Kentucky Derby


Kentucky Derby
Grade I race
Kentucky Derby.svg
"The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports"
"The Run for the Roses"
LocationChurchill Downs
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
InauguratedMay 17, 1875 (146 years ago)
Race typeFlat / Thoroughbred
Race information
Distance1+14 miles (10 furlongs; 2 km)
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[2]
1st: $1,860,000

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).[3]

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 has the distinction of having been run uninterrupted since its inaugural race in 1875. 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.[4]

A horse must win all three races to win the Triple Crown.[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

The 147th Kentucky Derby was broadcast on NBC on Saturday, May 1, 2021. The horse Medina Spirit crossed the finish line first.[8]


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.[9] 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.[10] The naming went official in 1937.[11]

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.

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, 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.[12] 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.[13] 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.[14]

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, the first year the race used hundredths of seconds instead of fifths in timing.[15]

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.[16]

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

In 2020, The Kentucky Derby was postponed from May 2 to September 5 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[17] 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.[18] The old setup contributed to congestion at the start of the race, especially in the gap between the two gates.[18]

The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in the United States (1875).


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.[1]


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

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.[28][29] 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.[30] The event attracts spectators from a large area, flying in hundreds of private aircraft to Louisville International Airport.[31]

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.[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, 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:

  • 7 – Bob Baffert (1997, 1998, 2002, 2015, 2018, 2020, 2021)
  • 6 – Ben A. Jones (1938, 1941, 1944, 1948, 1949, 1952)

Most wins by an owner:

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

Longest shot to win the Derby:



Triple Crown winners are in bold.

