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history_of_the_kentucky_derby_1875-1921

HISTORY

of

THE KENTUCKY DERBY

1875-1921

 

BY

JOHN L. O’CONNOR

 

Copyright 1921
John L. O’Connor

 

 


CONTENTS

PREFACE
FIRST DERBY 1875
SECOND DERBY 1876
THIRD DERBY 1877
FOURTH DERBY 1878
FIFTH DERBY 1879
SIXTH DERBY 1880
SEVENTH DERBY 1881
EIGHTH DERBY 1882
NINTH DERBY 1883
TENTH DERBY 1884
ELEVENTH DERBY 1885
TWELFTH DERBY 1886
THIRTEENTH DERBY 1887
FOURTEENTH DERBY 1888
FIFTEENTH DERBY 1889
SIXTEENTH DERBY 1890
SEVENTEENTH DERBY 1891
EIGHTEENTH DERBY 1892
NINETEENTH DERBY 1893
TWENTIETH DERBY 1894
TWENTY-FIRST DERBY 1895
TWENTY-SECOND DERBY 1896
TWENTY-THIRD DERBY 1897
TWENTY-FOURTH DERBY 1898
TWENTY-FIFTH DERBY 1899
TWENTY-SIXTH DERBY 1900
TWENTY-SEVENTH DERBY 1901
TWENTY-EIGHTH DERBY 1902
TWENTY-NINTH DERBY 1903
THIRTIETH DERBY 1904
THIRTY-FIRST DERBY 1905
THIRTY-SECOND DERBY 1906
THIRTY-THIRD DERBY 1907
THIRTY-FOURTH DERBY 1908
THIRTY-FIFTH DERBY 1909
THIRTY-SIXTH DERBY 1910
THIRTY-SEVENTH DERBY 1911
THIRTY-EIGHTH DERBY 1912
THIRTY-NINTH DERBY 1913
FORTIETH DERBY 1914
FORTY-FIRST DERBY 1915
FORTY-SECOND DERBY 1916
FORTY-THIRD DERBY 1917
FORTY-FOURTH DERBY 1918
FORTY-FIFTH DERBY 1919
FORTY-SIXTH DERBY 1920

 

 


PREFACE

With no pretense to authorship or claim for originality on the part of the compiler, this work is offered as a reference book. For many, the plain facts of each year’s Kentucky Derby will be of sufficient interest. To the countless followers of Turf happenings the material herein will refresh the memory and awaken happy reminiscence.

This compilation is made mainly from the columns of The Thoroughbred Record, a Kentucky publication, and I am indebted to the graciousness of its editor, Mr. John E. Rubbathan, for the privilege to use the material from his invaluable repository. Mr. Douglas Anderson, author of “Making the American Thoroughbred,” by his encouragement has made light the labor incident to compilation. To Mr. Gurney C. Gue, of the New York Herald, I owe a debt of gratitude for his helpful advice.

In conclusion, if these efforts prove acceptable to my brethren of the Turf and tend in any degree to promote and keep up the spirit of Racing, the object in giving as much time to the subject as I have done, will be accomplished and my end attained.

White Plains, N. Y.
April First, 1921.

 

 


[Pg 5]

FIRST DERBY 1875

To-day will ever be historic in the turf annals of Kentucky, as the first “Derby Day,” of what I hope to see a long series of turf festivities. If the officers of the Association could have had the pick from the calendar of the year, there could not have been a more delightful and charming day. The morning broke without a cloud visible in the heavens, while a cool breeze was wafted over the course, tempering the increasing rays of the sun. It was just such a day in May

When the sun is rejoicing above in heaven,
The clouds have all hurried away.
Down in the meadow the blossoms are waking,
Light on their twigs the young leaves are shaking,
Round the warm knolls the lambs are a leaping,
The colt from his fold o’er the pasture is sweeping,
But on the bright lake,
The little waves break,
For there the cool west is at play.

The course was in splendid order, and all the appurtenances requisite for the comfort and convenience of racing was ready to hand. In company with a friend we started early for the course, thinking that we would reach it before the crowd, but by half past eleven o’clock we found enough people to make a respectable show. As the hour approached for the opening of the ball, every avenue leading to the course was thronged with people making their way to it. It was indeed a Derby Day in all respects. With the two railroads leading to the course, the street cars, hacks and private vehicles, when the first bell was rung for the riders, the Grand Stand presented one solid mass of human faces, while the quarter-stretch, the public stand, and a portion of the field was covered with people. There could[Pg 6] not have been less than 10,000 persons on the course, composed of all grades of society, the banker, the merchant, the gentleman of leisure and pleasure seeker, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, et id omne genus. That portion of the Grand Stand devoted to the ladies was one grand bouquet of beauty, refinement and intelligence. The ladies in the various costumes looked like so many parti-colored butterflies, balancing themselves on their wings, in the slanting rays of the bright sun. At one time you met a beauty with such sweetness in her upturned eyes, such as fancy lends to the Madonna; at another point, one on whose lips the words laugh, and whose stately steps

Are light, as though a winged angel trod
Over earth flowers, and fear’d to brush away
Their delicate hues.

All the shades of beauty is fully represented, from the blonde to the brunette, from the matron, whose hair is threaded with the silver, to the young girl just blushing into womanhood, whose cheeks are as ruby red as a peach that has been kissed by the sun.

The Derby came next, and fifteen finer or handsomer youngsters never faced a starter. McGrath’s entries had the call in the betting and many thought he would win with Chesapeake, but Aristides, the son of Leamington, carried off the honors, and worthily earned a chaplet, one of the best three-year-olds ever stripped for a race in this country. It was extremely gratifying to the friends of the liberal Laird of McGrathiana, and will be doubly gratifying to Aristides Welch, the owner of Leamington, after whom the colt is christened. This is the best race at the weights ever run by three-year-olds in this country, and cannot fail to make Aristides a still stronger favorite for his Eastern engagements.

 [Pg 7]

SUMMARY

The Kentucky Derby, three-year-olds; $50 play or pay; Association to add $1000; second horse to have $200. Dash of one and a half miles. Closed with 42 nominations. Value $3,100.

H. P. McGrath’s ch c Aristides, by Imp. Leamington, out of Sarong; 100 lbs., Oliver Lewis 1
Geo. H. Rice’s b c Volcano, by Vandal, out of Iodine; 100 lbs., H. Williams 2
C. A. Lewis’ ch c Verdigris, by Versailles, out of Belle Brandon; 100 lbs., H. Chambers 3
H. P. McGrath’s b c Chesapeake, by Lexington, out of Roxana; 100 lbs., W. Henry 0
Robinson, Morgan & Co.’s br c Bob Woolley, by Imp. Leamington, out of Item; 100 lbs., W. Walker 0
J. B. Rhodes’ b c Searcher, by Enquirer, dam by Imp. Bonnie Scotland; 100 lbs., R. Colston, Jr. 0
Wm. Cottrill’s ch f Ascension, by Imp. Australian, out of Lilly Ward; 97 lbs., W. Lakeland 0
Stringfield & Clay’s gr c Enlister, by Enquirer, out of Crownlet; 100 lbs., Holloway 0
A. Buford’s ch c McCreery, by Enquirer, out of Ontario; 100 lbs., D. Jones 0
Stringfield & Clay’s ch c Warsaw, by War Dance, out of Sister of Charity; 100 lbs., P. Masterson 0
F. B. Harper’s b c Ten Broeck, by Imp. Phaeton, out of Fanny Holton; 100 lbs., M. Kelso 0
S. J. Salyer’s br c Bill Bruce, by Enquirer, out of Aurora Raby; 100 lbs., M. Jones 0
Allen Bashford’s br c, by Baywood, out of Lute; 100 lbs., J. Carter 0
A. B. Lewis & Co.’s b c Vagabond, by Vandal, out of Gem; 100 lbs., J. Houston 0
J. A. Grinstead’s ch f Gold Mine, by Imp. Australian, out of Income; 97 lbs., C. Stradford 0
Time—2:37¾

Betting—McGrath $260, Ascension $150, Searcher $120, Bill Bruce $80, Verdigris $70, Volcano $60, the field $50.

 [Pg 8]

THE KENTUCKY DERBY

The fifteen youngsters assembled at the half mile pole. Little or no delay took place under the able directorship of Col. W. H. Johnson. When they were marshaled into line, he tapped the drum to one of the most capital starts I have ever seen, the fifteen going away like a platoon of cavalry, except the Baywood colt, who hung at the post. Volcano jumped away first, with McCreery second, and Searcher third, the remainder bunched, coming round the turn to the quarter pole 25½ seconds. They came at a rapid rate down the stretch and past the stand in 50 seconds, McCreery first, Volcano second, Searcher third, Aristides fourth, the others pretty well bunched. Before they had reached the quarter, 1:17, Aristides had gone to the front and opened a gap of two lengths down the back stretch, Volcano second, Searcher third, the mile 1:43¼. The pace was so hot that it began to tell and the field was stretched over a good deal of ground. The race from this point home was never in doubt, Aristides winning by two lengths with something in hand, Volcano second, a length in front of Verdigris third, who came rapidly on the home stretch inside the distance. Bob Woolley who was caromed against on the lower turn a good fourth. Ten Broeck fifth, the Baywood colt sixth, Bill Bruce seventh, the remainder were scattered at wide intervals, and the dust was so great that I was unable to place the others. Time—2:37¾.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE WINNER

Aristides is a chestnut colt, with a star, and two white pasterns behind. He stands fifteen hands, one and three-quarter inches high. He has a neat head and neck running into rather a straight shoulder, with great length, good barrel, excellent hips and stifles, sound feet and legs well under him. He has fine turn of speed, and from the way he finished up the Derby to-day[Pg 9] gives every evidence of being a good stayer. He was bred by Mr. H. P. McGrath, at McGrathiana Stud Farm, near Lexington, Ky., and is by Imp. Leamington, out of Sarong, by Lexington, her dam The Greek Slave, by Imp. Glencoe—Margaret Hunter, by Imp. Margrave—Mary Hunt, by Bertrand—Betty Coons, by Hephestion—by Hampton’s Twig—by Imp. Bedford—by Harlequin—by Imp. Fearnaught.

 

 


SECOND DERBY 1876

Eleven out of the thirty-four nominations went to the post, and after some delay, caused by the breakaway and anxiety of a few of the colts to get off in front, Col. Robt. Johnson, who officiated in this race, sent them away to a good start, Parole in the lead, Creedmoor second, Vagrant third, Bullion fourth, Bombay fifth, Harry Hill sixth, Red Coat seventh, and the remainder in pretty close order. Before going half way around the turn, Vagrant had taken the lead, with Parole second, Creedmoor, third. From the three-quarter pole to the stand some changes took place, Vagrant leading, Bullion two lengths, second, Harry Hill third, Parole fourth, Bombay fifth, Creedmoor sixth, the remainder outpaced, strung out in single file. Vagrant maintained his lead around the turn and just before reaching the quarter pole, 1:17½, some one, many thought Harry Hill, ran into and cut Bullion down and dropped back, Harry Hill taking his position, with Creedmoor third. Before reaching the half mile the race had resolved itself into a match between Vagrant and Creedmoor. But it was never in doubt, for Vagrant galloped along at his ease and his big stride, and won the race, like he has all the others, in a big gallop by more than a length, Harry Hill, two lengths from him, third, Bombay fourth, Red Coat fifth, Harper’s black filly by Enquirer sixth, Leamingtonian seventh, Marie Michon eighth, Bullion ninth, Parole tenth and[Pg 10] Germantown eleventh. The quarter 26, half 51, three-quarters 1:17½, mile 1:45, mile and a quarter 2:11¾, mile and a half 2:38¼.

 

DESCRIPTION AND PEDIGREE

Vagrant is a dark bay gelding, blaze face, four white stockings, and stands a shade over 15¾ hands. He was bred at the Preakness Stud Farm, the property of M. H. Sanford, Esq., and was purchased as a yearling by T. J. Nichols, Paris, Ky., for $250. He has a neat head and neck, good shoulders, excellent middle piece, great length, immense hips and quarters and tremendous stifles, with sound feet and legs. His action is easy and graceful, a regular daisy cutter, and from his style and carriage must go a distance of ground.

Vagrant is by Virgil (son of Vandal and Hymenia by Imp. Yorkshire; 1st dam Lazy, by Imp. Scythian; 2d dam Lindora, by Lexington; 3d dam Picayune, by Medoc; 4th dam Sally Howe, by Sir William of Transport; 5th dam Lady Robin, by Robin Grey; 6th dam by Quicksilver (son of imp. Medley); 7th dam by Meede’s Celer.

He started in his two-year-old form six times, won five, and beaten once. He won the Alexander Stakes, half mile, at Louisville, Ky., in 50¼, beating Harry Hill, Russ Butler and ten others. Same meeting with 5 lbs. penalty, ran third to Creedmoor for the Tennessee Stakes, three-quarters of a mile in 1:22½ track deep in mud. At Lexington, Ky., won sweepstakes for 2-year-old colts, three-quarters of a mile, beating The Nipper, Creedmoor, and six others, in 1:18. Same meeting won the sweepstakes for two-year-old colts and fillies, one mile, beating Clemmie G., The Nipper, and five others, in 1:45½. At Louisville Fall Meeting, won the Belle Meade Stakes, three-quarters of a mile, beating Bengal, Bombay, and nine others, in 1:17¼. Same meeting won[Pg 11] the Sanford Stakes, one mile, beating Alborac, Miriam filly, and several others, in 1:46.

