Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby /ˈdɜːrbi/ is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, almost always on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The competition 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]

Kentucky Derby
Grade I race
Kentucky Derby.svg
The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports;
The Run for the Roses
LocationChurchill Downs
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Race typeThoroughbred
Race information
Distance1 14 miles (10 furlongs; 2,012 m)
Record1:59.40, Secretariat (1973, ​1 14 miles)
2:34.50, Spokane (1889, ​1 12 miles)
WeightColt/Gelding: 126 lbs (57.2 kg)
Filly: 121 lb (55 kg)
PurseUS $3 million[1]
1st: $1,860,000

It is dubbed "The Run for the Roses", stemming from 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" because of its approximate duration. It is the first leg of the American Triple Crown, followed by the Preakness Stakes, and then the Belmont Stakes. Of the three Triple Crown races, the Kentucky Derby had the distinction of having been run uninterrupted for 144 years previous to 2020. The race was rescheduled to September, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Preakness and Belmont Stakes races had taken hiatuses in 1891–1893 and 1911–1912, respectively. Even with the Olympics and major professional sports leagues canceled at those points, the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont took place during the Great Depression and both World Wars.[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 numbers of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders' Cup.[6]

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 146th Kentucky Derby was rescheduled from May 2, 2020, to September 5, 2020.[7]


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.[8] 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.

A thoroughbred horse is depicted on the reverse of the Kentucky state quarter

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.[9] The naming went official in 1937.[10]

The Kentucky Derby was first run at 1 1/2 miles (12 furlongs; 2.4 km) the same distance as the Epsom Derby, before changing lengths 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 the 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 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 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 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.

On May 16, 1925, the first live radio broadcast of the Kentucky Derby aired on WHAS as well as on WGN in Chicago.[11] 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.[12] 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 faced 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.[13]

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 – a record time yet to be topped. Also during that race, he did something unique in Triple Crown races: for each successive quarter ran, 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.[14]

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.[15]

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.[1] The Derby first offered a $1 million purse in 1996; then doubled to $2 million in 2005.[1]

A new starting gate with twenty stalls is scheduled to debut for the 2020 Kentucky Derby. Designed by an Australian company, the new contiguous gate will replace the previous method of starting the Derby using the 14-stall main starting gate and a 6-stall auxiliary gate. Churchill officials cited the need for increased horse and rider safety as the reason for using the new starting gate.[16][17]

In 2020, The Kentucky Derby was postponed from May 2 to September 5 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[18] This is the second time in history the race had been postponed, the other being in 1945.


Millions of people from around the world bet at various live tracks and online sportsbooks.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21]

The race often draws celebrities. HM Queen Elizabeth II, on a visit to the United States, joined the racegoers at Churchill Downs in 2007.[22]


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.[23][24]

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."[25] In 2018, Woodford Reserve replaced Yum Brands as the presenting sponsor.[26]


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.[27] Also, burgoo, a thick stew of beef, chicken, pork, and vegetables, is a popular Kentucky dish served at the Derby.[28]

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.[29][30] 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, 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.[31] The event attracts spectators from a large area, flying in hundreds of private aircraft to Louisville International Airport.[32]

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. 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 awards the garland and the Kentucky Derby Trophy. Pop vocalist Dan Fogelberg composed the song "Run for the Roses", released in time for the 1980 running of the race.[33]

Riders Up!Edit

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


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.


Speed record:

  • Mile and a Quarter: 1:59.4 – Secretariat (1973)
  • Mile and a Half: 2:34.5 – 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:



