Countdown to the Derby

Kentucky Derby Seminar – May 4th

  • Thursday, May 4th at Clubhouse Race Book
  • 7pm panel of handicappers giving analysis and breakdown of the Derby
  • Past Performances to all attendees
  • Complimentary coffee, water and soda

Reservations at Clubhouse Race Book – May 6th

  • $5 (includes seat, admission and complimentary Kentucky Derby 143 glass)
  • Call +1-518-446-4010 for information
  • Must pay in advance

Kentucky Derby Syndicate – May 6th

  • Starting Friday April 15th (First come first serve!)
  • First (20) account holders that sign up at Clubhouse Race Book
  • Live wagering dollars for a 9-race betting card on Churchill Downs including the Kentucky Derby
The History

There are few American sporting events with the history and popularity of the Kentucky Derby.

It’s rich traditions – sipping a mint julep, donning a beautiful hat, and joining fellow race fans in singing “My Old Kentucky Home” – transcend the Kentucky Derby from just a sporting event, making it a celebration of southern culture and a true icon of Americana. The Kentucky Derby is the longest running sporting event in the United States, dating back to 1875.  The race is often referred to as “The Run for the Roses®” and  has continuously produced “the most exciting two minutes in sports”; uninterrupted, even when coinciding with profound historical events like The Great Depression and World Wars I & II.

The Kentucky Derby’s long history began in 1872, when Meriwether Lewis Clark, the grandson of William Clark – of the famed pair Lewis and Clark – traveled to Europe. While there, Clark attended the Epsom Derby in England, a well-known horse race run since 1780, and also fraternized with the French Jockey Club, a group that developed another popular horse race, the Grand Prix de Paris Longchamps. Clark was inspired by his travels and experiences, and, upon his return, was determined to create a spectacle horse racing event in the States. With the help of his uncle’s John & Henry Churchill, who gifted Clark the necessary land to develop a racetrack, and by formally organizing a group of local race fans to be named the Louisville Jockey Club, Clark and his new club raised funds to build a permanent racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky. On May 17th, 1875, the racetrack opened its gates and the Louisville Jockey Club sponsored the very first Kentucky Derby. A total of fifteen three-year-old Thoroughbred horses raced one and a half miles in front of a cheering crowd of approximately 10,000 spectators. Aristides was the first winner of the Kentucky Derby.

As with any major event, the Kentucky Derby has undergone various changes over the course of three centuries. From shortening the distance of the race, the introduction of traditions like draping the winning horse in a garland of roses, to the growing size of Derby crowds, the Kentucky Derby has embraced the change of time, while honoring the integrity of the spectacle race set forth by Meriwether Lewis Clark. Follow the timeline below to see just how far the Kentucky Derby has come since 1875. You’ll learn about special events in the history of the Kentucky Derby, like legendary horse performances, record-setting race facts and significant changes in the celebration of the Kentucky Derby.


The Race

The Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May every year, and typically draws a crowd of 155,000 people.

20 horses compete in the Kentucky Derby, which is a larger field size than most horse races; where on average 8 horses race against one another. The 20 horses racing in the Kentucky Derby must first travel along the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which is a series of 35 races taking place at tracks across the country and the world. Points are awarded to the top 4 horses that finish in each of those 35 races, and the 20 horses with the most points earn a spot in the starting gate in the Kentucky Derby race. The Kentucky Derby winning purse is $2 million.

The Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May every year, and typically draws a crowd of 155,000 people. It is the longest continually held sporting event in America, and it is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. Often called “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”, the Kentucky Derby receives this nickname from the approximate length of time it takes the winner to run from the starting gate to the finish line. The Kentucky Derby is the first race within the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, where it is followed by the Preakness Stakes race and the Belmont Stakes race.

The Kentucky Derby, presented by YUM! Brands, is a top rank, Grade I stakes race for 3 year old Thoroughbred horses. The race distance is one and one-quarter miles long, and it is run on the dirt racetrack at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Colts and geldings in the race carry 126 pounds (57 kg), and fillies in the race carry 121 pounds (55 kg).