At Lexington, Ky., Spring Meeting of 1876, won the Phoenix Hotel Stakes, 1⅛ miles, by more than a distance, beating Clemmie G., Knapsack, Very Fine and Yandall, in 1:56¾. Besides winning the Kentucky Derby, at Louisville, in present meeting, he is engaged in the Clark Stakes, two miles, and same place in fall on the St. Leger, two miles and Galt House Stakes, two mile heats, the Grand Exposition Stakes, 1½ miles at Philadelphia, the Breckenridge Stakes, two miles, at Baltimore, and the Suwanee Stakes, two mile heats, at Nashville Fall Meetings.

 

The Kentucky Derby, for three-year olds, $50 play or pay, with $1,500 added, second to have $200. One and a half miles, 34 nominations. Value $3,200.

T. J. Nichol’s b g Vagrant, by Virgil, dam Lazy, 97 lbs., Swim 1
Williams & Owings’ ch c Creedmoor, by Asteroid, dam imp. Target, 100 lbs., Williams 2
John Funk’s br c Harry Hill, by Virgil, dam Lark, 100 lbs., Miller 3
P. Lorillard’s br g Parole, by imp. Leamington, dam Maiden, 97 lbs., Sparling 0
F. B. Harper’s ch c Germantown, by Planet, dam Nantura, 100 lbs., Graham 0
F. B. Harper’s blk f, by Enquirer, dam by imp. Albion, 97 lbs., James 0
J. A. Grinstead’s b f Marie Michon, by Melbourne, jr., dam Nellie Gray, 97 lbs., Stratford 0
H. F. Vissman’s b c Leamingtonian, by imp. Leamington, dam Mollie, 100 lbs., Colston 0
D. Swigert’s b c Bombay, by Planet, dam Nora, 100 lbs., Walker 0
[Pg 12]Green Clay’s ch c Red Coat, by imp. Australian, dam Sally, 100 lbs., Hughes 0
A. Keene Richards’ ch c Bullion, by War Dance, dam Gold Ring, 100 lbs., Kelso 0
Time—2:38¼

Betting—Just before the start, Vagrant even against the field.

 

 


THIRD DERBY 1877

Persons who long wished and desired a beautiful day for the Kentucky Derby were fully gratified Tuesday. The sun was out bright and the excessive heat for the past week was tempered by a gentle breeze that made it all the more enjoyable, albeit it militated some against faster time.

The course, from the heavy rain of Sunday, was not in the best possible condition, and in some places was a little deep and uneven. Early in the morning preparations commenced for the day’s sport, and the crowded condition of the hotels betokened a large attendance, and long before the call bell was sounded to summon the jockeys and horses, the grand stand, quarter-stretch, field and field stand were crowded to repletion with an anxious crowd of spectators. The sky was flecked here and there with a few masses of clouds, but there was nothing threatening about them. Now and then they served the purpose of a veil, which hid the fierce glances of the sun, and cast a shade over the vast crowd that was gathered on the emerald green fields. Rarely, indeed, have the magnificent landscapes which can be viewed on either side from the grand stand and its neighborhood, looked more lovely. Behind, looking, we see the Nashville railroad winding its way like a snake through green fields and woodlands until it is lost in the distance. In front to one side you see the curling smoke arising from the city, with a cloud of dust that indicates the road over which the vast crowd is coming, bent on pleasure.[Pg 13] To the left lay green fields and woodlands, rejoicing in the light luxuriant foliage of May; meadows and fields surrounded by whitened fences, here and there a cottage dotted over the plain with their smoke curling lazily upwards. Away beyond this could be seen the green hills running in a semi-circle, indicating where the beautiful Ohio winds its way and marked the boundary between Kentucky and Indiana.

For the Derby, eleven out of the forty-one nominations sported silk. Leonard was a hot favorite, and the race resulted in his overthrow by Baden-Baden, who was third choice in the betting. If Leonard could have won, his chances were destroyed by the way in which the race was managed. He made all the running, took the lead and set himself up as a target for the others to shoot at, and right gallantly did Lisbon serve his stable companion, Baden-Baden, for three-quarters of a mile at a clipping pace, and then dropped back. Vera Cruz, who was backed with considerable spirit by his friends, had his chances destroyed by being left at the post. King William ran a good race, and for a colt that has had the knocking about and hammering that he has, he is one of the best three-year-olds that has appeared this year. His performance should add greatly to the reputation of his young sire, Foster, one of the best bred sons of Lexington. The race was an excellent one for the condition of the course.

After some three or four breakaways, the eleven were despatched to a good start, except Vera Cruz, who reared and plunged just as the drum tapped, Dan K. showing in front, but was soon passed by Lisbon, who cut out the work at a sharp pace, the quarter 26½ seconds. Entering the stretch Leonard showed in front and had a lead of half a length at the stand, with Lisbon and King William second and third, the remainder[Pg 14] in pretty close order, the half mile 52 seconds. Going around the turn King William joined Leonard, and Lisbon dropped back, Baden-Baden taking his place, the three-quarters 1:18. Going down the back stretch Leonard led King William a length, the latter whipping, with Baden-Baden at his quarters, the mile 1:44¾. The two took close order on the turn, and just before entering the stretch at the three-quarter pole, the mile and a quarter 2:11½, Baden-Baden showed his nose in front, Leonard second, lapped by King William, all three driving. It was a beautiful and exciting finish to the stand, Baden-Baden winning by little over a length, Leonard second, a head in front of King William, third. Vera Cruz, who reared and was left at the post, overhauled his horses and finished fourth, with Odd Fellow fifth, lapped by McWhirter sixth, Malvern seventh, Earlylight eighth, Dan K. ninth, Lisbon tenth, and Headlight eleventh. Time—2:38.

 

DESCRIPTION OF WINNER

Baden-Baden is a dark chestnut colt, with a star, stands 16 hands high, with a plain head, good neck, well placed shoulders, with plenty of length, good back and loins, and sound feet and legs. There is nothing striking about him, and he greatly resembles his own brother, Helmbold, and has bred back after his sire.

He was bred by A. J. Alexander, Woodburn Stud Farm, Spring Station, Ky., and purchased by D. Swigert, Stockwood Farm, as a yearling for $1,010, by imp. Australian, out of Lavender by Wagner, her dam Alice Carneal by imp. Sarpedon—Rowena by Sumpter—Lady Gray by Robin Gray—Maria by Melzar—by imp. Highflyer—by imp. Fearnaught—by Ariel—by Jack of Diamonds—imp. Diamond by Cullen Arabian—Lady Thigh by Croft’s Partner—by Greyhound—Sophonisba’s dam by[Pg 15] Curwen’s Bay Barb—by D’Arcy’s Chestnut Arabian—by White-shirt—Old Montague mare.

Baden-Baden started five times at two years old, won one, lost four. He was unplaced at Lexington, Ky., for sweepstakes, one mile, won by Glentina in 1:45½. He ran second at Louisville, Ky., for the Belle Meade Stakes, three-quarters of a mile, won by McWhirter in 1:17. Same meeting ran second to Belle of the Meade for the Sanford Stakes, one mile, in 1:44¼. Same meeting ran second to Belle of the Meade, 100 lbs. each, for a sweepstakes, one mile, in 1:44¼, the best on record, and at Nashville won the Young America Stakes, one mile, in 1:46¾, beating King William, Barbara, Joe Burt and Alice Murphy.

He has the following engagements: The Belle Meade Stake No. 2, 2 miles, the Suwanee Stakes, 2 mile heats, Nashville Fall meeting; the Clark Stakes, 2 miles, Louisville spring meeting; the Kentucky St. Leger, 2 miles, and the Galt House Stakes, two mile heats, fall meeting, at Louisville, Ky.; the Dixie Stakes, 2 miles, at Baltimore; the Belmont, 1½ miles, the Jerome, 2 miles and All Aged stakes 1½ miles at Jerome Park; the Jersey Derby, 1½ miles, and the Robbins, 2 miles, at Long Branch; the Travers, 1¾ miles, and Kenner, 2 miles, at Saratoga, and the Woodburn Stakes, 2½ miles, at Jerome Park in 1878.

 

SUMMARY

The Kentucky Derby, for three-year-olds; $50 p. p., with $1,500 added; $200 to second horse. One and a half miles (41 subscribers). Value $3,550.

D. Swigert’s ch c Baden-Baden, by imp. Australian, dam Lavender, 100 lbs., Walker 1
H. P. McGrath’s br c Leonard, by Longfellow, dam Colleen Bawn, 100 lbs., Swim 2
[Pg 16]Smallwood & Co.’s ch c King William, by Foster, dam by imp. Albion, 100 lbs., Bailey 3
J. T. Williams’ b g Vera Cruz, by Virgil, dam Regan, 97 lbs., Murphy 0
J. J. Merrill’s b c Odd Fellow, by Longfellow, dam Magnolia, 100 lbs., Williams 0
A. Buford’s ch c McWhirter, by Enquirer, dam Ontario, 100 lbs., H. Moore 0
Geo. H. Rice’s br c Malvern, by Melbourne, jr., dam Magnetta, 100 lbs., S. Jones 0
F. B. Harper’s gr f Early Light, by Longfellow, dam Fannie Wells, 97 lbs., W. James 0
Johnson & Mills’ b g Dan K., by imp. Bonnie Scotland, dam Jennie June, 97 lbs., McGrath 0
D. Swigert’s b c Lisbon, by imp. Phaeton, dam imp. Lady Love, 100 lbs., Douglass 0
L. B. Field’s b c Headlight, by Bayonet, dam Olivia, 100 lbs., Shelton 0
Time—2:38

Betting—Leonard, $400; Field, $430.

 

 


FOURTH DERBY 1878

No better evidence would be wanted of the popularity and growing interest in racing than was the case to-day, the opening of the Spring meeting of the Louisville Jockey Club. The club have struck the keynote of success in throwing open the inner field free to the public, which was graced to-day by some six or eight thousand people, as well behaved and orderly an assemblage as has ever been seen collected together. They came on foot, in every sort and kind of vehicles, and the grand stand and every other available space was full to overflowing to witness the first day, which gave one of the best races ever witnessed in America. But we must not anticipate our report. The sport[Pg 17] proved to be of an interesting and most exciting character, and those who were present were more than repaid. This Association has been extremely fortunate in the way of weather, and to-day was no exception to the rule. The track was in admirable order, but many thought it was fully two seconds slow. The day was fine and springlike, a slight breeze tempering the otherwise warm rays of the sun. The fields, considering the number of horses on the grounds, were not as large as many anticipated, but as the favorites were overthrown, the crowd shouted themselves hoarse with joy.

For the Kentucky Derby, out of 56 nominations nine splendid colts faced the starter. Himyar was such a big favorite, 3 to 1 over the field, that he was left out of the pools, and Day Star was next in favor, closely pushed by Bergundy and Leveller. The result is easily told. Day Star made all his running and won the race like the first-class colt that he is, just as he did the Blue Ribbon at Lexington. Himyar was miserably ridden, and ran fully sixty or seventy-five yards farther in the race than was necessary. This defeat does not lessen him in our estimation, and we look upon him as the greatest colt of the year, with Day Star little inferior.

After three or four false starts the lot were sent away to a capital one, except for Charlie Bush, Bergundy, and the favorite, Himyar, who seemed to hang fire, which enabled the lot to get some six to ten lengths the start. At the half-mile pole Day Star was first, McHenry second, Respond third, Leveller fourth, Solicitor fifth, Earl of Beaconsfield sixth, Charlie Bush seventh, Burgundy eighth, and Himyar ninth. Day Star cut out the work at rapid rate, no change occurring at the three-quarter pole. Day Star passed the stand two lengths in front of McHenry, Respond third, Leveller fourth, Himyar fifth, Charlie Bush sixth, Solicitor seventh, Earl of Beaconsfield eighth, and Burgundy, who was[Pg 18] knocked to his knees on the lower turn, ninth. Day Star held his lead round the turn and after passing the quarter-pole; Himyar, who was ridden miserably, running on the extreme outside on the turn, took second place, with Leveller third. The race was now over; Day Star was never headed and won easily by two lengths, the spur being freely applied with an occasional touch of the whip in the last quarter; Himyar second, four lengths in front of Leveller, third, followed by Solicitor, McHenry, Respond, Burgundy, Earl of Beaconsfield, and Charlie Bush in the order named. Quarter 25; half 50; three-quarters 1:16½; mile 1:43; mile and a quarter 2:09¼; the race 2:37¼.

 

DESCRIPTION OF WINNER

Day Star is a chestnut colt, with star and light stripe down the face, three white stockings, a little white on the left hind pastern, and gray hairs scattered through the flank. He is 15 hands 2½ inches high, is an extremely handsome colt, neat head, stout strong neck, well inclined shoulders, extraordinary short stout back, well coupled, broad flat ribs, drops down full in the flank, good hips and quarters, immense stifles, broad flat legs which he keeps well under him and has an extra turn of speed. Day Star was bred by Jno. M. Clay, Esq., Ashland, near Lexington, Ky., and purchased a yearling by T. J. Nichols, Paris, Ky., for $825, by Star Davis out of Squeez’em by Lexington, her dam Skedaddle by imp. Yorkshire, out of Magnolia, by imp. Glencoe, the dam of Daniel Boone, Kentucky Gilroy, &c., &c. Day Star has a double Glencoe cross through his sire Star Davis, and his great grandam Magnolia.