Kentucky Derby winners[37]
Year Winner Jockey Trainer Owner Distance
2021 Medina Spirit John Velazquez Bob Baffert Zedan Racing Stables 1+14 Fast 2:01.02
2020 Authentic John Velazquez Bob Baffert Spendthrift Farm LLC, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables LLC, Starlight Racing 1+14 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+14 Sloppy 2:03.93
2018 Justify Mike E. 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 1+14 Wet Fast (sealed) 2:03.59
2016 Nyquist Mario Gutierrez Doug O'Neill J. Paul Reddam 1+14 Fast 2:01.31
2015 American Pharoah Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert Zayat Stables, LLC 1+14 Fast 2:03.02
2014 California Chrome 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 J. Paul Reddam 1+14 Fast 2:01.83
2011 Animal Kingdom John Velazquez H. 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 L. Woolley Jr. Double Eagle Ranch et al. 1+14 Sloppy 2:02.66
2008 Big Brown Kent Desormeaux Richard E. Dutrow Jr. IEAH Stables / P. Pompa 1+14 Fast 2:01.82
2007 Street Sense Calvin Borel Carl Nafzger James B. Tafel 1+14 Fast 2:02.17
2006 Barbaro Edgar Prado Michael R. Matz Lael Stables 1+14 Fast 2:01.36
2005 Giacomo Mike E. 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 A. Santos Barclay Tagg Sackatoga Stable 1+14 Fast 2:01.19
2002 War Emblem Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert Thoroughbred Corp. 1+14 Fast 2:01.13
2001 Monarchos Jorge F. Chavez John T. Ward Jr. John C. Oxley 1+14 Fast 1:59.97
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus Kent Desormeaux Neil Drysdale Fusao Sekiguchi 1+14 Fast 2:01.0
1999 Charismatic 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 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 William J. Condren & Joseph M. 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 S. Whiting W. Cal Partee 1+14 Fast 2:03.0
1991 Strike the Gold Chris Antley Nick Zito BCC Stable 1+14 Fast 2:03.0
1990 Unbridled Craig Perret Carl Nafzger Frances A. Genter 1+14 Good 2:02.0
1989 Sunday Silence Pat Valenzuela Charlie Whittingham H-G-W Partners 1+14 Muddy 2:05.0
1988 Winning Colors filly Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein 1+14 Fast 2:02.2
1987 Alysheba Chris McCarron Jack Van Berg D. & P. Scharbauer 1+14 Fast 2:03.4
1986 Ferdinand Bill Shoemaker Charlie Whittingham Elizabeth A. Keck 1+14 Fast 2:02.8
1985 Spend A Buck Ángel Cordero Jr. Cam Gambolati Dennis Diaz 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 C. Cross Jr. David J. Foster Stable 1+14 Fast 2:02.2
1982 Gato Del Sol Eddie Delahoussaye Edwin J. Gregson Hancock & Peters 1+14 Fast 2:02.4
1981 Pleasant Colony Jorge Velásquez John P. Campo Buckland Farm 1+14 Fast 2:02.0
1980 Genuine Risk filly Jacinto Vásquez LeRoy Jolley Diana M. Firestone 1+14 Fast 2:02.0
1979 Spectacular Bid Ronnie Franklin Bud Delp Hawksworth Farm 1+14 Fast 2:02.4
1978 Affirmed Steve Cauthen Laz Barrera Harbor View Farm 1+14 Fast 2:01.2
1977 Seattle Slew Jean Cruguet William H. Turner Jr. Karen L. 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 Jacinto Vásquez LeRoy Jolley John L. Greer 1+14 Fast 2:02.0
1974 Cannonade Ángel Cordero Jr. Woody Stephens John M. Olin 1+14 Fast 2:04.0
1973 Secretariat Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable 1+14 Fast 1:59.4
1972 Riva Ridge Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stud 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 E. Lehmann 1+14 Good 2:03.4
1969 Majestic Prince Bill Hartack Johnny Longden Frank M. McMahon 1+14 Fast 2:01.8
1968 Forward Pass[c] 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 L. Rice 1+14 Fast 2:01.2
1964 Northern Dancer 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 Johnny Sellers Jack A. Price Katherine Price 1+14 Good 2:04.0
1960 Venetian Way Bill Hartack Victor J. Sovinski Sunny Blue Farm 1+14 Good 2:02.4
1959 Tomy Lee Bill Shoemaker Frank E. Childs Fred & Juliette Turner 1+14 Fast 2:02.2
1958 Tim Tam 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 David Erb Hugh L. Fontaine D & H Stable 1+14 Fast 2:03.4
1955 Swaps Bill Shoemaker Mesh Tenney Rex C. Ellsworth 1+14 Fast 2:01.8
1954 Determine Raymond York William Molter Andrew J. Crevolin 1+14 Fast 2:03.0
1953 Dark Star Henry E. Moreno Eddie Hayward Cain Hoy Stable 1+14 Fast 2:02.0
1952 Hill Gail Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1+14 Fast 2:01.6