Compliments of Kentucky Derby


2017 Kentucky Derby Post Positions
Horse Post Trainer Jockey Odds
1 Lookin at Lee Steve Asmussen Corey Lanerie 20-1
2 Thunder Snow Saeed bin Suroor Christophe Soumillon 20-1
3 Fast and Accurate Mike Maker Channing Hill 50-1
4 Untrapped Steve Asmussen Ricardo Santana Jr. 30-1
5 Always Dreaming Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 5-1
6 State of Honor Mark Casse Jose Lezcano 30-1
7 Girvin Joe Sharp Mike Smith 15-1
8 Hence Steve Asmussen Florent Geroux 15-1
9 Irap Doug O’Neill Mario Gutierrez 20-1
10 Gunnevera Antonio Sano Javier Castellano 15-1
11 Battle of Midway Jerry Hollendorfer Flavien Prat 30-1
12 Sonneteer Keith Desormeaux Kent Desormeaux 50-1
13 J Boys Echo Dale Romans Luis Saez 20-1
14 Classic Empire Mark Casse Julien Leparoux 4-1
15 McCraken Ian Wilkes Brian Hernandez Jr. 5-1
16 Tapwrit Todd Pletcher Jose Ortiz 20-1
17 Irish War Cry Graham Motion Rajiv Maragh 6-1
18 Gormley John Shirreffs Victor Espinoza 15-1
19 Practical Joke Chad Brown Joel Rosario 20-1
20 Patch Todd Pletcher Tyler Gaffalione 30-1
21-AE Royal Mo John Shirreffs Gary Stevens 20-1
22-AE Master Plan Todd Pletcher John Velazquez 50-1


Past Winners

Here is a compiled list of the past Kentucky Derby entries an winners.