 

SUMMARY

The Kentucky Derby, for three-year-olds; $50 p. p., with $1,500 added; second to have $200. Dash of 1½ miles. [Pg 19]56 nominations, three of whom are dead. Value $4,150. Colts 100 lbs., fillies 97 lbs.

T. J. Nichols’ ch c Day Star, by Star Davis, dam Squeez’em, Carter 1
B. G. Thomas’ b c Himyar, by Alarm, dam Hira, Robinson 2
R. H. Owen’s b c Leveller, by Lever, dam Sly Boots, Swim 3
L. P. Tarlton, Jr.’s b c Solicitor by Enquirer, dam Sallie, Edward 0
Gen. A. Buford’s ch c McHenry, by Enquirer, dam Ontario, James 0
Rodes & Carr’s b c Respond, by Enquirer, dam by imp. Bonnie Scotland, Ramey 0
J. M. Wooding’s ch c Burgundy, by imp. Bonnie Scotland, dam La Bluette, L. Jones 0
A. Straus & Co.’s ch c Earl of Beaconsfield, by Enquirer, dam Geneura, Mahoney 0
Jennings & Hunt’s b c Charlie Bush, by John Morgan, dam Annie Bush, Miller 0
Time—2:37¼

Betting—Himyar $305; Field $110. With Himyar out, Day Star, Burgundy and Leveller sold about even.

 

 


FIFTH DERBY 1879

For the Kentucky Derby, Lord Murphy was made the favorite at nearly even against the field, and fully justified the high opinion in which he is held by his friends in running the fastest Kentucky Derby on record. His trainer, George H. Rice, brought him to the post in the pink of order. Though Falsetto and Strathmore were defeated they lost no credit and proved themselves excellent colts, and we should not be surprised to see Falsetto rank yet with the best of the year.

[Pg 20]The entire lot went away like a platoon of cavalry in line to a beautiful start, Gen. Pike in the lead, Strathmore second, Lord Murphy, who got knocked to his knees on the first turn, third, Wissahicon fourth, Trinidad fifth, One Dime sixth, Ada Glen seventh, Buckner eighth, Falsetto ninth. Half way round the turn the lot were so closely bunched that it was impossible to distinguish the colors in the clouds of dust. At the three-quarter pole Ada Glen was first, lapped by Gen. Pike, Strathmore and Lord Murphy. At the stand Gen. Pike was a head in front of Strathmore second, he lapped by Trinidad, then came the second division a length off, composed of One Dime, Wissahicon, Lord Murphy and Ada Glen, followed by Buckner eighth and Falsetto ninth. They had hardly gone under the string until Strathmore was a length in front of Gen. Pike, who was lapped by Trinidad. Going round the turn the pace was fast, Strathmore still leading at the quarter pole. Just after passing the quarter Lord Murphy took second place, One Dime third, Gen. Pike and Trinidad dropping back. Before reaching the half-mile Lord Murphy lapped and showed in front of Strathmore second, One Dime third, Falsetto fourth. Lord Murphy was a length in front on the lower turn and at the three-quarter pole, Strathmore second, two lengths in front of One Dime third, who was lapped by Falsetto. Entering the stretch Falsetto came with a rush and passed One Dime and Strathmore and half way down lapped Lord Murphy. A most exciting race took place between the pair to within forty yards of the stand, where Lord Murphy drew clear and won the race by a length and a half, Falsetto second, three lengths in front of Strathmore third, followed by Trinidad fourth, Ada Glen fifth, One Dime sixth, Gen. Pike seventh, Buckner eighth, Wissahicon ninth. Mile 1:45; race 2:37.

 [Pg 21]

DESCRIPTION OF WINNER

Lord Murphy (formerly Patmos), bay colt, star and snip running down over the nostrils, with two white heels behind extending nearly half way to the hocks. He stands full 15 hands 3½ inches high, has a neat head and neck, plenty of length, good hips, quarters and stifles, with sound feet and legs. He has a great turn of speed, the first and greatest requisite in a race horse, and is a Lexington looking youngster, and must bring his sire, Pat Malloy, prominently to the front as one of the best sons of Lexington at the stud.

Lord Murphy was bred by J. T. Carter, Gallatin, Tenn., and purchased the spring he was two years old by Messrs. G. W. Darden and G. H. Rice of Nashville, Tenn., by Pat Malloy, out of Wenonah by Capt. Elgee, her dam by imp. Albion, out of a mare by Pacific, running back through Bet Bosley, by imp. Bluster to imported Mare of Harrison of Brandon.

 

SUMMARY

The Kentucky Derby, for three-year-olds, $50 entrance, play or pay, with $1,500 added; $200 to second horse; dash of one mile and a half. Value of stake $3,800. Colts 100 lbs., fillies and geldings 97 lbs. 46 nominations.

Geo. W. Darden & Co.’s br c Lord Murphy, by Pat Malloy, dam Wenonah, Shauer 1
J. W. H. Reynolds’ b c Falsetto, by Enquirer, dam Farfalletta, Murphy 2
George Cadwillader’s b c Strathmore, by Waverly, dam Brenna, Hightower 3
D. Swigert’s br c Trinidad, by Australian, dam Bonnett, Allen 0
G. W. Bowen & Co.’s ch c One Dime, by Wanderer, dam by Scythian, Jones 0
[Pg 22]A. Buford’s General Pike, by Longfellow, dam Nannie McNairy, Stovall 0
H. W. Farris’ ch c Buckner, by Buckden, dam Tick, Edwards 0
H. P. McGrath’s br f Wissahicon, by Leamington, dam Sarong, Hawkins 0
G. D. Wilson’s ch f Ada Glen, by Glenelg, dam Catina, Ramie 0
Time—2:37

Betting—Lord Murphy $175, Strathmore and Falsetto $60 each, Trinidad $45, Ada Glen $25, Field $30.

 

 


SIXTH DERBY 1880

The Derby was booked a moral for Kimball. While it was a great disappointment to his backers to see him lower his colors to Fonso, he lost no credit in the race, for in our judgment it is by odds the best Derby ever run since its inauguration, when everything is taken into consideration. The colts carried five pounds more this year than heretofore, and the track was certainly a second slower than we have seen it any previous year, Fonso covering himself with honor, and must bring his sire prominently to the front. Fonso cut out his own work, did all the running, held the lead from start to finish, and won like a first-class racehorse. The last mile was run in 1:44¼, and the last half in 51¼ seconds, showing it to be a splendid race. Such a performance as that of Kimball would have won five out of six Derbies.

With little or no delay the five went away to a good start, Fonso in the lead, lapped by Kimball, Boulevard third, Bancroft fourth, Quito fifth. Fonso cut out the work at a good pace, and led Kimball by a length at the three-quarters, which he held at the stand, Boulevard half a length from him, third, Quito fourth, Bancroft fifth. Going round the upper turn Fonso increased his lead and passing the quarter was two lengths in front[Pg 23] of Kimball second, Boulevard third, Quito fourth, Bancroft fifth, about a length each separating the last four named. Nearing the half mile Kimball drew up to Fonso, when the latter received a cut of the whip and darted away again, Bancroft taking third place, Boulevard fourth, Quito fifth. It was a beautiful race round the lower turn. Entering the stretch Kimball was at Fonso’s quarters, the race being reduced to a match between the two. Fairly in the home stretch both were whipping, Fonso answering gamely to the three or four licks he received, came away and won a splendid race a little over a length, Kimball second, two lengths in front of Bancroft third, he a length in front of Boulevard fourth, and Quito four lengths from him finished fifth. Half mile 53¼, three-quarters 1:19¾, mile 1:46¼, race 2:37½. The mile from the stand back to the stand was run in 1:44¼, and the last half mile in 51¼ seconds.

 

DESCRIPTION OF WINNER

Fonso is a dark chestnut colt, with a star and two white feet behind up over the pasterns. He has grown and thickened greatly since last year, and stands full 15¾ hands high. He is a very neat, wiry colt, with a good head and rather short neck, which runs into well inclined shoulders. He has great length of body, deep through the heart, good hips and stifles with sound feet and legs. He has the best of tempers, and is rather inclined to need forcing to make him run.

He was bred by A. J. Alexander, Woodburn Farm, Spring Station, Ky., and purchased as a yearling by J. S. Shawhan, Shawhan, Ky., for $200, by King Alfonso, out of imp. Weatherwitch by Weatherbit, her dam by Irish Birdcatcher, out of Colocynth.

 [Pg 24]

SUMMARY

The Kentucky Derby, for three-year-olds, $100 entrance, half forfeit, with $1,500 added, of which $200 to second. 1½ miles, 47 entries, four of whom are dead. Value $3,850.

J. S. Shawhan’s ch c Fonso, by King Alfonso, dam imp Weatherwitch, 105 lbs., Lewis 1
W. Cortrill’s ch c Kimball, by Buckden, dam Meta H., 105 lbs., Lakeland 2
M. Young’s ch c Bancroft, by Bonnie Scotland, dam Planchette, 105 lbs., Murphy 3
W. C. McGavock & Co.’s ch c Boulevard, by Bonnie Scotland, dam Mariposa, 105 lbs., Allen 0
Dwyer Bros.’ b c Quito, by King Alfonso, dam Crucifix, 105 lbs., McLaughlin 0
Time—2:37½

Betting—Kimball $700, Quito $362, Fonso $222, Bancroft $50, Boulevard $——.

 

 


SEVENTH DERBY 1881

On Tuesday morning, “Derby Day,” the sun rose clear and not a cloud was to be seen, which with westerly wind was the precursor of a gloriously fine day. The attendance was very large. All the stands and betting enclosures were inconveniently crowded, and in the inner field the rails for near a quarter of a mile were lined with people from six to ten deep, while the field, clad in the greenest of spring verdure, was thickly dotted over with every variety of conveyance, from the cart to the splendid coach and landau.

For the Kentucky Derby, only half a dozen sported silk for this valuable and important event. Hindoo was such a big favorite that little money was wagered on him, he being the favorite at 5 to 2 over the field. The race[Pg 25] was never in doubt, but Hindoo had to have the whip, his jockey giving him two raps as he entered the stretch, and he won easy at the finish by four lengths, Lelex beating Alfambra half a length for second place. The official time of the race, 2:40, is not correct, but will have to stand. The party throwing the flag threw it as soon as the drum tapped, long before the horses reached the pole. The correct time is 2:38½.

Calycanthus was not disposed to join his horses, but was finally brought up, Lelex in the lead, Calycanthus second, Hindoo third, Getaway fourth, Alfambra fifth, Sligo sixth. Before reaching the three-quarter pole Calycanthus took the lead, with Lelex second, Hindoo third. Passing the stand Calycanthus was half a length in front of Hindoo, second, who was a like distance ahead of Lelex, third, followed by Sligo, Alfambra and Getaway. At the quarter Hindoo was a head in front of Calycanthus, Lelex third, Sligo fourth. Before reaching the half Lelex was a length in front and the cry went up that Hindoo, who was second, was beaten, Sligo third. On the lower turn Hindoo moved up and showed in front, and on entering the stretch began to loaf a little, and his jockey gave him a couple of raps with the whip as a reminder, and he came away and won easy at the finish by four lengths. Lelex beat Alfambra a half length for second place, after a whipping race home. Sligo two lengths from Alfambra, fourth, Getaway fifth, Calycanthus sixth. Mile, 1:47½; race, 2:40.

 

DESCRIPTION OF WINNER AND PEDIGREE

Hindoo is a dark bay colt, with a star in his forehead and a slight number of gray hairs running down his face, and right hind foot white up to the pastern. He has grown and thickened since last year, and will make a 16-hand horse. His head is[Pg 26] plain but intelligent, and he has a stout neck, well inclined shoulders, stout middle piece, great depth through the heart, a trifle long in the back, good hips, quarters, and stifles, with sound feet and legs, and his action when extended is easy and frictionless. Hindoo was bred by D. Swigert, Stockwood farm, Spring Station, Ky., and purchased at two-years-old by his present owners for $15,000. He started nine times at two-years-old and won seven. He has started twice this season and won the Blue Ribbon 1½ miles at Lexington, Ky., in 2:38, and the Kentucky Derby, 1½ miles, at Louisville, in 2:40. He has twenty-four more engagements this year, and, barring accidents, in our opinion, they all lay at his mercy.

 

SUMMARY

The Kentucky Derby, for three-year-olds; $100 each, half forfeit, or only $20 if declared out by May 1st, 1880, and $40 if declared out by May 1st, 1881, with $1,500 added; $200 to second, 1½ miles. (62 subscribers, of whom 9 declared, and two of whom are void by death of nominator). Value $4,610. Colts 105 lbs., fillies and geldings 102 lbs.

Dwyer Bros,’ b c Hindoo, by Virgil, dam Florine by Lexington; McLaughlin 1
B. G. Thomas’ b g Lelex, by Lelaps, dam War Reel; A. Allen 2
G. W. Bowen & Co.’s b c Alfambra, by King Alfonso, dam Luileme; Evans 3
H. P. McGrath’s ch c Sligo, by Tom Bowling dam Petty; Donohue 0
M. Young’s b c Getaway, by Enquirer, dam by Colossus; Fisher 0
H. P. McGrath’s b c Calycanthus, by Tom Bowling, dam Oleander; G. Smith 0
Time—2:40

Betting—Hindoo $500, Lelex $70, McGrath $70, Alfambra $40, Getaway $25.