1951 Count Turf Conn McCreary Sol Rutchick Jack J. 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 A. Jones Calumet Farm 1+14 Fast 2:04.2
1948 Citation Eddie Arcaro Ben A. 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 Warren Mehrtens Max Hirsch King Ranch 1+14 Slow 2:06.6
1945 Hoop Jr. Eddie Arcaro Ivan H. Parke Fred W. Hooper 1+14 Muddy 2:07.0
1944 Pensive Conn McCreary Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1+14 Good 2:04.2
1943 Count Fleet Johnny Longden Don Cameron Fannie Hertz 1+14 Fast 2:04.0
1942 Shut Out Wayne D. Wright John M. Gaver Sr. Greentree Stable 1+14 Fast 2:04.4
1941 Whirlaway Eddie Arcaro Ben A. 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 James Stout Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1+14 Fast 2:03.4
1938 Lawrin Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Herbert M. Woolf 1+14 Fast 2:04.8
1937 War Admiral Charley Kurtsinger George Conway Glen Riddle Farm 1+14 Fast 2:03.2
1936 Bold Venture Ira Hanford Max Hirsch Morton L. Schwartz 1+14 Fast 2:03.6
1935 Omaha Willie Saunders Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1+14 Good 2:05.0
1934 Cavalcade 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 Charley Kurtsinger James G. Rowe Jr. Greentree Stable 1+14 Fast 2:01.8
1930 Gallant Fox Earl Sande Jim Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 1+14 Good 2:07.6
1929 Clyde Van Dusen Linus McAtee Clyde Van Dusen Herbert P. Gardner 1+14 Muddy 2:10.8
1928 Reigh Count Chick Lang Bert S. Michell Fannie Hertz 1+14 Heavy 2:10.4
1927 Whiskery Linus McAtee Fred Hopkins Harry P. Whitney 1+14 Slow 2:06.0
1926 Bubbling Over Albert Johnson Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1+14 Fast 2:03.8
1925 Flying Ebony Earl Sande William B. Duke Gifford A. Cochran 1+14 Sloppy 2:07.6
1924 Black Gold J. D. Mooney Hanley Webb Rosa M. Hoots 1+14 Fast 2:05.2
1923 Zev Earl Sande David J. Leary Rancocas Stable 1+14 Fast 2:05.4
1922 Morvich Albert Johnson Fred Burlew Benjamin 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 M. Garth Ral Parr 1+14 Slow 2:09.0
1919 Sir Barton Johnny Loftus H. Guy Bedwell J. K. L. Ross 1+14 Heavy 2:09.8
1918 Exterminator Willie Knapp Henry McDaniel Willis Sharpe Kilmer 1+14 Muddy 2:10.8
1917 Omar Khayyam Charles Borel Charles T. Patterson Billings & 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 Joe Notter James G. Rowe Sr. Harry P. Whitney 1+14 Fast 2:05.4
1914 Old Rosebud John McCabe Frank D. Weir Hamilton C. 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 H. Shilling Frank M. Taylor Harry C. 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 J. W. 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 Pete 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 E. Durnell Lasca 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 C. McDowell Thomas C. 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 H. Hughes Charles Head Smith 1+14 Fast 2:06.25
1899 Manuel Fred Taral Robert J. 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 Willie Simms Hardy Campbell Jr. Mike F. Dwyer 1+14 Dusty 2:07.75
1895 Halma James Perkins Byron McClelland Byron McClelland 1+12 Fast 2:37.5
1894 Chant Frank Goodale H. Eugene Leigh H. Eugene Leigh & Robert L. Rose 1+12 Fast 2:41.0
1893 Lookout Eddie Kunze William McDaniel Cushing & Orth 1+12 Fast 2:39.25
1892 Azra Alonzo Clayton John H. Morris Bashford Manor Stable 1+12 Heavy 2:41.5
1891 Kingman Isaac Murphy Dud Allen Jacobin Stable 1+12 Fast 2:52.25
1890 Riley Isaac Murphy Edward Corrigan Edward 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 J. B. A. 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 Samuel S. Brown & William Cottrill 1+12 Good 2:40.25
1883 Leonatus William Donohue Raleigh Colston Sr. Jack P. Chinn & George W. Morgan 1+12 Heavy 2:43.0
1882 Apollo[d] Babe Hurd Green B. Morris Morris & Patton 1+12 Fast 2:40.25
1881 Hindoo Jim McLaughlin James G. Rowe Sr. Dwyer Bros. Stable 1+12 Fast 2:40.0
1880 Fonso George Lewis Tice Hutsell J. Snell Shawhan 1+12 Dusty 2:37.50
1879 Lord Murphy Charlie Shauer George Rice Darden & Co 1+12 Fast 2:37.00
1878 Day Star Jimmy Carter Lee Paul Thomas J. Nichols 1+12 Dusty 2:37.25
1877 Baden-Baden Billy Walker Edward D. 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 H. Price McGrath 1+12 Fast 2:37.75

