Kentucky Derby, page 156 for the Preakness Stakes, page 241 for Kentucky Oaks, page 167 for Belmont Stakes, page 184 Breeders' Cup, June 26, 2008.
  7. ^ "Racing for the Roses – History of Kentucky Derby". February 15, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  8. ^ Ward, Arch (April 30, 1936). "Talking It Over". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 5, 2012. (subscription required)
  9. ^ "History Of Churchill Downs". Churchill Downs. Archived from the original on March 1, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  10. ^ "Derby To Go On The Air", The New York Times, May 16, 1925, p. 11
  11. ^ "Kentucky Derby History". Kentucky Derby Info. Archived from the original on October 29, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  12. ^ McKenzie, Sheena. "Jockey who refused to stay in the kitchen". CNN. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  13. ^ Dandrea, Phil (2010). Sham: Great Was Second Best. Acanthus Publishing.
  14. ^ "Horse Racing – Kentucky Derby purse doubled to $2 million". ESPN. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  15. ^ "Record betting reported on 2017 Kentucky Derby". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  16. ^ "How Much Money is Wagered on the Kentucky Derby Each Year?". Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  17. ^ Finley, Marty (May 9, 2016). "The 2016 Kentucky Derby: By the numbers". Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  18. ^ Hopkins, Andrea. "Kentucky Derby, Queen Elizabeth draw festive crowd". U.S. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  19. ^ "Derby jockeys can wear ads". UPI. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  20. ^ Green, Marcus. "Jockey advertising at Kentucky tracks remains rare a decade after ruling". Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  21. ^ Isidore, Chris (May 5, 2006). "Kentucky Derby including Yum Brands in its name". Archived from the original on May 17, 2006. Retrieved May 10, 2010.
  22. ^ "Woodford Reserve is New Kentucky Derby Sponsor". Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  23. ^ Sneed, Tierney. "The Origin of Your Favorite Kentucky Derby Traditions". Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  24. ^ Fred, Smith (May 1, 1961). "Bluegrass, Bourbon and Burgoo". Sports Illustrated – Vault. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  25. ^ "Giant screen at Churchill Downs gives everyone at Kentucky Derby a front-row view". kentucky. Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  26. ^ "Panasonic Announces Installation of World's Largest 4K Video Board at Churchill Downs | | Churchill Downs Racetrack | Home of the Kentucky Derby". Retrieved 2018-04-30.
  27. ^ "My Old Kentucky Home".
  28. ^ Epstein, Curt (5 May 2015). "Derby, Boxing Match Fuel Atlantic's Best Day Ever". Aviation International News. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
  29. ^ "Dan Fogelberg Prodigy Chat transcript". Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  30. ^ Mellisa Hoppert (May 6, 2018). "Justify Wins Kentucky Derby, Conquering Rain, Mud and a 136-Year Curse". The New York Times. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  31. ^ "Super Saver wins the 2010 Kentucky Derby – Kentucky Derby". Archived from the original on May 14, 2010.
  32. ^ "Kentucky Derby Winners". Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  33. ^ Hoppert, Melissa. "Justify Wins Kentucky Derby, Conquering Rain, Mud and a 136-Year Curse". New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2018.

Further reading

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

External links

The dictionary definition of run for the roses at Wiktionary Media related to The Kentucky Derby at Wikimedia Commons

1954 Kentucky Derby

The 1954 Kentucky Derby was the 80th running of the Kentucky Derby. The race took place on May 1, 1954.

1959 Kentucky Derby

The 1959 Kentucky Derby was the 85th running of the Kentucky Derby. The race took place on May 2, 1959.

1968 Kentucky Derby

The 1968 Kentucky Derby was the 94th running of the Kentucky Derby. The race took place on May 4, 1968.

1987 Kentucky Derby

The 1987 Kentucky Derby was the 113th running of the Kentucky Derby. The race took place on May 2, 1987.

1989 Kentucky Derby

The 1989 Kentucky Derby was the 115th running of the Kentucky Derby. The race took place on May 6, 1989.