 

 


[Pg 27]

EIGHTH DERBY 1882

The fourteen candidates promptly assembled at the post, and at the fourth attempt the lot were sent away to a miserable, scattering start, Harry Gilmore in the lead, Babcock second, Robert Bruce third, Bengal fourth, Runnymede fifth, followed by the Pat Malloy-Canary Bird colt, Apollo, Wallensee, Lost Cause, Wendover, Monogram, Highflyer, Newsboy and Mistral, the latter getting away six lengths behind Newsboy. Passing the three-quarter pole Babcock was first, Bruce second, Harry Gilmore third, Bengal fourth, Runnymede fifth, Apollo sixth, the rest tailed off. Passing the stand Bruce and Harry Gilmore were head and head, a length in front of Babcock third, Runnymede fourth, Bengal fifth, Apollo sixth, the rest out of the race. No change on the turn, but at the quarter Harry Gilmore was a half length in front of Bruce second, a length ahead of Runnymede third. Before reaching the half Bruce, having shot his bolt, retired, Babcock taking second place, Runnymede third, Bengal fourth, Apollo fifth. The five took closer order on the turn, and entering the stretch Harry Gilmore was a half length in front of Runnymede second, Babcock and Apollo lapped, Bengal close up. Half way down it looked to be Runnymede’s race, he running easy with his mouth wide open, and the shout went up that he would win, but inside the furlong pole he quit, and Apollo coming with a wet sail after a driving race won by a length, Runnymede second, two lengths ahead of Bengal third, followed by Harry Gilmore, Monogram, Babcock, Wendover, Mistral, Wallensee, Pat Malloy colt, Highflyer, Newsboy, Bruce and Lost Cause in the order named. First half 51½, first mile 1:46¼, mile from stand to stand 1:48¾, race 2:40¼.

 

SUMMARY

The Kentucky Derby, for three-year-olds, $100 entrance, half forfeit, $20 if declared May 1st, 1881; $40 if[Pg 28] declared May 1st, 1882, with $1,500 added; second to have $200. 1½ miles. 64 entries. Colts 105 lbs, fillies and geldings 102 lbs.

Morris & Patton’s ch g Apollo by Ashstead or Lever dam. Rebecca T. Price; 102 lbs., Hurd 1
Dwyer Bros.’ br c Runnymede by Billet, dam Mercedes; 105 lbs., McLaughlin 2
Bowen & Co.’s br c Bengal 3 y o by Billet dam by Mahomet; 105 lbs., Fisher 3
J. B. Sellers & Co.’s ch c Wendover by Bullion, dam Experiment; 105 lbs., Hovey 0
W. Cottrill’s ch c Harry Gilmore by Imp. Buckden, dam by Wagner; 105 lbs., Gibbs 0
P. C. Fox’s ch c by Pat Malloy, dam Canary Bird; 105 lbs., Henderson 0
A. Jackson’s b c Robt. Bruce by Rouseau, dam Barbary; 105 lbs., L. Jones 0
W. Lakeland’s ch g Babcock by Buckden, dam Ethel Sprague; 102 lbs., Kelso 0
T. J. Megibben’s b c Newsboy by Enquirer, dam Mollie Hambleton; 105 lbs., Quantrell 0
Rodes & Carr’s b c Wallensee by Waverley, dam Phasma; 107 lbs., Parker 0
L. P. Tarlton’s b c Mistral by Virgil, dam Glenella; 105 lbs., Stoval 0
M. Young’s ch g Lost Cause by King Alfonso, dam Nellie Knight; 102 lbs., Taylor 0
M. Young’s b g Monogram by Buckden, dam Monomania; 106 lbs., Edwards 0
G. Kuhns & Co.’s ch c Highflyer by Hiawatha, dam Sue Wynne; 105 lbs., Brown 0
Time—2:40¼

Betting—Runnymede $700, Mistral $100, Wendover $100, Lost Cause $80, Robert Bruce $60, Bengal $60, Field $150.

 [Pg 29]

DESCRIPTION AND PEDIGREE OF WINNER.

Apollo is a chestnut gelding, bred by D. Swigert, Preakness Stud, Lexington, Ky. He stands 15 hands half an inch high, and the only white is on the left hind pastern. He has a rather heavy, plain head, wide jowls, good stout neck, which fills up his shoulders well, mounts high on the withers, deep chest, good length, arched loin, long quarters and hips, with excellent, clean and bony legs. Apollo is by Imp. Ashstead or Lever (no doubt by the latter), out of Rebecca T. Price by The Colonel, her dam by Imp. Margrave, out of Rosalie Summers by Sir Charles, her dam Mischief by Virginian, out of a mare by Imp. Bedford, &c.

 

 


NINTH DERBY 1883

If the prospects of a successful meeting were somewhat dampened by the heavy fall of rain for three days previous to its inauguration, ample amends were made for the postponement by the bright and genial sunshine that ushered in Wednesday morning, and the large and brilliant crowd that was in attendance on Derby Day. This was more to be wondered at for the reason that the weather had been so unseasonable, great coats and a fire feeling remarkably comfortable. Indeed in looking at the vast sea of upturned faces, to be seen in the Grand Stand, the lawn and the field, we were reminded of witnessing our first English Derby, when Umpire, the first American candidate who had ever appeared for this classic event, failed to obtain a place, and the race was won by Thormanby, a son of the renowned Alice Hawthorne, and what is remarkable, it happened on the same day, just twenty-three years ago.

At the first attempt the seven went away to a good start, Leonatus in the lead, Raglan second, Chatter third, followed by Kellar, Pike’s Pride, Drake Carter and Ascender. Before reaching the[Pg 30] three-quarter pole Chatter had taken second place to Leonatus, Raglan third, followed by Ascender, Kellar, Pride’s Pike and Drake Carter. There was no change at the stand, and Leonatus was a length in front of Chatter at the quarter, Raglan third, Carter fourth, Ascender fifth, Kellar sixth, Pike’s Pride last. Before reaching the half Ascender made a spurt and was third, but he soon died away, Drake Carter taking third place. The truth of the whole affair summed up in a nut-shell is that Leonatus took the lead, made all his own running, was never headed, and won it in a big gallop by three lengths, Drake Carter second, a half length in front of Lord Raglan third, Ascender fourth, Kellar fifth, Pike’s Pride sixth, Chatter last. First quarter 27½, half 54, mile 1:49, race 2:43.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE WINNER

Leonatus is a rich bay, blaze face, and two white heels behind above the pasterns. He stands full 15¾ hands high, and is certainly one of the smoothest and neatest sons of his distinguished sire. He has a neat, handsome head, stout neck, well inclined shoulders, good middle piece, with great length, excellent back and loins, and full hips and quarters, on sound good legs. He is rapid in motion, and keeps legs well under him. He was bred by Mr. J. Henry Miller, Lexington, Ky., and sold last winter to his present owners for $5,000. He is engaged in fifteen more stakes this year.

 

SUMMARY

The Kentucky Derby, for three-year-olds, $100 entrance, half forfeit, $20 if declared May 1st, 1882; $40 if declared May 1st, 1883, with $1,500 added; of which $200 to second, 1½ miles. 50 entries, 3 void, 1 declared May, 1882, 8 declared May 1883; value $4,020.

Chinn & Morgan’s b c Leonatus by Longfellow dam Semper Felix; 105 lbs., Donohue 1
[Pg 31]Morris & Patton’s b g Drake Carter by Ten Broeck, dam Platina; 102 lbs., Spillman 2
N. Armstrong’s ch c Lord Raglan by Ten Broeck, dam Catina; 105 lbs., Quantrell 3
R. C. Pate’s b g Ascender by Buckden, dam Ascension; 102 lbs., Stoval 0
George Evan’s ch f Pike’s Pride by Imp King Ban, dam Lou Pike; 102 lbs., Evans 0
W. C. McCurdy’s b c Chatter by Whisper, dam Clarina; 105 lbs., Henderson 0
J. R. Watts’ ch c Standiford Kellar by Great Tom, dam Blondin; 105 lbs., Blaylock 0
Time—2:43

Betting—Ascender $275, Leonatus $260, Raglan $135, Carter $125, Kellar $41, Chatter $35, Pike’s Pride $20.

 

 


TENTH DERBY 1884

Every year the interest in the Kentucky Derby increases, and the desire to win also increases with breeders and owners, until it is looked upon as a mark of merit for the colt who is fortunate enough to bear off the Blue Ribbon of the Turf. More interest clusters in and about this race than any other of the year in America, and we have heard a number of prominent breeders and turfmen say that they would rather win the Kentucky Derby than any two events upon the American turf.

Bob Miles was slightly the favorite at the start, closely pressed by Buchanan and Audrain, and although the quality of the nine competitors was a little below the average that have run for the race, it seemed to lend an increased interest to the result. The horses were keenly criticised on their appearance and condition and little knots could be seen gathered together consulting as to who would win. Audrain who got bumped about did not run up to his form[Pg 32] and his race for the Blue Ribbon Stakes at Lexington, in the mud, seemed to have taken away his speed. The Admiral behaved badly, trying to bolt in the first quarter, and did run out at the head of the home stretch. Buchanan won quite easily, and how much he had in hand we are unable to say. Bob Miles seemed to labor from the start, and the running proved what we have said all the spring—that the Derby colts of this spring, taken as a class, are far inferior to any previous year.

Nine went to the post and they were started out of the chute. After two or three breaks away the lot went off to a pretty start, Bob Miles in the lead, Powhattan III. second, Audrain third, followed by The Admiral, Loftin, Bob Cook, Exploit, Buchanan and Boreas. Entering the main track The Admiral was in the lead and tried to bolt, Bob Miles second, lapped by Loftin, the remainder of the lot bunched and in close order. Passing the stand The Admiral was two lengths in front of Loftin second, a length ahead of Powhattan third, followed in close order by Bob Miles, Exploit, Audrain, Bob Cook, Buchanan and Boreas. There was no change at the quarter except Bob Miles had dropped back to seventh place. Passing half they began to take closer order, The Admiral still leading about a length, Loftin second, Bob Miles, who got the whip on the back stretch, third, Bob Cook fourth, the rest bunched. Before reaching the three-quarters Loftin took the lead, The Admiral behaving badly and dropping back, Buchanan and Bob Miles lapped second and third, Audrain fourth. Entering the stretch Buchanan took the lead and showed signs of an inclination to run out, but Murphy soon straightened him and he came away and won quite easily by a length and a half, Loftin second three parts of a length in front of Audrain third, Bob Miles fourth, followed by Bob Cook, Boreas, The Admiral, Exploit and Powhattan III. in the order named. First half 52½, first mile 1:47, race 2:40¼.

 [Pg 33]

DESCRIPTION OF WINNER

Buchanan is a good chestnut with a small star, and stands full 16 hands high. He is a very handsome colt, with a level and symmetrical frame on sound legs. The most fastidious critic could but be pleased with his general formation and racing-like look. He was bred jointly by Capt. Cottrill, Mobile, Ala., and J. W. Guest, Danville, Ky. The latter sold his half interest to Capt. Cottrill, who in turn sold a half interest in him and his stable in training to Capt. S. S. Brown of Pittsburgh, Pa. This is Buchanan’s maiden win. He started six times at two years old, was second five times and third once. He has started twice at three years old. He was unplaced in the Belle Meade Stakes at Nashville, 1¼ miles. He bolted and finished second but second place was given to Exploit on a claim of a foul, and won the Derby above. He has twenty-four additional three-year-old engagements. He is by Buckden, out of Mrs. Grigsby by Wagner, her dam Folly by Imp. Yorkshire, out of Imp. Fury by Imp. Priam, &c.

 

SUMMARY

Third Race—The Kentucky Derby, for three-year-olds, $100 entrance, half forfeit, $20 if declared May 1st, 1883; $40 if declared May 1st, 1884, with $1,500 added; of which $200 to second. 1½ miles. 51 subs, of whom 16 declared and 3 dead. Value $4,190.

W. Cottrill’s ch c Buchanan by Buckden, dam Mrs. Grigsby; 110 lbs., Murphy 1
R. A. Johnson & Co.’s b c Loftin by Monarchist, dam Lilly Babbitt; 110 lbs., Sayres 2
T. J. Megibben’s ch c Audrain by Springbok, dam Alme; 110 lbs., Fishburn 3
J. T. Williams’ ch c Bob Miles by Pat Malloy, dam Dolly Morgan; 110 lbs., McLaughlin 0
[Pg 34]Clay & Woodford’s br c Admiral by Vedette, dam Regatta; 110 lbs., C. Taylor 0
R. A. Johnson & Co.’s b c Powhattan III. by Glenelg, dam Florence I; 110 lbs., D. Williams 0
Wooding & Puryear’s b c Exploit by Enquirer, dam Fanny Malone; 110 lbs., Conkling 0
R. M. McClellan’s b c Boreas by Billet, dam Maggie Morgan; 110 lbs., O’Brien 0
Time—2:40¼

Betting—Bob Miles $440, Audrain $400, Buchanan $400, Loftin $160, field $240.