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Owner Time
2016 Nyquist Mario Gutierrez Doug F. O’Neill Reddam Racing LLC 2:01:31
2015 American Pharoah Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert Ahmed Zayat 2:03.02
2014 California Chrome Victor Espinoza Art Sherman Steve and Carolyn Coburn & Perry and Denise Martin 2:03.66
2013 Orb Joel Rosario Claude R. “Shug” McGaughey III Stuart Janney III & Phipps Stable (Ogden Mills “Dinny” Phipps) 2:02.89
2012 I’ll Have Another Mario Gutierrez Doug O’Neill J. Paul Reddam 2:01.83
2011 Animal Kingdom John Velazquez H. Graham Motion Team Valor International 2:02.04
2010 Super Saver Calvin Borel Todd Pletcher WinStar Farm LLC. 2:04.45
2009 Mine That Bird Calvin Borel Bennie Woolley Jr. Double Eagle Ranch & Bueno Suerte Equine 2:02.66
2008 Big Brown Kent Desormeaux Richard Dutrow, Jr. IEAH Stable (Michael Iavarone) and Paul P. Pompa Jr. 2:01.82
2007 Street Sense Calvin Borel Carl Nafzger James B. Tafel 2:02.17
2006 Barbaro Edgar Prado Michael Matz Lael Stables (Roy & Gretchen Jackson) 2:01.36
2005 Giacomo Mike Smith John Shirreffs Mr. & Mrs. Jerome S. Moss 2:02.75
2004 Smarty Jones Stewart Elliott John Servis Someday Farm 2:04.06
2003 Funny Cide José Santos Barclay Tagg Sackatoga Stable (Jackson Knowlton) 2:01.19
2002 War Emblem Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert The Thoroughbred Corporation 2:01.13
2001 Monarchos Jorge Chavez John T. Ward, Jr. John C. Oxley 1:59.97
2000 Fusaichi Pegasus Kent Desormeaux Neil D. Drysdale Fusao Sekiguchi 2:01
1999 Charismatic Chris Antley D. Wayne Lukas Robert B. & Beverly J. Lewis 2:03.29
1998 Real Quiet Kent Desormeaux Bob Baffert Mike Pegram 2:02 1/5
1997 Silver Charm Gary Stevens Bob Baffert Robert B. & Beverly J. Lewis 2:02 2/5
1996 Grindstone Jerry Bailey D. Wayne Lukas Overbrook Farm 2:01
1995 Thunder Gulch Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Michael Tabor 2:01 1/5
1994 Go for Gin Chris McCarron Nick Zito William J. Condren & Joseph M. Cornacchia 2:03 3/5
1993 Sea Hero Jerry Bailey MacKenzie “Mack” Miller Rokeby Stable 2:02
1992 Lil E. Tee Pat Day Lynn Whiting W. Cal Partee 2:03
1991 Strike the Gold Chris Antley BCC Stable 2:03
1990 Unbridled Craig Perret Carl Nafzger Frances A. Genter 2:02
1989 Sunday Silence Patrick Valenzuela Charles Edward Whittingham H-G-W Partners 2:05
1988 Winning Colors Gary Stevens D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein 2:02 1/5
1987 Alysheba Chris McCarron Charles “Jack” Van Berg D. & P. Scharbauer 2:03
1986 Ferdinand William Shoemaker Charles Edward Whittingham Elizabeth A. Keck 2:02 4/5
1985 Spend a Buck Angel Cordero, Jr. Cam Gambolati Dennis Diaz 2:00 1/5
1984 Swale Laffit Pincay, Jr. Woodford C. Stephens Claiborne Farm 2:02 2/5
1983 Sunny’s Halo Eddie Delahoussaye David C. Cross, Jr. D. J. Foster Stable 2:02 1/5
1982 Gato Del Sol Eddie Delahoussaye Edwin J. Gregson Hancock & Peters 2:02 2/5
1981 Pleasant Colony Jorge Velasquez John P. Campo Buckland Farm 2:02
1980 Genuine Risk Jacinto Vasquez LeRoy Jolley Diana M. Firestone 2:02
1979 Spectacular Bid Ronnie Franklin Grover Delp Hawksworth Farm 2:02 2/5
1978 Affirmed Steve Cauthen Lazaro Barrera Harbor View Farm 2:01 1/5
1977 Seattle Slew Jean Cruguet Wm. H. Turner, Jr. Karen L. Taylor 2:02 1/5
1976 Bold Forbes Angel Cordero, Jr. Lazaro Barrera E. Rodriguez Tizol 2:01 3/5
1975 Foolish Pleasure Jacinto Vasquez LeRoy Jolley John L. Greer 2:02
1974 Cannonade Angel Cordero, Jr. Woodford C. Stephens John M. Olin 2:04