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. ^ 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.[38]

Sire lines

  • the Darley Arabian (1700c) sire line (all branched through the Eclipse (1764) line)[39] produced 129 Derby winners (121 colts, 5 geldings, 3 fillies), including all winners from 1938 to present.[40] 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).[41][42][43]
    • the Potoooooooo (1773) branch[44] produced 115 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 110 winners. In turn, the primary branch continues through Sir Hercules (1826), which has produced 88 winners (including all winners since 2006), and then the Birdcatcher (1833) branch[45] which produced 76 winners. From Birdcatcher, the branch of The Baron (1842) has produced 66 winners, of which 64 winners trace to Stockwell (1849).[46] Stockwell's son Doncaster (1870) sired Bend Or (1877), whose sire line accounts for 62 winners.[47] The main branch of the Bend Or sire line continued through his son Bona Vista (1889) with 53 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:[48][49]
      • the Pharamond (1925) branch (4 winners all through the Tom Fool (1949) line, most recently Silver Charm in 1997);[48]
      • the Sickle (1924) branch (22 winners all branched through the Native Dancer (1950) line, nearly exclusively through Raise a Native (1961) with 21 winners, continued primarily through Mr Prospector (1970) with 14 winners (through 8 different sons: Fusaichi Pegasus, winner of the 2000 Kentucky Derby, and 7 other sons through their progeny (most recently Country House in 2019), 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 Medina Spirit in 2021), while the Nasrullah branch produced 14 winners 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) which produced 110 winners, 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.[50]
        • 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.[51][52] 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.[53]
        • The Sir Hercules (1826) branch produced two main lines: the primary branch of Birdcatcher (1833) which produced 76 winners, 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.[54]
        • The Birdcatcher (1833) branch produced two main lines: the primary branch of The Baron (1842) which produced 66 winners, 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.[55]
        • The Bend Or (1877) branch produced two main lines: the primary branch of Bona Vista (1889) which produced 53 winners, 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.[56]
  • the Byerley Turk (1680c) sire line[57][58][59] produced 11 winners (8 colts, 3 geldings). The main branches of this sire (all branched through the Herod (1758) line) are:
    • the Highflyer (1774) branch produced 1 winner, most recently Macbeth II in 1888[60]
    • the Florizel (1768) branch produced 3 winners (all branched through the Lexington (1850) line), most recently Manuel in 1899[61][62][63]
    • the Woodpecker (1773) branch produced 7 winners (all branched through the Buzzard (1787) line). The main branches of this sire line are:
      • the Castrel (1801) branch produced 1 winner, most recently Kingman in 1891[64]
      • the Selim (1802) branch produced 6 winners (all branched through the Glencoe (1831) line). The main branches of this sire line are:
  • the Godolphin Arabian (1724c) sire line[71] produced 7 winners (6 colts, 1 gelding).[40] The main branches of this sire (all branched through the West Australian (1850) line) are:
Kentucky Derby winners with male-line descendants including other Kentucky Derby winners