 

 


ELEVENTH DERBY 1885

A more beautiful morning could not have been made for the opening day of the Louisville Jockey Club. Not a cloud was to be seen, and the genial rays of the sun made the day most charming. The Kentucky Derby grows in interest with each recurring year, and this was its eleventh renewal. There is more ante-post betting on it than on any race in this country, and the winner is generally awarded the highest honor as a three-year old.

The track was in splendid order, except the chute, which has not been galloped over and was deep and dusty. The grounds looked neat and clean with its holiday suit of whitewash, which was a pretty contrast with the emerald green of the grass on the inner field.

The attendance was immense, the largest ever seen on a race track in Kentucky save the Ten Broeck-Mollie McCarthy match. The inner field was full of all kinds of vehicles and conveyances, while the training track was packed full of people from the head of the homestretch down past the grand stand and well around the turn, nearly half a mile of people almost solidly[Pg 35] packed. Here and there could be seen a number of heads on the turn peeping out under the rails, reminding one of a lot of frogs coming out to sun themselves. It was a glorious sight to see—the grand stand literally packed with people while the inner field and every available place, and the stables, tents and booths outside of the main course were alive with people, the hum and noise coming up from thousands of throats reminded one of a grand chorus from a distant orchestra.

The race of the year, the Kentucky Derby came, and after the ten were weighed in the questioning never ceased as to who would win until it was finally decided. We are perfectly satisfied in our own mind that Bersan would have won if Favor, his stable companion, had not crossed and interfered with him to such an extent at the vital part of the race—the homestretch. The best colt was second, and barring accidents he will demonstrate it before the year is over. He will make a grand race horse. We would not rob Joe Cotton of his laurels honestly won, still we believe Bersan is a better race horse over a distance of ground.

Keokuk cut out the running, Playfair second, Irish Pat third, followed by Clay Pate, Thistle, Bersan, Joe Cotton, Favor, Lord Coleridge and Ten Booker. Entering the main track at the three-quarter pole Keokuk led, with Favor second, Joe Cotton third, rest well bunched. Passing the stand Keokuk still led, Bersan second, Lord Coleridge third, the pace slow, Irish Pat fourth, followed in close order by Playfair, Favor, Joe Cotton, Thistle, Clay Pate and Ten Booker. Bersan showed in the lead at the quarter, Keokuk third, Irish Pat fourth, rest bunched. At the half Bersan still led, Favor second, Joe Cotton third, and it looked like a battle between the stables of Williams and Morris & Patton. Entering the stretch Joe Cotton showed in front on the outside with Favor next, and Bersan at the pole third, Thistle[Pg 36] fourth. Just after fairly getting into straight running Favor swerved over on Bersan, cutting him off and making him lose several lengths. Bersan had to pull back, and less than two hundreds yards from home was two lengths behind Joe Cotton, gaining at every stride. Joe Cotton managed to beat him on the post by a short neck. Ten Booker, who came very fast at the finish, was a length off third, followed by Favor, Thistle, Keokuk, Clay Pate, Playfair, Irish Pat and Lord Coleridge. The first half 52, three-quarters 1:19, first mile 1:44, race 2:37½.

 

SUMMARY

Third Race—The Kentucky Derby, for three-year-olds; $100 entrance, h f; $20 if declared by May 1st, 1884; $40 if declared by May 1st, 1885; $1,500 added, of which $200 to second. 1½ miles. 69 entries. 4 void.

J. T. Williams’ ch c Joe Cotton, by King Alfonso, dam Inverness; 110 lbs., Henderson 1
Morris & Patton’s b c Bersan, by Ten Broeck, dam Sallie M.; 110 lbs., West 2
M. Young’s b c Ten Booker, by Ten Broeck, dam Nellie Booker; 110 lbs., Stovall 3
Morris & Patton’s b c Favor, by Pat Malloy, dam Favorite; 110 lbs., Thompkins 0
E. Corrigan’s ch c Irish Pat, by Pat Malloy, dam Ethel; 110 lbs., Murphy 0
P. G. Speth’s ch c Thistle, by Great Tom, dam Ivy Leaf; 110 lbs., Blaylock 0
W. Cottrill’s ch g Lord Coleridge, by Buckden, dam Catina; 107 lbs., Hughes 0
R. C. Pate’s b c Clay Pate, by Enquirer, dam Wampee; 110 lbs., Withers 0
G. W. Darden & Co.’s ch g Playfair, by Plenipo, dam Annie C.; 107 lbs., Conkling 0
[Pg 37]W. P. Hunt’s br c Keokuk, by Long Taw, dam Etta Powell; 110 lbs., Fishburne 0
Time—2:37¼.

Betting—Joe Cotton $500, Bersan and Favor $215, Ten Booker $75, Irish Pat $40, Playfair and Thistle $35 each, Lord Coleridge $25, field $30.

 

 


TWELFTH DERBY 1886

While the weather was cloudy and hot and looked threatening, the rain held off during the day. The track while not so fast as we have seen it, was in capital condition, safe and good. The attendance was very large, fully ten thousand people were on the grounds. The populace availed themselves of free entrance to the inner field, which had a large number of people, on foot and in all kinds of vehicles. The inside or training track was lined with people from the timing stand to near the three-quarter pole. The Grand Stand and betting ring was crowded to overflowing, and the ladies were out in large numbers. For the twelfth Derby, ten started, Ben Ali was the favorite, Free Knight second choice and Blue Wing third. Ben Ali won it is true, but we doubt whether he was up to concert pitch, but we confess Blue Wing is a much better colt than we gave him credit of being, and think he ought to have won the race. He ran wide on the turn; his jockey let him swerve just at the critical point of the race, and was only beaten three parts of a length. Free Knight ran a good race—indeed it is the best field we have seen since Aristide’s year. There is hardly a starter in the race but what will pay his way and be a useful horse. This is the third time the race has been won by a son of Virgil—Vagrant, Hindoo and Ben Ali—and Vera Cruz would have won save an accident at the start.[Pg 38] Seven of the starters were bred in Kentucky—Ben Ali, Blue Wing, Free Knight, Sir Joseph, Grimaldi, Harrodsburg and Masterpiece; and Lafitte and Jim Gray are by Kentucky owned stallions, and the sire and dam of Lijero were bred in Kentucky, showing the State still holds the highest place in the production of the horse. Take it all through it was the best race, so far as interest and contest are concerned, ever run for the Derby or any other race, and we doubt if such a field and such a contest will be witnessed again during the year. Every year seems to add interest to this great race. It will be seen by the time made that the pace was a hot one from start to finish, and few such races from the time standard have been run so early in the year with 118 lbs. up and by the way this is the first year the weights have been 118 lbs., and is the fastest run race.

The start was a beautiful one, the ten horses going away on even terms, Blue Wing in the lead, Grimaldi second, Masterpiece third, followed by Sir Joseph, Ben Ali, Free Knight, Jim Gray, Harrodsburg, Lijero, and Lafitte in order named. Masterpiece took the lead as they entered the main track, Grimaldi second, Blue Wing third, rest well up bunched. Passing the stand Masterpiece still led, Harrodsburg second, Jim Gray third, Free Knight fourth, rest in close order. There was no change at the quarter, but the pace was still hot. Nearing the half, Free Knight was a head in front of Harrodsburg second, Jim Gray a head behind him third, with Ben Ali, Blue Wing and Masterpiece close up and bunched. At the three-quarter pole, entering the homestretch, Free Knight was a half length in front of Ben Ali second, Blue Wing third. Now commenced the real struggle for the race. All three were driving, Ben Ali and Blue Wing were head and head at the furlong pole, Free Knight a half length behind. Blue Wing swerved to the outside and lost some ground, and Ben Ali gained a length or more[Pg 39] when he entered the stretch. Fitzpatrick rode wide on the turn, carrying Blue Wing out, which enabled Ben Ali to take the rail. After a driving race home, Ben Ali won by a scant three parts of a length, Blue Wing second, two lengths in front of Free Knight third, followed by Lijero, Jim Gray, Grimaldi, Sir Joseph, Harrodsburg, Lafitte and Masterpiece in the order named. Time—half 50, three-quarters 1:16, mile 1.43, mile and a quarter 2:10, race 2:36½.

 

SUMMARY

Third Race—The Kentucky Derby, for three-year olds; $100 entrance, h f; or only $10 if declared on or before May 1, 1885 or $20 if declared on or before May 1, 1886; money to accompany declaration; with $1,500 added, of which $300 to second and $150 to third. 1½ miles. 107 entries 3 void by death of nominator, 5 declared May 1st, 1885 and 52 May 1st, 1886. Value $5,440.

J. B. Haggin’s br c Ben Ali by Virgil, dam Ulrica; 118 lbs., Duffy 1
Melbourne Stable’s b c Blue Wing by Billet, dam Mundane; 118 lbs., Garrison 2
P. Corrigan’s b c Free Knight by Ten Broeck, dam Belle Knight; 118 lbs., Fitzpatrick 3
S. S. Brown’s b c Masterpiece by Blue Mantle, dam Phoebe Mayflower; 118 lbs., West 0
E. J. Baldwin’s b c Lijero by Rutherford, dam Jennie D.; 118 lbs., I. Murphy 0
Gray & Co.’s b c Jim Gray by Ten Broeck, dam Alice Gray; 118 lbs., Withers 0
J. G. Greener & Co.’s br c Lafitte by Longfellow, dam Sue Wynne; 118 lbs., Stoval 0
R. A. Swigert’s ch c Sir Joseph by Glenelg, dam Susie Linwood; 118 lbs., Conkling 0
J. & J. Swigert’s b c Grimaldi by Lisbon, dam Nora; 118 lbs., I. Lewis 0
[Pg 40]Chinn & Morgan’s ch c Harrodsburg by Fellowcraft, dam Bonnie May; 118 lbs., J. Riley 0
Time—2:36½

Betting—Ben Ali $500, Free Knight $370, Blue Wing $260, Jim Gray $115; field $140.

 

 


THIRTEENTH DERBY 1887

The morning was cloudy and threatening, and it rained all around but fortune seems to favor the Louisville Jockey Club, and only a few drops of rain fell during the day. The attendance was very large, the Grand Stand, betting grounds and inner space were packed with people, so much so that navigation was almost impossible; the inner field was full of people and vehicles and the crowd lining the inner fence extended from the head of the stretch down past the Grand Stand and for an eighth of a mile around the first turn.

The Derby was a fairly good race, as the track was slower than many supposed. In our issue of last week we selected Banburg, Jacobin and Jim Gore as the three placed horses, and at the same time stated that the form shown by Montrose at Lexington was not his true form, but was unable to say what was the matter with the colt. We expressed the opinion that we thought Jim Gore would win the Derby if he did not break down in the race, and unfortunately his leg gave away at the half mile pole, so his jockey, Fitzpatrick, stated, and that he could not have lost the race except for the accident. Banburg could not extend himself in the race to-day; he neither had speed or bottom, from some cause, and did not begin to show the form he did at Lexington in the Phoenix Stakes. Montrose took the lead as the lot entered the main stretch, and was never afterwards headed. Taken as a lot the Derby colts this season were[Pg 41] inferior to last year, save and except Jim Gore, who is a real grand young horse, who struggled gamely and finished second, after breaking down a half mile away from the finish.

The start was a beautiful one, Jacobin in the lead, Ban Yan second, Banburg third, followed by Jim Gore, Clarion, Montrose and Pendennis. Entering the stretch Montrose led a length, Ban Yan second, Banburg third, rest bunched. Passing the stand Montrose led a length, Ban Yan second, Banburg third, Jacobin, Jim Gore, Clarion and Pendennis following in close order. No change at the quarter, but at the half Banburg took second place, and they went around the turn pretty closely bunched, Montrose still leading a length. Entering the stretch Montrose still led; Jim Gore who was seen to falter at the half rallied and took second place as they entered the stretch, but was never able to get on even terms with Montrose who held his lead, and won by a length and a half, Jim Gore second a length in front of Jacobin third same in front of Banburg fourth, Clarion fifth, Ban Yan sixth, Pendennis beaten a hundred yards, seventh. First half mile 52, first mile 1:45½, race 2:39¼.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE WINNER

Montrose is a bay colt, blaze face and several white feet, has neat head and neck, rather light body but clean legs, by Duke of Montrose, out of Patti by imp. Billet, her dam Dora by Pat Malloy, out of Etta, Jr. by Bill Alexander, her dam Etta by Star Davis, &c., &c.

 

SUMMARY

Third Race—The Kentucky Derby, for 3-year olds, foals of 1884, $100 entrance, h f $10 if declared on or before May 1st, 1886; $20 if declared on or before May 1st, 1887; money to accompany declarations; with $1,500 added; of which $300 to[Pg 42] second and $150 to third. 1½ miles. 119 entries. 12 paid $10, 66 paid $20, 1 void. Value $5,920.