1973 Secretariat Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stable 1:59 2/5
1972 Riva Ridge Ron Turcotte Lucien Laurin Meadow Stud 2:01 4/5
1971 Canonero II Gustavo Avila Juan Arias Edgar Caibett 2:03 1/5
1970 Dust Commander Mike Manganello Don Combs Robert E. Lehmann 2:03 2/5
1969 Majestic Prince William Hartack John Longden Frank M. McMahon 2:01 4/5
1968 Forward Pass Ismael Valenzuela Henry Forrest Calumet Farm 2:02 1/5
1967 Proud Clarion Robert Ussery Loyd Gentry, Jr. Darby Dan Farm 2:00 3/5
1966 Kauai King Don Brumfield Henry Forrest Ford Stable 2:02
1965 Lucky Debonair William Shoemaker Frank Catrone Ada L. Rice 2:01 1/5
1964 Northern Dancer William Hartack Horatio Luro Windfields Farm 2:00
1963 Chateaugay Braulio Baeza James P. Conway Darby Dan Farm 2:01 4/5
1962 Decidedly William Hartack Horatio Luro El Peco Ranch 2:00 2/5
1961 Carry Back John Sellers Jack Price Katherine Price 2:04
1960 Venetian Way William Hartack Victor J. Sovinski Sunny Blue Farm 2:02 2/5
1959 Tomy Lee William Shoemaker Frank E. Childs Fred & Juliette Turner 2:02 1/5
1958 Tim Tam Ismael Valenzuela H. A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:05
1957 Iron Liege William Hartack H. A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:01 1/5
1956 Needles David Erb Hugh Fontaine D & H Stable 2:03 2/5
1955 Swaps William Shoemaker M. A. Tenney Rex C. Ellsworth 2:01 4/5
1954 Determine Raymond York William Molter Andrew J. Crevolin 2:03
1953 Dark Star Henry Moreno Eddie Hayward Cain Hoy Stable 2:02
1952 Hill Gail Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:01 3/5
1951 Count Turf Conn McCreary Sol Rutchick Jack J. Amiel 2:02 3/5
1950 Middleground William Boland Max Hirsch King Ranch 2:01 3/5
1949 Ponder Steve Brooks Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:04 1/5
1948 Citation Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:05 2/5
1947 Jet Pilot Eric Guerin Tom Smith Maine Chance Farm 2:06 4/5
1946 Assault Warren Mehrtens Max Hirsch King Ranch 2:06 3/5
1945 Hoop Jr. Eddie Arcaro Ivan H. Parke Fred W. Hooper 2:07
1944 Pensive Conn McCreary Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:04 1/5
1943 Count Fleet John Longden G. D. Cameron Fannie Hertz 2:04
1942 Shut Out Wayne D. Wright John Milton Gaver, Sr. Greentree Stable 2:04 2/5
1941 Whirlaway Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:01 2/5
1940 Gallahadion Carroll Bierman Roy Waldron Milky Way Farm 2:05
1939 Johnstown James Stout Jame Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 2:03 2/5
1938 Lawrin Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Herbert M. Woolf 2:04 4/5
1937 War Admiral Charle Kurtsinger George Conway Glen Riddle Farm 2:03 1/5
1936 Bold Venture Ira Hanford Max Hirsch Morton L. Schwartz 2:03 3/5
1935 Omaha William Saunders Jame Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 2:05
1934 Cavalcade Mack Garner Robert A. Smith Brookmeade Stable 2:04
1933 Brokers Tip Don Meade Herbert John Thompson Edward R. Bradley 2:06 4/5
1932 Burgoo King Basil James Herbert John Thompson Edward R. Bradley 2:05 1/5
1931 Twenty Grand Charle Kurtsinger James Rowe, Jr. Greentree Stable 2:01 4/5
1930 Gallant Fox Earl Sande Jame Fitzsimmons Belair Stud 2:07 3/5
1929 Clyde Van Dusen Linus McAtee Clyde Van Dusen Herbert P. Gardner 2:10 4/5
1928 Reigh Count Charle Lang Bert Michell Fannie Hertz 2:10 2/5
1927 Whiskery Linus McAtee Fred Hopkins Harry P. Whitney 2:06
1926 Bubbling Over Albert Johnson Herbert John Thompson Edward R. Bradley 2:03 4/5
