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Derby History

The Kentucky Derby

The last Kentucky Derby winner to sire a Kentucky Derby winner was Unbridled, whose son Grindstone won the 1996 Kentucky Derby.

Only three major sporting events have more female viewers than males; the Winter Olympics, the Summer Olympics, and the Kentucky Derby!

In 1985, Spend A Buck ran the fastest mile in Derby history, clocking in at 01:34 seconds.

Fusaichi Pegasus, who was purchased for $4 million by Fusao Sekiguchi at the Keenland Yearling Sales, was the most expensive horse to win the Kentucky Derby.

107 Kentucky Derby winners born in the state of Kentucky.

55 favorites have won the Derby with the most recent being American Pharaoh in 2015.

The Derby was first nationally televised in 1952 by CBS.

Three maidens have won the Kentucky Derby: Buchanan (1884), Sir Barton (1919) the first triple crown winner and Brokers Tip (1933).


The only jockey to ride a Kentucky Derby winner and train a Kentucky Derby winner was John Longden, who rode the great Triple Crown winner Count Fleet in 1943 and trained Majestic Prince in 1969.

Fifteen jockeys have ridden in the Kentucky Derby only once and made the most of it by winning. Among these notable riders are Steve Cauthen, Oliver Lewis, and Ronnie Franklin.

The first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby was Diane Crump in 1970. Her mount, Fathom placed 14th in the 96th Kentucky Derby. Diane was also the first woman to ride in a pari-mutuel race at Hialeah Park in 1969.

The two jockeys who have tied with the most Kentucky Derby wins are Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack. Both jockeys have won a total of five Kentucky Derbys!


James “Sunny Jim” Fitzsimmons and Ben Jones are the only trainers to train two Triple Crown winners. Fitzsimmons trained Gallant Fox in 1930 and his son Omaha in 1935. Jones trained Whirlaway in 1941 and Citation in 1948.

With six winners, trainer Ben Jones holds the record for the highest number of Kentucky Derby winners.

The youngest trainer to win the Derby was James Rowe Sr., who was 24 when he won the Derby with Hindoo in 1881.

Trainer D. Wayne Lukas has celebrated four Kentucky Derby victories during his career: Winning colors (1988), Thunder Gulch (1995), Grindstone (1996) and Charismatic (1999). Mr. Lukas is listed in the Museum’s Hall of Champions.


Calumet Farm has made it to the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle a record of eight times.

Paul Mellon is the only owner to have owned winners of all three classics: the Kentucky Derby, Sea Hero (1993); Epsom Derby and Arc De Triomphe, Miller Reef (1971).

The oldest winning owner was Mrs. Francis Genter, who at the age of 92, won the 1990 Kentucky Derby with Unbridled.

Bob McNair, the owner of the Houston Texans, has owned five horses that have run in the Kentucky Derby.

African Americans

There were 14 starters in the first Kentucky Derby. Thirteen of those jockeys were African-Americans.

Out of the first 28 Kentucky Derbys, African-American jockeys won 15.

Isaac Murphy, known as “The Greatest of All African-American Riders”, claimed to have won 628 of the 1,412 races in which he rode.

The first Kentucky Derby was won by Oliver Lewis who rode Aristides.

Isaac Murphy, one of the greatest jockeys of all time, won three Kentucky Derbys during a sixteen year span.