Labold Bros.’ b c Montrose by Duke of Montrose, dam Patti; 118 lbs., I. Lewis 1
A. G. McCampbell’s b c Jim Gore by Hindoo, dam Katie; 118 lbs., Fitzpatrick 2
R. Lisle’s br c Jacobin by Jils Johnson, dam Agnes; 118 lbs., Stoval 3
J. D. Morrisey’s b g Banburg by King Ban, dam Rosaline; 115 lbs., Blaylock 0
Fleetwood Stable’s ch c Clarion by Whisper, dam Claretta; 118 lbs., Arnold 0
W. O. Scully’s ch c Ban Yan by King Ban, dam Hira; 118 lbs., Godfrey 0
Santa Anita Stable’s b c Pendennis by Virgil, dam Persia; 118 lbs., Murphy 0
Time—2:39¼

Betting—8 to 5 against Banburg, 2 to 1 Jim Gore, 4 to 1 Pendennis, 5 to 1 Jacobin, 6 to 1 Ban Yan, 10 to 1 each Montrose and Clarion.

 

 


FOURTEENTH DERBY 1888

A more raw, cold disagreeable day can hardly be imagined than the opening day of the Louisville Jockey Club. It was cloudy, and a cold, raw wind blew directly across the track from the North; and as they have had no rain for the past fortnight or more, the dust blew in blinding clouds. The track had been watered on the homestretch which helped matters very much. The track was slow, and deep in dust except on the homestretch. The attendance was very large, the people taking advantage of the free entrance to the inner field; the rails were packed, four or five deep, from the three-quarter pole at the head of the stretch to well around the first turn. The Grand Stand, Betting Ring[Pg 43] and lawn in front of the Grand Stand was packed, making locomotion extremely difficult.

Only seven appeared for the fourteenth renewal of the Kentucky Derby, and the Melbourne Stables Gallifet and Alexandria were even against the field. The race is described elsewhere but a few comments are necessary here. Gallifet though the day was raw and cold frothed and fogged greatly between the hind legs and on his neck, showing him to be soft, and not keyed up to concert pitch. Still, notwithstanding his condition we think him the best colt and should have won. He made the pace hot, 51 for the first half mile, was ridden in the deepest and meanest part of the track. With a good jockey he should have won. The Chevalier made an unaccountable bad show and Macbeth made a wonderful improvement on his race at Lexington. He swerved badly at the head of the stretch and seemed like he wanted to go out, but won quite handily at the finish. On Macbeth’s running at Lexington we could not recommend him for a place and selected Gallifet, The Chevalier and White for the placed horses. Gallifet was second, and White third.

The Chevalier led off, Gallifet second, Autocrat third. Entering the main track Zeb Ward led, Alexandria second, White third, rest bunched. Passing the stand Alexandria led Gallifet a head, followed a length off by The Chevalier, White, Autocrat and Zeb Ward. Gallifet took the lead after passing the stand, and led Alexandria a length at the quarter, The Chevalier third. Coming to the half Gallifet led Macbeth two lengths, who was head and head with The Chevalier third, Autocrat fourth. They ran in this order round the lower turn, White moving up to fourth place entering the stretch. Half way down the homestretch Macbeth took the lead and won quite handily by a length, Gallifet second, three lengths in front of White third, Alexandria fourth, The Chevalier fifth, Autocrat sixth, Zeb Ward seventh.[Pg 44] Time—quarter 26¼, half 51, three-quarters 1:18, mile 1.44½, mile and a quarter 2:11¼, race 2:38¼.

 

SUMMARY

For three-year olds, foals of 1886, $100 entrance, h f $10 if declared on or before May 1st, 1887; $20 if declared on or before May 1st, 1888; money to accompany declarations; with $2,500 added; of which $500 to second and $200 to third. 1½ miles. 95 noms.

Chicago Stable’s b c Macbeth II, by Macduff, dam Agnes; 115 lbs., Covington 1
Melbourne Stable’s ch c Gallifet by Falsetto, dam India; 118 lbs., McCarthy 2
W. O. Scully’s ch c White by King Ban, dam Heglaz; 118 lbs., Withers 3
T. J. Clay’s br c The Chevalier by Prince Charlie, dam Miss Haverley; 118 lbs., Lewis 0
D. Gibson’s b c Autocrat by Prince Charlie, dam Blomida; 118 lbs., Hamilton 0
Melbourne Stable’s ch c Alexandria by Falsetto, dam Patrimony; 118 lbs., Jones 0
G. M. Rye’s b c Col. Zeb Ward by Hindoo, dam Galatea; 118 lbs., Blaylock 0
Time—2:38¼

Betting—Even money Melbourne Stable’s pair 3½ to 1 The Chevalier, 10 to 1 each White and Macbeth, 12 to 1 each Zeb Ward and Autocrat.

 

 


FIFTEENTH DERBY 1889

A more disagreeable day for racing could hardly been imagined. It was intensely hot, and the dust so thick you could almost cut it with a knife. The track was watered during the night, but with all the water it did not lay the dust, still it was a great improvement. The attendance was the largest ever known on[Pg 45] the Louisville track except the Ten Broeck and Mollie McCarthy match. The crowd was so great that it was really uncomfortable and almost impossible to move about or get into the betting ring. The free entrance to the field attracted an immense crowd of people and vehicles, the home stretch being twenty or more people deep for its whole length. Notwithstanding the discomforts of the day, it was great racing, and it will be a long time before we shall see such another field of high class three-year olds. Just imagine over a deep dusty track, not fast, for four three-year-olds with 118 lbs., up to a run a mile and a half as good as 2:34½, and you can at once appreciate their high class.

It is our conviction that with a stout armed jockey up Proctor Knott would have won the Derby. There is no complaint against Barnes’s riding as he did the best he could under the circumstances. Proctor Knott is a tremendous big stout colt, heavy headed and no ninety pound boy can hold him or keep his head up. Before going a quarter of a mile he overpowered Barnes, nearly pulling him over his head, and before the race was half finished Barnes was exhausted pulling to keep his head up. With such a jockey as Murphy, McLaughlin, Hayward or Fitzpatrick up we do not believe he could have lost the race. His future racing will tend to prove our opinion. He made all the running as will be seen for a mile and a quarter and then swerved to the outside and lost enough ground to have made him win by two open lengths. We would not detract from the merits of Spokane, the winner, as he is a great race horse, but we think Proctor Knott the greatest youngster we have seen in years.

The eight went away on pretty even terms, Hindoocraft first, Bootmaker second, Spokane third, followed by Proctor Knott, Sportsman, Once Again, Cassius and Outbound. They had not gone fifty yards before Proctor Knott rushed to the front and[Pg 46] led by three lengths as they entered the main track, which he increased to five as they passed the stand, Hindoocraft second, Sportsman third, closely followed by Spokane and Once Again. Proctor Knott held his lead past the quarter, but it was reduced three lengths at the half, Sportsman second, Hindoocraft third, rest well bunched. Coming round the lower turn Spokane took second place, and when they neared the three-quarter pole Barnes was unable to control Proctor Knott and hold his head up, bolted to the outside, and looked like he was going up the chute for a moment. This lost him some three or four lengths and before he could be straightened, Spokane came next to the rails and took the lead. Inside the sixteenth pole Proctor Knott came again, and after a driving race home in which Spokane swerved to the inner rail he managed to beat Proctor Knott on the post by a short throat latch, Once Again two lengths off third, he a head in front of Hindoocraft fourth, followed by Cassius, Sportsman, Outbound and Bootmaker, in the order named. Bootmaker broke down, pulling up quite lame. Time, first 24¾, half a mile 48½, three-quarters 1:14½, mile 1:41½, mile and a quarter 2:09¼, mile and a half 2:34½.

 

SUMMARY

The Kentucky Derby for three-year olds, foals of 1886; $100 entrance, half forfeit, $10 if declared on or before May 1, 1888, $20 if declared on or before May 1, 1889; money to accompany declarations; with $2,500 added, of which $300 to second and $150 to third. 1½ miles. 94 entries. Value $5,520.

N. Armstrong’s ch c Spokane by Hyder Ali—Interpose; 118 lbs., Kiley 1
Scoggan & Bryant’s ch g Proctor Knott by Luke Blackburn—Tallapoosa; 115 lbs., Barnes 2
M. Young’s b c Once Again by Onondaga—Black Maria; 118 lbs., I. Murphy 3
[Pg 47]Hindoocraft, Cassius, Sportsman, Outbound and Bootmaker, 118 each, also ran.
Time—2:34½

Betting—10 to 1 Spokane and Hindoocraft, 3 to 1 Once Again and Bootmaker coupled, 1 to 3 Proctor Knott, 15 to 1 Cassius, 20 to 1 Outbound and Sportsman.

 

 


SIXTEENTH DERBY 1890

Rain fell heavily on Tuesday nearly the entire day, which continued throughout the night and nearly half the day Wednesday, May 14, which made the track a sea of mud and water. Notwithstanding the unfavorable weather and muddy condition of the track the attendance was extremely large, fully up to any preceding day. The Derby was the third race, for which a half dozen put in an appearance. Robespierre was the favorite, even against the field, but he was beaten by Riley and Bill Letcher.

Bill Letcher led off, Outlook second, Palisade third, other three bunched. No change at the three-quarters, but passing the stand Robespierre and Riley were head and head, Outlook third. Going round the turn Robespierre drew clear and led at the quarter with Outlook second, Riley third, Bill Letcher fourth. Before reaching the half Riley was in front, Robespierre second, Bill Letcher third, the race lay between the two. No change at the head of the stretch, Riley leading and running easy, Robespierre driving and Bill Letcher gaining. Riley won handily by a length and a half, Bill Letcher second and a length in front of Robespierre third, Palisade fourth, Prince Fonso, fifth, Outlook sixth. First mile 1:47, the race 2:45. Value to winner, $5,460.

 

SUMMARY

The Kentucky Derby for three-year olds, foals of 1887; $100 entrance, half forfeit, $10 if declared on or before May 1, 1889, $20 if declared on or before May 1, 1890; money to[Pg 48] accompany declarations; with $2,500 added, of which $300 to second and $150 to third. 1½ miles. 115 noms.

E. Corrigan’s b c Riley, by Longfellow, Geneva; 118 lbs., Murphy 1
W. R. Letcher’s b c Bill Letcher, by Longfellow, Ida Lewis; 118 lbs., Allen 2
G. V. Hankins’s br c Robespierre, by Jils Johnson, Agnes; 118 lbs., Francis 3
Prince Fonso 118, Palisade and Outlook 118 also ran.
Time—2:45

Betting—Even Robespierre, 4 to 1 Riley, 4 to 1 Bill Letcher, 5 to 1 Prince Fonso, 10 to 1 Palisade, 20 to 1 Outlook.

 

 


SEVENTEENTH DERBY 1891

A cloudy and hazy morning, but still spring like day, lending the Louisville Jockey Club an aspect brighter than it has ever worn since its inauguration in 1875, combined with the great improvements made during the past winter and spring, there seems every hope of a pleasant, brilliant and successful meeting. We have had a remarkable season, rainy and wet during March, and when winter broke summer came upon us with a burst, there being as usual no intermediate season between winter and summer. The country is dry; and the track deep in dust, still the country wears a hue of green, the trees are in full leaf, and the pastures clothed with a carpet of emerald green. The crowd to witness the seventeenth renewal of the Kentucky Derby was the largest and most immense ever assembled on the course, except at the Ten Broeck and Mollie McCarthy race, and many thought the crowd larger. During the years of this race men have written lovingly of Louisville and its track, and sounded the praises of the great three-year old event. The crowd was so great that locomotion was almost impossible, and being a[Pg 49] free day the inner field presented one mass of humanity from the head of the stretch nearly to the first quarter pole. Derby only brought four to the post. The race for the first mile was merely a big exercising gallop, the first mile in 2:01. They ran from the half mile pole home in 51¼ seconds, and Isaac Murphy had to ride Kingman hard to win by a length. This is the slowest time a Derby has ever been run in.

The Kentucky Derby for three-year olds, foals of 1888; $100 entrance, half forfeit, $10 if declared on or before May 1, 1890, $20 if declared on or before May 1, 1891; money to accompany declarations; with $2,500 added, of which $300 to second and $150 to third. 1½ miles. 83 noms. Value to winner $4,680.

Jacobin Stable’s b c Kingman, by Glengarry, Patricia; 122 lbs., Murphy 1
T. J. Clay’s b c Balgowan, by Strathmore, Trinkitat; 122 lbs., Overton 2
Eastin & Larabie’s b c High Tariff by Longfellow, Christine; 122 lbs., Williams 3
Bashford Manor’s b c Hart Wallace by Longfellow, Stephanie; 122 lbs., Kiley 0
Time—2:52¼

Betting—2 to 5 Kingman, 3 to 1 Balgowan, 10 to 1 High Tariff, 6 to 1 Hart Wallace.

 

 


EIGHTEENTH DERBY 1892

The eighteenth Kentucky Derby was run in the cold. The weather did not check the crowd, and fully 10,000 people watched the race from the grand stand and free field and cheered Azra and Huron as they passed under the wire. It takes more than bad weather to dampen the enthusiasm over the Kentucky Derby,[Pg 50] and only a positive assurance of poor racing will lessen the crowd. Signs and predictions of the weather prophets failed, and instead of the bright May-day weather promised by the bureau, the air was chilly and damp, and the sky hung with leaden colored clouds during the greater part of the morning and afternoon. In the early morning the sun shone, and though cool the indications were that the afternoon would be an ideal one for racing. Instead, however, a cold wind sprang up from the northwest and turf lovers saw their dreams of a beautiful day fade into typical fall weather. There was enough virtue in the wind, however, to dry off the track, which, with the exception of a little stickiness, was in a fair condition. The officials of the day were as follows: Judges—Col. M. Lewis Clark, R. A. Swigert and Washington Hessing. Timers—Norvin Harris, Van Kirkman and Lew Tarlton. Secretaries—Joseph Swigert and Charles Price. Starter—J. B. Ferguson. Clerk of the Scales—L. P. Ezekiel.