Kentucky Derby winners[38]
Year Winner Jockey Trainer Owner Distance (miles) Track Condition Time[a]
2020 Authentic John Velazquez Bob Baffert Spendthrift Farm LLC, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables LLC, and Starlight Racing 1 ¼ Fast 2:00.61
2019 Country House[b] Flavien Prat Bill Mott Mrs. J.V. Shields Jr., E. J. M. McFadden Jr. and LNJ Foxwoods 1 ¼ Sloppy 2:03.93
2018 Justify   Mike E. Smith Bob Baffert China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing, 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, 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   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 2:01.0
1999 Charismatic Chris Antley D. Wayne Lukas Bob & Beverly Lewis 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.2
1998 Real Quiet Kent Desormeaux Bob Baffert Michael E. Pegram 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.2
1997 Silver Charm Gary Stevens Bob Baffert Bob & Beverly Lewis 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.4
1996 Grindstone Jerry Bailey D. Wayne Lukas Overbrook Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.0
1995 Thunder Gulch Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Michael Tabor 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.2
1994 Go for Gin Chris McCarron Nick Zito William J. Condren & Joseph M. Cornacchia 1 ¼ Sloppy 2:03.6
1993 Sea Hero Jerry Bailey MacKenzie Miller Rokeby Stables 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.4
1992 Lil E. Tee Pat Day Lynn S. Whiting W. Cal Partee 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.0
1991 Strike the Gold Chris Antley Nick Zito BCC Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.0
1990 Unbridled Craig Perret Carl Nafzger Frances A. Genter 1 ¼ Good 2:02.0
1989 Sunday Silence Pat Valenzuela Charlie Whittingham H-G-W Partners 1 ¼ Muddy 2:05.0
1988 Winning Colors   Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.2
1987 Alysheba Chris McCarron Jack Van Berg D. & P. Scharbauer 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.4
1986 Ferdinand Bill Shoemaker Charlie Whittingham Elizabeth A. Keck 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.8
1985 Spend A Buck Ángel Cordero Jr. Cam Gambolati Dennis Diaz 1 ¼ Fast 2:00.2
1984 Swale Laffit Pincay Jr. Woody Stephens Claiborne Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.4
1983 Sunny's Halo Eddie Delahoussaye David C. Cross Jr. David J. Foster Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.2
1982 Gato Del Sol Eddie Delahoussaye Edwin J. Gregson Hancock & Peters 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.4
1981 Pleasant Colony Jorge Velásquez John P. Campo Buckland Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.0
1980 Genuine Risk   Jacinto Vásquez LeRoy Jolley Diana M. Firestone 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.0
1979 Spectacular Bid Ronnie Franklin Bud Delp Hawksworth Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.4
1978 Affirmed   Steve Cauthen Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.2
1977 Seattle Slew   Jean Cruguet William H. Turner Jr. Karen L. Taylor 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.2
1976 Bold Forbes Ángel Cordero Jr. Laz Barrera E. Rodriguez Tizol 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.6
1975 Foolish Pleasure Jacinto Vásquez LeRoy Jolley John L. Greer 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.0
1974 Cannonade Ángel Cordero Jr. Woody Stephens John M. Olin 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.0
1973 Secretariat   Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable 1 ¼ Fast 1:59.4
1972 Riva Ridge Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stud 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.8
1971 Canonero II Gustavo Ávila Juan Arias Edgar Caibett 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.2
1970 Dust Commander Mike Manganello Don Combs Robert E. Lehmann 1 ¼ Good 2:03.4
1969 Majestic Prince Bill Hartack Johnny Longden Frank M. McMahon 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.8
1968 Forward Pass[c] Ismael Valenzuela Henry Forrest Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.2
1967 Proud Clarion Bobby Ussery Loyd Gentry Jr. Darby Dan Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:00.6
1966 Kauai King Don Brumfield Henry Forrest Ford Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.0
1965 Lucky Debonair Bill Shoemaker Frank Catrone Ada L. Rice 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.2
1964 Northern Dancer Bill Hartack Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:00.0
1963 Chateaugay Braulio Baeza James P. Conway Darby Dan Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.8
1962 Decidedly Bill Hartack Horatio Luro El Peco Ranch 1 ¼ Fast 2:00.4
1961 Carry Back Johnny Sellers Jack A. Price Katherine Price 1 ¼ Good 2:04.0
1960 Venetian Way Bill Hartack Victor J. Sovinski Sunny Blue Farm 1 ¼ Good 2:02.4
1959 Tomy Lee Bill Shoemaker Frank E. Childs Fred & Juliette Turner 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.2
1958 Tim Tam Ismael Valenzuela Jimmy Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Muddy 2:05.0
1957 Iron Liege Bill Hartack Jimmy Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.2
1956 Needles David Erb Hugh L. Fontaine D & H Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.4
1955 Swaps Bill Shoemaker Mesh Tenney Rex C. Ellsworth 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.8
1954 Determine Raymond York William Molter Andrew J. Crevolin 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.0
