Kentucky Derby History – II

The Kentucky Derby started by Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark in 1872, he is the grandson of William Clark. When he traveled to Europe, he visited the Epson Derby, a famous horse race running since 1780, and he also associated with the FJC (French Jockey Club), it is a group formed by other famous horse race, which is known as the Grand Prix de Paris Longchamps. Meriwether Lewis Clark was totally enthused by his experiences and travel, and after returning home, he decided to develop spectacle horse racing even in the United States. His uncles Henry and John Churchill gave him the land for the track.  It was formally organized by the local group and named it as the LJC (Louisville Jockey Club). In later years, Clark and his club members raised funds to construct a permanent racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky.  In the year 1875, the racetrack gates opened and the LJC sponsored the first Kentucky Derby.  Fifteen 3-year-old Thoroughbred horses ran 1 ½ mile race in front of 10,000 viewers. Aristides was the Kentucky Derby first winner.

Here is the continuation of the timeline.

1914: In this year Old Rosebud won the Derby and also it sets a track record as it finished the race in 2:03:04, he ran eight lengths just few seconds before the second finisher.

1915:  For three years straightly the Kentucky Derby made the news headlines as the Regret, the first filly won the race.  This exposure established the KD as the best and foremost sporting event in the United States after its 41st running.

1919:  In this year, Sir Barton won the Derby and it is also the first Triple Crown Thoroughbred racing winner.  Again, in just 32 days, this amazing horse, Sir Barton won the KD, the Withers Stakes, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes.

1922: In 1922, Mor Vich wins the Kentucky Derby, and he also got a gold rock service, including candlesticks and a cup.  He received the prize money of 7,000 dollars and it is the first time it happened in the Kentucky Derby.

1925: In this year on May 6th the first radio broadcast of the Kentucky Derby took place, and around 6 million listeners followed the sport. Flying Ebony was the winner of the Derby in 1925. Also, Bill Corum said the phrase “Run for the Roses”, which later become a popular phrase.

1930: In 1930 the Derby winner was Gallant Fox, and in this, only the word Triple Crown was officially used by the NYT (New York Times) to portray his combined wins in the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and Kentucky Derby.

1931: During this year, the KD (Kentucky Derby) is scheduled permanently for the first Saturday in the month of May.

1932:  In this year even in a great depression, the Derby race still celebrated the race. In 1932 the race was broadcasted internationally through EBB (England’s British Broadcasting) Company, and the Burgoo King was the winner of the Derby and it was covered with the red rose garland.


1938:  In this year a tunnel was built under the racetrack, which connects the audience seats, grandstand to the racetrack field, which is called as “infield”. The infield entrance fee was 50 cents. In this year, Lawrin won the Derby.