Kentucky Derby History and Records

Kentucky Derby History and Records

Kentucky Derby History, considered as the most-prestigious American horse race. That was established in 1875 and run annually. On the first Saturday in the month of May at Churchill Downs racetrack, Louisville, Kentucky. With the Preakness Stakes (run in mid-May) and the Belmont Stakes (early in June).

Kentucky Derby Maximum Security

It makes up American Thoroughbred racing’s coveted Triple Crown of derby. The Kentucky Derby History field is limited to three-year-olds and, from since 1975, to 20 horses. Fillies carry 121 pounds (55 kg) and colts 126 pounds (57 kg).

In the early 21st century it was one of the most-popular single-day spectator events in the whole world, attracting some 150,000 spectators to Churchill Downs annually.


With five Kentucky Derby wins apiece, jockeys Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack share the record for most Derbies won over the course of a career. Though the Kentucky Derby History is often called “the most exciting two minutes in sports.”

Only two horses have officially finished the race in under two minutes. The course record was set in 1973 by Secretariat, who finished the race only in 1:59 2/5. (The runner-up in that race, horse named Sham. Who finished the two and a half lengths of the race behind the horse named Secretariat. The second horse to surpass the two-minute mark was Monarch’s, who won the 2001 Derby in a computer-timed 1:59.97.

The largest margin of victory for a Derby winner is eight lengths, which has been achieved four times, most recently by Assault in 1946. Ben Jones also trained a record six Kentucky Derby winners, most of them are for Calumet Farm. Which won eight Kentucky Derbies from the period between 1941 and 1968.

The greatest upset in Derby history occurred in the year of 1913, when Donerail won at odds of 91–1. The first filly to win the Kentucky Derby was Regret in 1915; Genuine Risk (1980) and Winning Colors (1988) are the only other fillies to have won the derby race too.

Kentucky Derby History:

The Kentucky Derby is one of dozens of “Derbies”—a term that dates to the 18th century. It is Kentucky—along with its associated mythology, imagery, and history—that makes the Kentucky Derby special.

Kentucky’s reputation as a place uniquely suited to producing top racehorses. When John Filson published The Discovery, Settlement, and Present State of Kentucky. Although horses did not figure prominently in his book, Filson described in glowing terms the landscape, climate, and natural resources of what are now the eastern and central parts of the state.

The history of horse racing in Louisville predates Kentucky’s admission to the United States, in 1792, by about a decade: from at least 1783, problems associated with open racing in the downtown area led city leaders to promote the construction of formal racetracks.

Kentucky Derby Odds

Particularly influential in the history of Louisville racing was Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., the grandson of legendary explorer William Clark. In 1872 Clark traveled to Europe, where he met the foremost figures in horse racing.

There and developed the idea of establishing a jockey club in Louisville to sponsor races and highlight the city’s champion racing stock.

In 1874 he established a racetrack on land owned by his uncles, John and Henry Churchill, for whom the track would eventually be named.

Kentucky Derby Horses

The track’s celebrated grandstand, completed in the year of 1895. In the main course of the Derby’s long history, many of the social and the cultural conflicts have played out on the grounds of Churchill Downs.

In the year of 1930s, during the Great Depression, gate jumping became widespread, and at that times police resorted to violence in order to prevent the unauthorized access.

Violence also occurred on the racetrack in 1933 when the jockeys of the winning horse. Brokers Tip, and the runner-up, Head Play, engaged in horseback. Fisticuffs as their mounts galloped toward the finishing line. In what would become known as the “Fighting Finish.” In the 1870s, when the race debuted, black jockeys dominated organized racing, and African Americans won 15 of the first 28 Kentucky Derbies.

Those who wins included Oliver Lewis’s victory in the first Derby race, in which 13 of the 15 competing jockeys were black; Lewis rode Aristides, a horse trained by the former slave, Ansel Williamson. Isaac Burns Murphy, born in Kentucky in 1861, he was one of the greatest American jockeys of any era.

Kentucky Derby History

He became the Derby’s first three-time winner (1884, 1890, and 1891). The last African American to win the Kentucky Derby as a jockey was James Wink field, who won in 1901 and 1902.

By the early 20th century, however, racial discrimination had increasingly curtailed African Americans’ role in American horse racing. And no African American would ride in the Kentucky Derby between 1921 and 2000, when Marlon St. Julien rode to a seventh-place finish. Relatively few women have ridden as jockeys in the Kentucky Derby History.

The first, Diane Crump, finished 15th in 1970, and the sixth, Rosie Napravnik, finished fifth aboard Mylute in 2013 and last in 2014. Women owners have won the Derby numerous times, beginning in 1904 with Elwood’s victory for owner Laska Durnell.

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