1925 Flying Ebony Earl Sande William Duke Gifford A. Cochran 2:07 3/5
1924 Black Gold John D. Mooney Hanly Webb Rosa M. Hoots 2:05 1/5
1923 Zev Earl Sande D. J. Leary Rancocas Stable 2:05 2/5
1922 Morvich Albert Johnson Fred Burlew Benjamin Block 2:04 3/5
1921 Behave Yourself Charles Thompson Herbert John Thompson Edward R. Bradley 2:04 1/5
1920 Paul Jones Ted Rice William Garth Ral Parr 2:09
1919 Sir Barton John Loftus H. Guy Bedwell J. K. L. Ross 2:09 4/5
1918 Exterminator William Knapp Henry McDaniel Willis Sharpe Kilmer 2:10 4/5
1917 Omar Khayyam Charles Borel C. T. Patterson Billings & Johnson 2:04 3/5
1916 George Smith John Loftus Hollie Hughes John Sanford 2:04
1915 Regret Joe Notter James Rowe, Sr. Harry P. Whitney 2:05 2/5
1914 Old Rosebud John McCabe Frank D. Weir Hamilton C. Applegate 2:03 2/5
1913 Donerail Roscoe Goose Thomas P. Hayes Thomas P. Hayes 2:04 4/5
1912 Worth Carroll Hugh Shilling Frank M. Taylor Henry C. Hallenbeck 2:09 2/5
1911 Meridian George Archibald Albert Ewing Richard F. Carman 2:05
1910 Donau Robert Herbert George Ham William Gerst 2:06 2/5
1909 Wintergreen Vincent Powers Charles Mack Jerome B. Respess 2:08 1/5
1908 Stone Street Arthur Pickens J. W. Hall C. E. & J. W. Hamilton 2:15 1/5
1907 Pink Star Andy Minder W. H. Fizer J. Hal Woodford 2:12 3/5
1906 Sir Huon Roscoe Troxler Pete Coyne Bashford Manor Stable 2:08 4/5
1905 Agile Jack Martin Robert Tucker Samuel S. Brown 2:10 3/4
1904 Elwood Frank Prior Charle E. Durnell Mrs. C. E. Durnell 2:08 1/2
1903 Judge Himes Harold Booker John P. Mayberry Charles R. Ellison 2:09
1902 Alan-a-Dale Jimmy Winkfield Thomas Clay McDowell Thomas Clay McDowell 2:08 3/4
1901 His Eminence Jimmy Winkfield Frank B. Van Meter Frank B. Van Meter 2:07 3/4
1900 Lieut. Gibson Jimmy Boland Charles Hughes Charles H. Smith 2:06 1/2
1899 Manuel Fred Taral Robert Walden A. H. & D. H. Morris 2:12
1898 Plaudit Willie Simms John E. Madden John E. Madden 2:09
1897 Typhoon II Buttons Garner J. C. Cahn J. C. Cahn 2:12 1/2
1896 Ben Brush Willie Simms Hardy Campbell, Jr. Mike F. Dwyer 2:07 3/4
1895 Halma Soup Perkins Byron McClelland Byron McClelland 2:37 1/2
1894 Chant Frank Goodale H. Eugene Leigh Leigh & Rose 2:41
1893 Lookout Eddie Kunze William McDaniel Cushing & Orth 2:39 1/4
1892 Azra Alonzo Clayton John H. Morris Bashford Manor Stable 2:41 1/2
1891 Kingman Isaac Murphy Dud Allen Jacobin Stable 2:52 1/4
1890 Riley Isaac Murphy Edward Corrigan Edward Corrigan 2:45
1889 Spokane Thomas Kiley John Rodegap Noah Armstrong 2:34 1/2
1888 Macbeth II George Covington John Campbell Chicago Stable 2:38 1/4
1887 Montrose Isaac Lewis John McGinty Labold Brothers 2:39 1/4
1886 Ben Ali Paul Duffy Jim Murphy J. B. A. Haggin 2:36 1/2
1885 Joe Cotton Erkine Henderson Abe Perry James T. Williams 2:37 1/4
1884 Buchanan Isaac Murphy William Bird William Cottrill 2:40 1/4
1883 Leonatus William Donohue Raleigh Colston Chinn & Morgan 2:43
1882 Apollo Babe Hurd Green B. Morris Morris & Patton 2:40 1/4
1881 Hindoo James McLaughlin James G. Rowe, Sr. Dwyer Bros. Stable 2:40
1880 Fonso George Garret Lewis Tice Hutsell J. Snell Shawhan 2:37 1/2
1879 Lord Murphy Charlie Shauer George Rice Darden & Co 2:37
1878 Day Star Jimmy Carter Lee Paul T. J. Nichols 2:37 1/4
1877 Baden-Baden William Walker Edward D. Brown Daniel Swigert 2:38
1876 Vagrant Bobby Swim James Williams William Astor, Jr. 2:38 1/4
1875 Aristides Oliver Lewis Ansel Williamson Hal P. McGrath 2:37 3/4
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