1953 Dark Star Henry E. Moreno Eddie Hayward Cain Hoy Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.0
1952 Hill Gail Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.6
1951 Count Turf Conn McCreary Sol Rutchick Jack J. Amiel 1 ¼ Fast 2:02.6
1950 Middleground William Boland Max Hirsch King Ranch 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.6
1949 Ponder Steve Brooks Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.2
1948 Citation   Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Sloppy 2:05.4
1947 Jet Pilot Eric Guerin Tom Smith Maine Chance Farm 1 ¼ Slow 2:06.8
1946 Assault   Warren Mehrtens Max Hirsch King Ranch 1 ¼ Slow 2:06.6
1945 Hoop Jr. Eddie Arcaro Ivan H. Parke Fred W. Hooper 1 ¼ Muddy 2:07.0
1944 Pensive Conn McCreary Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Good 2:04.2
1943 Count Fleet   Johnny Longden Don Cameron Fannie Hertz 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.0
1942 Shut Out Wayne D. Wright John M. Gaver Sr. Greentree Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.4
1941 Whirlaway   Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.4
1940 Gallahadion Carroll Bierman Roy Waldron Milky Way Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:05.0
1939 Johnstown James Stout Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.4
1938 Lawrin Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Herbert M. Woolf 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.8
1937 War Admiral   Charley Kurtsinger George Conway Glen Riddle Farm 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.2
1936 Bold Venture Ira Hanford Max Hirsch Morton L. Schwartz 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.6
1935 Omaha   Willie Saunders Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1 ¼ Good 2:05.0
1934 Cavalcade Mack Garner Bob Smith Brookmeade Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.0
1933 Brokers Tip Don Meade Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1 ¼ Good 2:06.8
1932 Burgoo King Eugene James Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1 ¼ Fast 2:05.2
1931 Twenty Grand Charley Kurtsinger James G. Rowe Jr. Greentree Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:01.8
1930 Gallant Fox   Earl Sande Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1 ¼ Good 2:07.6
1929 Clyde Van Dusen Linus McAtee Clyde Van Dusen Herbert P. Gardner 1 ¼ Muddy 2:10.8
1928 Reigh Count Chick Lang Bert S. Michell Fannie Hertz 1 ¼ Heavy 2:10.4
1927 Whiskery Linus McAtee Fred Hopkins Harry P. Whitney 1 ¼ Slow 2:06.0
1926 Bubbling Over Albert Johnson Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1 ¼ Fast 2:03.8
1925 Flying Ebony Earl Sande William B. Duke Gifford A. Cochran 1 ¼ Sloppy 2:07.6
1924 Black Gold J. D. Mooney Hanley Webb Rosa M. Hoots 1 ¼ Fast 2:05.2
1923 Zev Earl Sande David J. Leary Rancocas Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:05.4
1922 Morvich Albert Johnson Fred Burlew Benjamin Block 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.6
1921 Behave Yourself Charles Thompson Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.2
1920 Paul Jones Ted Rice William M. Garth Ral Parr 1 ¼ Slow 2:09.0
1919 Sir Barton   Johnny Loftus H. Guy Bedwell J. K. L. Ross 1 ¼ Heavy 2:09.8
1918 Exterminator Willie Knapp Henry McDaniel Willis Sharpe Kilmer 1 ¼ Muddy 2:10.8
1917 Omar Khayyam Charles Borel Charles T. Patterson Billings & Johnson 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.6
1916 George Smith Johnny Loftus Hollie Hughes John Sanford 1 ¼ Fast 2:04.0
1915 Regret   Joe Notter James G. Rowe Sr. Harry P. Whitney 1 ¼ Fast 2:05.4
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 2:04.8
1912 Worth Carroll H. Shilling Frank M. Taylor Harry C. Hallenbeck 1 ¼ Muddy 2:09.4
1911 Meridian George Archibald Albert Ewing Richard F. Carman 1 ¼ Fast 2:05.0
1910 Donau Frederick Herbert George Ham William Gerst 1 ¼ Fast 2:06.4
1909 Wintergreen Vincent Powers Charles Mack Jerome B. Respess 1 ¼ Slow 2:08.2
1908 Stone Street Arthur Pickens J. W. Hall C. E. & J. W. Hamilton 1 ¼ Heavy 2:15.2
1907 Pink Star Andy Minder William H. Fizer J. Hal Woodford 1 ¼ Heavy 2:12.6
1906 Sir Huon Roscoe Troxler Pete Coyne Bashford Manor Stable 1 ¼ Fast 2:08.8
1905 Agile Jack Martin Robert Tucker Samuel S. Brown 1 ¼ Heavy 2:10.75
1904 Elwood Shorty Prior Charles E. Durnell Lasca Durnell 1 ¼ Fast 2:08.5
1903 Judge Himes Harold Booker John P. Mayberry Charles R. Ellison 1 ¼ Fast 2:09.0
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 2:12.0
1898 Plaudit Willie Simms John E. Madden John E. Madden 1 ¼ Good 2:09.0
1897 Typhoon II Buttons Garner Julius C. Cahn Julius C. Cahn 1 ¼ Heavy 2:12.5
1896 Ben Brush Willie Simms Hardy Campbell Jr. Mike F. Dwyer 1 ¼ Dusty 2:07.75
1895 Halma James Perkins Byron McClelland Byron McClelland 1 ½ Fast 2:37.5
1894 Chant Frank Goodale H. Eugene Leigh H. Eugene Leigh & Robert L. Rose 1 ½ Fast 2:41.0
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 2:41.5
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 2:45.0
1889 Spokane Thomas Kiley John Rodegap Noah Armstrong 1 ½ Fast 2:34.5
1888 Macbeth II George Covington John Campbell Chicago Stable 1 ½ Fast 2:38.25
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 2:36.5
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 2:43.0
1882 Apollo[d] Babe Hurd Green B. Morris Morris & Patton 1 ½ Fast 2:40.25
1881 Hindoo Jim McLaughlin James G. Rowe Sr. Dwyer Bros. Stable 1 ½ Fast 2:40.0
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 2:38.0
1876 Vagrant Robert 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