See also


  1. ^ a b "Woodford Reserve is New Kentucky Derby Sponsor". Archived from the original on April 15, 2018. Retrieved April 15, 2018.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ "Tenth Race Churchill May 1, 2004". May 1, 2004. Daily Racing Forum. Accessed on May 9, 2006.
  4. ^ Archived January 27, 2019, at the Wayback Machine Kentucky Derby History
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "The World's Top 100 G1 Races for 3yo's and upwards" (PDF). International Federation of Horseracing Authorities. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
  7. ^ ^ 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.
  8. ^ Aulbach, Lucas. "What channel is Kentucky Derby 2021 on? Here's when it starts and how to watch". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  9. ^ "Racing for the Roses – History of Kentucky Derby". February 15, 2014. Archived from the original on March 6, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  10. ^ Ward, Arch (April 30, 1936). "Talking It Over". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on July 25, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2012.(subscription required)
  11. ^ "History Of Churchill Downs". Churchill Downs. Archived from the original on March 1, 2014. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
  12. ^ "Derby To Go On The Air", The New York Times, May 16, 1925, p. 11
  13. ^ "Kentucky Derby History". Kentucky Derby Info. Archived from the original on October 29, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2011.
  14. ^ McKenzie, Sheena. "Jockey who refused to stay in the kitchen". CNN. Archived from the original on February 2, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
  15. ^ Dandrea, Phil (2010). Sham: Great Was Second Best. Acanthus Publishing. Archived from the original on December 1, 2018. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  16. ^ "Horse Racing – Kentucky Derby purse doubled to $2 million". ESPN. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ a b "Churchill to Debut 20-Horse Derby Gate Sept. 1". Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  19. ^ "Record betting reported on 2017 Kentucky Derby". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  20. ^ "How Much Money is Wagered on the Kentucky Derby Each Year?". Archived from the original on April 4, 2018. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  21. ^ Finley, Marty (May 9, 2016). "The 2016 Kentucky Derby: By the numbers". Archived from the original on March 23, 2017. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  22. ^ Hopkins, Andrea. "Kentucky Derby, Queen Elizabeth draw festive crowd". U.S. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  23. ^ "Derby jockeys can wear ads". UPI. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  24. ^ Green, Marcus. "Jockey advertising at Kentucky tracks remains rare a decade after ruling". Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ Sneed, Tierney. "The Origin of Your Favorite Kentucky Derby Traditions". Archived from the original on October 24, 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  27. ^ Fred, Smith (May 1, 1961). "Bluegrass, Bourbon and Burgoo". Sports Illustrated – Vault. Archived from the original on October 27, 2018. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  28. ^ "Giant screen at Churchill Downs gives everyone at Kentucky Derby a front-row view". kentucky. Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  29. ^ "Panasonic Announces Installation of World's Largest 4K Video Board at Churchill Downs | | Churchill Downs Racetrack | Home of the Kentucky Derby". Archived from the original on May 1, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  30. ^ "My Old Kentucky Home". Archived from the original on May 3, 2013. Retrieved April 29, 2013.
  31. ^ Epstein, Curt (May 5, 2015). "Derby, Boxing Match Fuel Atlantic's Best Day Ever". Aviation International News. Archived from the original on May 9, 2015. Retrieved May 6, 2015.
  32. ^ "Dan Fogelberg Prodigy Chat transcript". Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  33. ^ "Super Saver wins the 2010 Kentucky Derby – Kentucky Derby". Archived from the original on May 14, 2010.
  34. ^ Mellisa Hoppert (May 6, 2018). "Justify Wins Kentucky Derby, Conquering Rain, Mud and a 136-Year Curse". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 6, 2018. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  35. ^ Drape, Joe (May 4, 2019). "Country House Wins Kentucky Derby After Maximum Security Is Disqualified". The New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  36. ^ Writer, BETH HARRIS AP Racing. "Kentucky Derby shocker: Country House wins via DQ". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Archived from the original on May 5, 2019. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  37. ^ "Kentucky Derby Winners". Archived from the original on August 4, 2016. Retrieved July 3, 2016.
  38. ^ Hoppert, Melissa. "Justify Wins Kentucky Derby, Conquering Rain, Mud and a 136-Year Curse". New York Times. Archived from the original on May 6, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
  39. ^ "Sire Lines". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  41. ^ "Sire Lines King Fergus". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  42. ^ "St. Simon Sire Line". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  43. ^ Go For Gin Pedigree
  44. ^ a b "Pot8os Sire Line". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  45. ^ "Birdcatcher Sire Line". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  46. ^ "Stockwell Sire Line". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  47. ^ "Bend Or Sire Line". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  48. ^ a b "Phalaris Sire Line". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  49. ^ "Nearco Sire Line". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  50. ^ Wintergreen Pedigree
  51. ^ "Camel Sire Line". Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  52. ^ "Himyar's Other Line". Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  53. ^ a b Chateaugay Pedigree
  54. ^ Stone Street Pedigree
  55. ^ Lucky Debonair Pedigree
  56. ^ Iron Liege Pedigree
  57. ^ "Thoroughbred Bloodlines Sire Lines Byerley Turk". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  58. ^ "Thoroughbred Bloodlines Sire Lines Byerley Turk King Herod". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  59. ^ a b c "Thoroughbred Bloodlines Sire Lines Byerley Turk King Herod Buzzard Selim". Retrieved April 20, 2021.
  60. ^ Macbeth II
  61. ^ Lord Murphy
  62. ^ Apollo
  63. ^ Manuel
  64. ^ Kingman
  65. ^ Day Star
  66. ^ Vagrant
  67. ^ Hindoo
  68. ^ Ben Ali
  69. ^ Halma
  70. ^ Alan-a-Dale
  71. ^ "Matchem Sire Line".
  72. ^ Omar Khayyam
  73. ^ Zev
  74. ^ Flying Ebony
  75. ^ Baden-Baden Pedigree
  76. ^ Montrose
  77. ^ Clyde Van Dusen
  78. ^ War Admiral
  79. ^ Ferdinand Pedigree
  80. ^ Sea Hero Pedigree
  81. ^ Charismatic Pedigree
  82. ^ Big Brown Pedigree
  83. ^ Justify Pedigree
  84. ^ Authentic Pedigree
  85. ^ Medina Spirit Pedigree
  86. ^ Meridian Pedigree
  87. ^ Regret Pedigree
  88. ^ Whiskery Pedigree
  89. ^ Swale Pedigree
  90. ^ Orb Pedigree
  91. ^ California Chrome Pedigree
  92. ^ Grindstone Pedigree
  93. ^ a b Mine That Bird Pedigree
  94. ^ American Pharoah Pedigree
  95. ^ Assault Pedigree
  96. ^ Middleground Pedigree
  97. ^ Count Fleet Pedigree
  98. ^ a b Count Turf Pedigree
  99. ^ Ponder Pedigree
  100. ^ a b Needles Pedigree
  101. ^ Monarchos Pedigree
  102. ^ Super Saver Pedigree
  103. ^ Pink Star Pedigree
  104. ^ Burgoo King Pedigree
  105. ^ Omaha Pedigree
  106. ^ Decidedly Pedigree

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

  • Official website
  • Kentucky Derby Museum
  • The Courier-Journal's Derby Site
  • History of the Kentucky Derby
  • – attending the Kentucky Derby
  • Kentucky Derby News