The third race was the Kentucky Derby, with three starters, Huron, Phil Dwyer and Azra. The betting was on the Corrigan pair, while Azra’s few friends put up their boodle freely. Three minutes before the start the same persons who were most enthusiastic at the finish were repeating over and again: “Oh! what a farce the race will be. Three horses only to gallop around like the hippodrome races of a circus.” The following is a description of the race:

From the first jump Corrigan’s intentions may be read, Huron is to set a pace that will kill Azra, and Phil Dwyer is to win. Swinging the big colt to the rail, Britton gives him his head. Racing like El Rio Rey or Proctor Knott, he draws away from Azra, whom Clayton holds well in hand, and length by length increases his lead until five lengths of daylight lie between the green and light-blue jackets, Phil Dwyer, held in reserve by[Pg 51] Overton, a length and a half in the rear. Nearing the first quarter the wrap on Azra is slackened a little and, though all go wide at the turn to seek the dryest going, Clayton takes ground by passing nearest the rail. Down the stretch to the stand they come, and it begins to be apparent that a stubborn contest is in progress. Huron’s head is swinging, he is running easily, and as he swings along with his splendid action two lengths in the lead, a cheer breaks out. In every way he looks the winner, but at his heels comes one that will follow him with dogged courage till the last gasp. Under Clayton’s good guidance, Azra is holding his own, though seemingly between two fires, for if Huron does not run away from him, there behind him is Phil Dwyer running under a pull and ready to take up the fight.

As the wire is passed Huron again increases his lead, and rounding the turn is three lengths to the good, while Phil Dwyer moves up almost on even terms with Azra. So the quarter-pole is passed and the critical moment of the race arrives. It is time for Britton to “feel” Azra. The colored rider looks back, and then for the first time urges Huron a little. Will Azra hold his own or will he cry for quarter? Has he been able to stand the pace? If so, Phil Dwyer must come to the front and finish the work. Will he quit? How quickly that question is answered. The moment Britton makes that move on the back-stretch Clayton loosens his wrap and Azra responds. Will he hold his own? He does not come with a sudden burst of speed, but foot by foot he nears the leader, his steady rating telling at last. Phil Dwyer’s time has come. He makes no response to Overton’s call, and is then and there a beaten horse. The race is between Huron and Azra. It is no longer a question as to the latter’s lasting. The query is, “Will Huron quit?”

[Pg 52]The last quarter is neared, Huron leads, but only by a little, that is steadily growing less. Azra is at his saddle, at his withers, at his head, gaining at every stride, slowly, but surely forging to the front. They are in the stretch and on even terms. Grandsons, both, of the great Leamington, the blood of the great race horse that flows in their veins has no taint of the coward, such as that of the colt that labors four lengths behind them. Azra is on the inside, and Britton has pinned him so close that Clayton can not use his whip. The boys knees must touch as the two colts race head and head. The crowd goes wild. Men yell the name, first of one and then the other. But for a moment the cries of “Azra, Azra wins,” drown the others. He is drawing away. Clayton is climbing up on his neck and working like a demon. At the eighth pole he is almost a neck in front of Huron. The race seems over, Huron, after setting the pace throughout, surely can not come again. But he does! Britton has never ceased work on him, and at one bound lifts him back once more head to head. But that is all. The two are straining every muscle, the last link of speed is out in each, but as the fiery nostrils of the racers see-saw past each other with the swaying of the outstretched necks only for an instant is first Azra’s and Huron’s nose ahead. Not a whip is raised. Hands are too precious. Britton is riding vigorously, but Clayton is outdoing him. Can not he lift his mount just an inch or two to the front? The wire is there above them. Ten thousand people are yelling and Clayton puts out his supreme effort. It succeeds! Azra has won. Right on the post he gains six inches, no more, and by that distance stands the winner of the Kentucky Derby of 1892. It is a grand race, and victor and loser alike are cheered to the echo by the excited crowd. The value of the stake was $4,230.

 

[Pg 53]The Kentucky Derby for three-year olds, foals of 1889; $100 entrance, half forfeit; $10 if declared on or before May 1, 1891, $20 if declared on or before May 1, 1892; money to accompany declarations; with $2,500 added, of which $300 to second and $150 to third. 1½ miles. 3 starters. 68 subscribers.

Bashford Manor’s b c Azra, by Reform, Albia; 122 lbs., Clayton 1
Ed. Corrigan’s b c Huron, by Iroquois, Brunette; 122 lbs., Britton 2
Ed. Corrigan’s b c Phil Dwyer, by Longfellow, imp. Encore; 122 lbs., Overton 3
Fractional time—:25¼, :51½, 1:17¾, 1:45¼, 2:12, 2:41½

Betting—3 to 2 Azra, 20 to 11 Corrigan’s pair.

 

 


NINETEENTH DERBY 1893

Never since the Spokane-Proctor Knott Derby, in 1889, was there such a crowd gathered at Churchill Downs as that to-day.

The weather and the far-famed Kentucky Derby were the cause of it, greatly augmented by the fact that the field was free. It is a time-honored and commendable custom of the Louisville Jockey Club to give a free field on Derby and Clark days, and the association lost nothing by it to-day, as every inch of space on the grand stand side of the track was filled, and no more could have been accommodated.

The weather was simply delightful, and this with a strong attraction on the programme is what is required to draw a large crowd to a race-track. It is no easy matter to estimate such a gathering with any degree of accuracy, but there must have been at least 25,000 people on the grounds. They began to arrive before 11 o’clock, and from that time until 3 o’clock in the afternoon the streets leading out to the track were lined with[Pg 54] street-cars, vehicles, equestrians and pedestrians. They came in all sorts of ways, from the dusty and perspiring footman to the elegant and flashy tally-ho, drawn by four prancing horses. It reminded one of the Irishman’s witty paraphrase of an old couplet,

“Some ride in chaises,
And some walk, be-jases.”

Long before the hour for the first race the grand stand and surrounding grounds were a solid mass of restless but good-natured humanity, all on the qui vive for the sport so near at hand. Locomotion was the next thing to impossible, and those not content to remain in one place had a formidable undertaking in trying to get around. Over in the center-field a similar condition of affairs existed. For more than a quarter of a mile fronting the grand stand the inner rail was hugged by a heterogeneous mass of humanity, made up of men, women and children, white and blacks all bent upon getting the best position possible under the circumstances irrespective of the rights of others. Further back, a line of vehicles, every available inch occupied by a sightseer, extended nearly the entire distance of the back-stretch, so that only occasional glimpses of the horses could be caught by the occupants of the pressstand, upon whom those not present depended for an accurate description of the races.

And it might be appropriately asked, what was the attraction that drew all this concourse of people to the same spot? What was it that made them endure for five hours all the discomfitures that surrounded them? It was not for the purpose of speculating on the results, for not one-tenth of those who were there, bet, or attempted to bet, or had any desire to do so. It was that inborn love of sport, that can be found in the hearts of the majority of men. It is the greatest compliment that can be paid[Pg 55] to a racing association for that kind of a gathering to attend its meetings. As a whole, it was not there to speculate but prompted by a feeling of admiration for deeds of prowess and with an earnest desire to see the best horse win.

This was the kind of an audience that witnessed the nineteenth renewal of the Kentucky Derby. The event itself might be regarded as somewhat of a disappointment, in the fact that the winner so far out-classed his field that he had too easy a thing of it. With Lookout eliminated, the contest between Plutus, Boundless and Buck McCann was a stubborn one, and not until very near the wire was the issue settled, as to who would get second place. There was no trouble about who would get first place; that was settled shortly after the flag fell. There were six starters in the Derby, namely: Cushing & Orth’s pair, Lookout and Boundless; Scroggan Bros.’ Buck McCann; Bashford Manor Stable’s Plutus; J. E. Pepper’s Mirage, and C. E. Railey’s Linger. Kunze rode Lookout; R. Williams was up on Boundless; A. Clayton on Plutus; Thorpe on Buck McCann; Isaac Murphy on Mirage, and Flynn on Linger.

Cushing & Orth’s pair was odds-on favorites and the bulk of the big speculators’ money went on the entry. There had been a great air of mystery about the preparation of Plutus for the Derby, and the talent appeared to be at a loss as to how to estimate him. His race showed that Trainer John Morris has been doing some good work with the colt and has a stake-horse in his stable. Plutus and Buck McCann were about even second choice, both to win and for place. Mirage, with Isaac Murphy up, found some followers, but principally “pikers,” for the place on which odds of 3 to 1 could be had. There was a long price about Linger’s chances with few takers. There was a general impression abroad that Railey’s colt could not take up the weight and go the distance, and all who reached such a [Pg 56]conclusion had it down just about right. But neither Linger nor Mirage will ever be able to beat Lookout at any weight or distance when the great son of Troubadour is at himself. They don’t belong in his class. The others in the Derby are nearer his class, but it is my opinion that he will always hold them safe, under anything like equal circumstances. He won the Derby so easily that it places him clear out of the reach of anything but a high-class horse.

Coming on the track, all the horses paraded in front of the grand stand and were vociferously applauded. The enthusiasm which the two previous races had in no wise affected, broke out in uproarous demonstration. Some yelled for one and some for another just as fancy or interest suggested, but the keen eyed judge of a race-horse could see the winner only in the big, graceful chestnut, who apparently oblivious to the excitement of which he was partially the cause, galloped quietly to the post.

It was comparatively a small field but starter Pettingill had to line them up several times before sending them away in a bunch. In the break Lookout and Linger went out in the lead, heads apart, followed closely by Mirage, Buck McCann, Boundless and Plutus in the order named the latter getting a little the worst of the start. Lookout shook off Linger in a few strides, and at the quarter was an open length to the good, with Plutus and Linger second on even terms, Buck McCann fourth, Mirage fifth and Boundless last. Going under the wire for the first time, it was Lookout, by two lengths and running easy, Plutus second, a head in front of Linger, Boundless and Mirage about on even terms, with Buck McCann about a half length behind them. At the first quarter, past the wire, the order had changed little, except that Lookout had increased his lead and Buck McCann had moved up to fourth position. At the conclusion of the mile the order had not changed materially, but the scene shifted in[Pg 57] the next quarter. Linger dropped out badly beaten and Mirage, on whom Murphy was working with all his might and main, began to go back to the trailer. In the meantime Lookout was romping down the stretch, five lengths ahead of Plutus, Boundless and Buck McCann, who were having a desperate fight of it. In the order as named last above they came under the wire.

 

SUMMARY

The Kentucky Derby, for three-year-old colts and fillies, foals of 1890; $100 entrance, half forfeit, $10 if declared on or before May 1, 1892, $20 if declared on or before May 1, 1893; money to accompany declarations; with $3,000 added, of which $400 to second and $150 to third, fourth to save stake. One and a half miles.

Cushing & Orth’s ch c Lookout, 3, by Troubadour, Christina; 122 lbs., Kunze 1
Bashford Manor’s ch c Plutus, 3, by Blue Eyes, Sungleam; 122 lbs., A. Clayton 2
Cushing & Orth’s br c Boundless, 3, by Harry O’Fallon, Endless; 122 lbs., R. Williams 3
Scoggan Bros.’ ch c Buck McCann, 3, by Buchanan, Mollie McCann; 122 lbs., Thorpe 4
James E. Pepper’s ch c Mirage, 3, by imp. Deceiver, Uproar; 122 lbs., I. Murphy 5
C. E. Railey’s ch c Linger, 3, by King Alfonso, Wait-a-While; 122 lbs., Flynn 6

Won easily by five lengths in 2:39¼, same between second and third. The stake was worth $4,090 to the winner.

Betting—7 to 10 Cushing & Orth’s entry, 3 to 1 Plutus, 4 to 5 place.

 

 


[Pg 58]

TWENTIETH DERBY 1894

It was Derby Day at Churchill Downs this afternoon, and the enclosure was crowded as it had not been for a long time previous. It was an ideal racing day, the hard rain of the morning thoroughly laying the dust. The rain made the track just a bit slow but this was more than compensated in the absence of dust. The good people of the Falls City were hungry to see a race and they turned out in large numbers, irrespective of color, class or circumstances. A free field made it possible for those who were unable to pay the price of admission to see the racing at little or no cost at all. There was an immense crowd in the infield, and the fence from the head of the stretch to the clubhouse turn was lined with a dense mass of humanity, each moity of which was struggling to either gain or maintain his position.

The Derby of 1894 had not about it quite that glamour and fascination that has characterized several former contests for this event perhaps because there was no horse in it of particularly high-class, and of such individual prominence as to attract and absorb public attention for weeks prior to the race, which reaches the public thru the medium of the press. Horses are something like men in that some of them possess a kind of magnetism that draws around them a coterie of admirers, who become as much infatuated with him as does the most ardent admirers of a political leader. Such a horse was Proctor Knott, and never before nor since in the West, was as much written about and as much attention paid to a horse as was to him. The press teemed with articles about him from day to day, for weeks prior to the Derby of 1889, so that when the great day rolled around thousands of people went to the track impelled by an uncontrollable curiosity to see the horse that had been written so much about. Well,[Pg 59] every one who went on that day, saw a race, the like of which they never saw before nor since. The idol was dethroned but even in defeat he was greater in the hearts of his admirers than was the winner.