  designates a Triple Crown Winner.
  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. ^ Maximum Security crossed the finish line first, but was disqualified for interference.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Apollo (1882) was the only horse to have won the Derby without having raced at age two, until Justify in 2018.[39]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Angst, Frank (January 10, 2019). "Kentucky Derby Purse Increased to $3 Million". The Bloodhorse. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  2. ^ "Tenth Race Churchill May 1, 2004". May 1, 2004. Daily Racing Forum. Accessed on May 9, 2006.
  3. ^ Archived January 27, 2019, at the Wayback Machine Kentucky Derby History
  4. ^ Novak, Claire (September 23, 2013). "Will Take Charge Wins Pennsylvania Derby". Blood Horse. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. 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. ^ Archived April 25, 2020, at the Wayback Machine Churchill Downs to hold its first-ever virtual horse race on original Derby date
  8. ^ "Racing for the Roses – History of Kentucky Derby". February 15, 2014. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  9. ^ Ward, Arch (April 30, 1936). "Talking It Over". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on July 25, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2012.(subscription required)
  10. ^ "History Of Churchill Downs". Churchill Downs. Archived from the original on March 1, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  11. ^ "Derby To Go On The Air", The New York Times, May 16, 1925, p. 11
  12. ^ "Kentucky Derby History". Kentucky Derby Info. Archived from the original on October 29, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  13. ^ McKenzie, Sheena. "Jockey who refused to stay in the kitchen". CNN. Archived from the original on February 2, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  14. ^ Dandrea, Phil (2010). Sham: Great Was Second Best. Acanthus Publishing. Archived from the original on December 1, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  15. ^ "Horse Racing – Kentucky Derby purse doubled to $2 million". ESPN. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  16. ^ Hegarty, Matt (February 3, 2020). "Churchill to debut new 20-stall starting gate in 2020 Kentucky Derby". Daily Racing Form. Archived from the original on February 3, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  17. ^ Ward, Kelly (February 3, 2020). "Churchill Downs commissions new contiguous starting gate for the 2020 Kentucky Derby". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  18. ^ Casado, Joey Hadden, Laura. "Here are the latest major events that have been canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Cannes Film Festival, and the 74th Annual Tony Awards". Business Insider. Archived from the original on March 5, 2020. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
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Further readingEdit

  • 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 linksEdit