1994 Kentucky Derby

The 1994 Kentucky Derby was the 120th running of the Kentucky Derby. The race took place on May 7, 1994. There were 130,594 in attendance. Rain made this the first sloppy track since 1948.

2003 Kentucky Derby

The 2003 Kentucky Derby was the 129th running of the Kentucky Derby. The race took place on May 3, 2003, and there were 148,530 in attendance.

2005 Kentucky Derby

The 2005 Kentucky Derby was the 131st running of the Kentucky Derby. The race took place on May 7, 2005.

2008 Kentucky Derby

The 2008 Kentucky Derby was the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby. The race took place on May 3, 2008 with 157,770 in attendance, the second largest in Derby history. Post time was 6:15 p.m. EDT and was televised in the United States on the NBC television network.

Big Brown won the race by nearly 5 lengths. Eight Belles, the second-place finisher and the first filly to run the Derby in nine years, was euthanized following the end of the race after fracturing both front ankles while galloping out. It is believed to be the first fatality in Kentucky Derby history.

2009 Kentucky Derby

The 2009 Kentucky Derby was the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby. The value of the race was $2,177,000 in stakes. The race was sponsored by Yum! Brands and hence officially was called Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands. The race took place on May 2, 2009, and was televised in the United States on the NBC television network. The Atlanta-based Southern Tourism Society named the Kentucky Derby Festival, which was April 11 to May 1, as one of the top tourist attractions in the Southeast for the first half of 2009. The post time was 6:24 p.m. EDT (10:24 p.m. UTC). The official attendance at Churchill Downs was 153,563.

2014 Kentucky Derby

The 2014 Kentucky Derby was the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby. The race was scheduled to start at 6:24 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on May 3, 2014 at Churchill Downs and was run as the eleventh race on a racecard with thirteen races. The race was broadcast in the United States on the NBC television network. The attendance for the race was 164,906, the second-largest after the 2012 race with 165,307 spectators. The winner was California Chrome.

2018 Kentucky Derby

The 2018 Kentucky Derby (officially, the 2018 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve) was the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby, and took place on Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Louisville, Kentucky. The field was open to 20 horses, with a purse of US$2 million. The Derby is held annually in Louisville on the first Saturday in May, at the end of the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. It is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of 1 1⁄4 miles (2.0 km), and has been run at Churchill Downs racetrack since its inception in 1875.The race was broadcast by NBC, with coverage by NBCSN of undercard races beginning at 12:30pm EDT and main network coverage of pre-race activities starting at 2:30pm EDT. Post time was 6:52pm EDT. The race was won by Justify, who was the post-time favorite, in a time of 2:04.20 over a sloppy track. It is the first time since 1882 that the race was won by a horse that did not race at the age of two.

Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs, located on Central Avenue in south Louisville, Kentucky, United States, is a Thoroughbred racetrack most famous for annually hosting the Kentucky Derby. It officially opened in 1875, and held the first Kentucky Derby and the first Kentucky Oaks in the same year. Churchill Downs has also hosted the renowned Breeders' Cup on nine occasions, most recently on November 2 and 3, 2018. Churchill Downs Incorporated owns and operates the racetrack. With the infield open for the Kentucky Derby, the capacity of Churchill Downs is roughly 170,000.In 2009, the Horseplayers Association of North America introduced a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in North America. Churchill Downs was ranked number 5 on this list.

In 2014, prior to the start of their spring meet, Churchill Downs announced an increase in parimutuel takeout rates. As a result of the takeout increase, Churchill Downs was ranked number 22 in the 2014 Horseplayers Association of North America Track Ratings.

Justify (horse)

Justify (foaled March 28, 2015) is a retired American Thoroughbred racehorse who is the thirteenth and most recent winner of the American Triple Crown, accomplishing the feat by winning the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes in 2018.

He first attracted attention with a win in his first start on February 18, 2018, followed by two more victories, including the Grade I Santa Anita Derby, to qualify for the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Justify then won that race, the 2018 Preakness Stakes, and the 2018 Belmont Stakes to win the Triple Crown. He was retired undefeated several weeks after the Belmont.

Justify is only the second horse to win the American Triple Crown with an undefeated record, following Seattle Slew. Justify is descended from Seattle Slew, Secretariat, Count Fleet, War Admiral, Omaha, and Gallant Fox, all of whom also won the American Triple Crown. He is also a descendant of English Triple Crown winner Nijinsky. Of the 13 American Triple Crown winners, Justify is the first who did not race as a two-year-old.

Kentucky Derby Festival

The Kentucky Derby Festival is an annual festival held in Louisville, Kentucky during the two weeks preceding the first Saturday in May, the day of the Kentucky Derby. The festival, Kentucky's largest single annual event, first ran from 1935 to 1937, and restarted in 1956 and includes:

Thunder Over Louisville, the largest annual fireworks display in North America;

the Great Balloon Race;

The Great Steamboat Race, featuring the Belle of Louisville;

the Pegasus Parade, one of the largest parades in the United States; and

the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon & miniMarathon.

the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic

Kentucky Derby Museum

The Kentucky Derby Museum is an American Thoroughbred horse racing museum located on the grounds of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Dedicated to preserving the history of the Kentucky Derby, it first opened its doors to the public in the spring of 1985. Much of its early funding came from a donation from the estate of James Graham Brown.

The museum consists of two floors of exhibit space, including a 360-degree theater that shows the HD video The Greatest Race. Through the film and exhibits, visitors can learn what goes into the breeding and training of a young foal and the path it takes to the Kentucky Derby's winner circle. Every Kentucky Derby win is honored in the Warner L. Jones Time Machine, where visitors can watch any Kentucky Derby from 1918 to the present day. Exhibits highlight the stories of owners, trainers and jockeys as well as the importance of African American jockeys and trainers to the race and the Thoroughbred industry. Guided tours of Churchill Downs' barn and infield areas, jockeys' quarters, "millionaires row" and press box are also offered.

Mint julep

The mint julep is a mixed alcoholic drink, or cocktail, consisting primarily of bourbon, sugar, water, crushed or shaved ice, and fresh mint. As a bourbon-based cocktail, it is associated with the American South and the cuisine of the Southern United States in general, and the Kentucky Derby in particular.

The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved

"The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved" is a seminal sports article written by Hunter S. Thompson on the 1970 Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky, first appearing in an issue of Scanlan's Monthly in June of that year. Though not known at the time, the article marked the first appearance of gonzo journalism, the style that Thompson came to epitomize through the 1970s.

Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing (United States)

In the United States, the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, commonly known as the Triple Crown, is a title awarded to a three-year-old Thoroughbred horse who wins the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. The three races were inaugurated in different years, the last being the Kentucky Derby in 1875. These races are now run annually in May and early June of each year. The Triple Crown Trophy, commissioned in 1950 but awarded to all previous winners as well as those after 1950, is awarded to a Triple Crown winner.

The first winner of all three Triple Crown races was Sir Barton in 1919. Some journalists began using the term Triple Crown to refer to the three races as early as 1923, but it was not until Gallant Fox won the three events in 1930 that Charles Hatton of the Daily Racing Form put the term into common use.

In the history of the Triple Crown, 13 horses have won all three races: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), American Pharoah (2015), and Justify (2018). As of 2018, American Pharoah and Justify are the only living Triple Crown winners.

James E. "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons was the first trainer to win the Triple Crown more than once; he trained both Gallant Fox and his son Omaha for the Belair Stud breeding farm. Gallant Fox and Omaha are the only father-son duo to win the Triple Crown. Bob Baffert became the second trainer to win the Triple Crown twice, training American Pharoah and Justify. Belair Stud and Calumet Farm are tied as the owners with the most Triple Crown victories with two apiece. Calumet Farms won with Whirlaway and Citation. Eddie Arcaro rode both of Calumet Farms' Triple Crown champions and is the only jockey to win more than one Triple Crown.

Secretariat holds the stakes record time for each of the three races. His time of 2:24 for ​1 1⁄2 miles in the 1973 Belmont Stakes also set a world record that still stands.

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