But the Derby this afternoon presented none of the attractive features of that great event won by Spokane. The horses trained here and, of course, around whom most of the local interest would naturally attach had not shown any trials upon which to place much faith in their prowess, with the possible exception of Pearl Song. The others had been tried and found wanting, and, as a matter of course, the public could not make an idol of common clay. Along up the line from Memphis to this meeting came a horse that had run races at three other tracks with considerable success, and whose muscles had been hardened for a journey of a mile and a half by actual racing, which is admitted by all trainers to be a better conditioner than private work. This horse is Chant, and he won the Kentucky Derby this afternoon just as he pleased. There may have been horses in it that will be better than he later on, but there was nothing in it that was within ten pounds of him to-day. There was nothing in it that could make the son of Falsetto stretch his neck and think seriously that he was running for a stake or merely out for an exercise gallop. The time was exceedingly slow, and this was partially due to the soft condition of the track, but more particularly due to the fact that there was nothing in the race that could make Chant run any faster. Chant was a strong favorite in the betting, his odds being uniformly 1 to 2, but after viewing his easy victory one was impressed with the idea that those odds were really quite liberal. It was only a matter of loaning one’s money to the bookmakers for a little while, to be taken back shortly with fifty per cent interest. There were five starters in the Derby all with the same impost—122 pounds. Goodale was[Pg 60] on Chant; R. Williams on Pearl Song; Overton on Sigurd; Ray on Al Boyer, and Irving on Tom Elmore. As remarked before Chant was a strong favorite, and Pearl Song was second choice. Not a few backed the latter to win, and as is always the case in every race, straggling bets went on each of the others to win, acting under the idea, it is supposed, that lightning is likely to strike anywhere. While Starter Pettingill had considerable trouble with each of his other fields, it was quite an easy matter to send off five well trained horses on a line, hence, with little delay, the flag flashed on the Kentucky Derby of 1894. Sigurd was the first to show in front, and he held that position for a quarter of a mile, but apparently on probation, for when he pleased Chant passed him and he pleased to do it coming down the stretch the first time. Passing under the wire at the completion of the first half mile, Chant was leading by two lengths, and to the practical eye of the turfmen it could be seen then that he had his field beat, as he was running very easily, with his mouth pulled open, while the others were struggling behind him in vain efforts to catch up. To make a long story short, it is only necessary to say that Chant led all the way and won simply without an effort. It was about as badly a strung out field as was ever seen. Pearl Song came in ten lengths behind Chant; Sigurd was about the same distance behind Pearl Song; Al Boyer was twenty lengths or more in the rear of Sigurd, and Tom Elmore was beaten off and his jockey pulled him up half way down the stretch.

 

May 15, 1894,—The Kentucky Derby, for three-year old colts and fillies (foals of 1891) $100 entrance, half forfeit: $10 if declared on or before May 1, 1893; $20 if declared on or before May 1, 1894; money to accompany declaration; with $2,500 added,[Pg 61] of which $300 to second and $150 to third. One mile and a half. Closed with 55 nominations.

Leigh & Rose’s b c Chant, 3, by Falsetto, Addie C.; 122 lbs., 1 to 2, Goodale 1
C. H. Smith’s ch c Pearl Song, 3, by Falsetto, Pearl Thorn; 122 lbs., 3 to 1, R. Williams 2
Bashford Manor’s ch g Sigurd, 3, by Pardee, Lady Salyers; 122 lbs., 20 to 1, Overton 3
Anderson & Gooding’s b c Al Boyer, 3, by imp. Deceiver, Bayadere; 122 lbs., 5 to 1, Ray 0
S. K. Hughes & Co.’s br g Tom Elmore, 3, by Julien, Ems; 122 lbs., 20 to 1, Irving 0

Time—2:41. Won by six lengths, fifteen lengths between second and third. Value to winner $4,020.

 

 


TWENTY-FIRST DERBY 1895

The Kentucky Derby this year went to a Lexington owned and trained horse. Halma, the black son of Hanover and Julia L., owned and trained by Byron McClelland and ridden by Perkins, won the classic event Monday, in the easiest kind of style, going the mile and a half journey in 2:37½. It was the slowest race of the day, and it looked like Halma could have gone the distance at least a second and a half faster had he been pushed to it.

The association was especially favored with good weather Monday, and a lovelier day for racing could hardly have been made to order.

The story of the Derby is quickly told as there were no sensational features about it. Only four horses started, Halma, Basso, Laureate and Curator. Halma was a 2 to 5 favorite, but even at this short price he was pretty heavily backed. Mr. Nick Finzer’s colt Laureate, was heavily played for the place at 3 to 5, especially by the Louisville contingent, who were patriotic and[Pg 62] backed their home horse for the position at the finish that seemed possible for him to obtain. Basso was held for the place at about the same price as Laureate, and the Chicago owned horse was pretty heavily played for the place. The matter of starting the field of four was soon disposed of and the quartet went off well together. Curator took the lead and quickly separated himself from his companions, holding the lead for nearly half a mile, but only on sufference. Coming near the wire for the first time, Halma took the lead, and to make the story short, held it easily to the end. Basso trailed all the way until entering the stretch for the final home run when he came up and challenged Laureate who had been in second place since the end of the first half mile. Basso took second position half way down the stretch and thus they finished, Halma easily by three lengths, Basso second by a length and Laureate third by five lengths.

 

The Kentucky Derby, for three-year old colts and fillies (foals of 1892); $5 to accompany the nomination; $10 to be paid May 1, 1894; $20 to be paid May 1, 1895; $100 additional to start, with $2,500 added, of which $300 to second and $150 to third; fourth to save stake. One mile and a half.

B. McClelland’s blk c Halma, 3, by Hanover, Julia L; 122 lbs., 1 to 3, Perkins 1
C. H. Smith’s b c Basso, 3, by Falsetto, Ethelda; 122 lbs., 9 to 2, Martin 2
Pastime Stable’s ch g Laureate, 3, by Volante, imp. Laurel; 122 lbs., 5 to 1, A. Clayton 3
Bashford Manor Stable’s b c Curator, 3, by Alarm, Katie Creel; 122 lbs., 20 to 1, Overton 0
Time—2:37½

 

 


[Pg 63]

TWENTY-SECOND DERBY 1896

The Kentucky Derby is over and Ben Brush wears the crown, but his victory was obtained only by the narrowest of margins, and while his neck was clothed with flowers after the race, his sides were sore and bleeding from the marks of the spur, and his giant muscles ached as they never did before. Simms gave him the garlands, Ben Eder caused the other things. Ah! it was a “hoss-race!” Such a field of three-year olds had not met since the old standard of Spokane-Proctor Knott Derby, in which Once Again, Bootmaker, Hindoocraft, Cassius, Sportsman and Outbound followed behind the fighting leaders. And in the finish of the race to-day there was the same desperate, hair-raising finish, which marked that most famous of Derbies. Ben Brush was all out. Not only that but he needed all of the skill and strength and vim of a jockey famous on two continents to help his quivering nostrils first under the wire. And withal he is the best horse in the race. Not that Ben Eder with jockeys changed might not and probably would have won, but it was a matter of condition. Ben Eder was fit to a hair. Made fit in the only way to secure perfect condition, i. e. in actual racing, and McGuigan, after three months of constant care and thought, brought him to the post as exquisitely adapted for this particular race as any modiste fitted a Worth gown to a Parisian belle. There is now no doubt that all of Ben Eder’s “prep” and races down the line were made with an eye single to this one race. And how artistically Bill McGuigan managed it. Always racing, yet taking on no penalty, and yet thanks to Lady Inez the only genuine “Umbrella” McGuigan still took down the money. Then came the time when Lady Inez would no longer do. The finishing touches must be given; the razor edge put on. This was done, and when Ben[Pg 64] Eder cut a hair at Nashville his trainer knew he was ready and that in the Kentucky Derby Ben Eder would race the race of his life. And he did. He will never run a better one, perhaps, while Ben Brush will. This is the difference.

Ben Brush, on the other hand, was in his first race of the season, and while he was by no means much too “high” and out of condition, still he had a host of other engagements up the line, some of them far richer in money than the Kentucky Derby. Ten thousand seemed to await him at Oakley, $12,000 at Latonia and $20,000 at St. Louis and Mr. Dwyer is not a sentimental man. His trainer could not afford to have Ben Brush too fine, and when the struggle came with Ben Eder the Bramble colt had only his class in his favor, and this was supplemented by Simms.

It is true there were many spectators who honestly believe that Ben Eder won, but the obstruction offered by the judges’ box makes it impossible for anybody but the judges or those in the timers’ stand to tell, and there seems no doubt, from the statements of those in these positions, that Simms (as a great jockey will) saved just one more effort in Ben Brush and using it in the last desperate leap, shot the hair on his nose in front of his shorter whiskered opponent.

Then too, there must be considered in estimating a popular verdict the natural and noble disposition to cheer the under dog when he gains an advantage and the sportsmanlike instinct to see an overwhelming favorite beaten.

First Mate ran like the flashy cur that he showed himself to be in all of his races. He will likely do in shorter contests or in which he can overwhelm his opponents by a bust of his speed, but nature obviously designed him for the role of a gentleman’s saddle horse, in which he can show high head and flaming tail in harmless curvetting, which will not be taken as a challenge to battle—at which his soul sickens.

[Pg 65]The surprise was in the awful performance of Ulysses. Those who had seen the colt work did not like his going, but in the name of wonder what was “Brown Dick” thinking of to throw away that hundred starting money on a dog which may not win it back in his whole year’s campaign. Surely a trainer like “Dick” could not have been so deceived. I am of the opinion that irresistible Secretary Price buncoed “Dick” into starting a colt who had no more pretentions to being a Derby horse than honest “Dick” has of being a dude.

Semper Ego somewhat redeemed himself for his poor showing at Lexington, and may be dangerous to some of the cracks yet, and The Dragon ran his usual good, honest race, doing the best that is in him. Parson and The Winner had no business in the Derby and nobody thought they had, but probably only started as a compliment to a very popular track management.

With the aid of the form sheet below the story of the race is soon told. The Dill starting machine, which resembles that of Curly Brown and is the work of a Louisville man was used in all the races except the Derby, but in the big race Col. Chinn used the old flag flat-footed and unaided. There were several break-a-ways in all of which Ben Brush was prominent, and which were principally caused by First Mate’s fiery desire to run. Incidently, it was comical to see what a difference was presented by this degenerate son of Shipmate when he reached the same spot again after going once around the yellow circle. Then he wanted to lay right down and be put to bed. He never cared if he never saw another horserace as long as he lived and his craven heart called loudly for action by the humane society forbidding the use of spurs.

They were finally off with Ben Eder in the lead, but First Mate shot to the front at once and nearly pulling Thorpe’s arms from their sockets set a merry clip past the stand, down the back[Pg 66] stretch and around to the next turn. Ben Brush had not been lagging, but with Simms almost urging the sluggish colt had been laying up in fourth position. At the turn from the back stretch Simms leaned far over his mount’s neck and urged him to the front. He soon overhauled First Mate, who had not thought the race would be so long, and turned in for home with a good lead and the race apparently already won. But the white face of Ben Eder had followed him through like a ghost and was coming on the outside like a flash of light. Running free and strong this true son of Fonso showed the heritage of a Derby winning sire. The family prestige must be maintained and he bid fair to do it. For one fleeting instant the white face showed before the red. But Ben Brush, too, came from an unconquered race and the blood of Bramble and old Bonnie Scotland surged through his veins as responding to the touch of steel his extended nose was thrust again an inch in front. Then Tabor made the mistake of his life. His horse was running true and comparatively fresh. The spurt of Ben Brush was only a spasmodic effort. He would have come back before the wire was reached. But Tabor reached for his whip and Ben Eder losing his jockey’s aid faltered a trifle. It was now a battle of jockeys. Both urged their mounts with whip and spur, but Tabor was riding all over his horse while Simms lifted his mount at every stride. On they came nose and nose until with an expiring effort Simms struck the wire first. It was probably the only point in the last fifty yards at which a difference could be detected between the two horses.

The crowd was such as only a great race can bring out and then only in Kentucky. The railroads and steamboats from all directions poured thousands of people into the city and vehicles of every description from carriages to spring wagons kept up a steady procession out the driveways to the track, while an[Pg 67] endless chain of street cars discharged their human freight at the jockey club gates. Over ten thousand people are officially reported to have paid admission, while thousands of ladies and complimented visitors doubtless brought the attendance up to the 15,000 mark. The stands and tall steps were packed and the crowd stood thick all along the broad space between the track and stand and extended down to the fence beyond the betting shed. A feature was the social prominence given the occasion and reminded one of the old times when Col. Clark set the fashion in Louisville and led the way on his tally-ho to the races.

The Courier-Journal gives the following statements from the judges:

“It was a great race—one of the greatest I ever saw. We can not but regret, however, that Mr. McGuigan did not have a jockey who could do his colt justice. With an exchange of riders Ben Brush would certainly have been beaten to-day. He is a race horse of the highest class, however, and I think this race will do him much good. There was no doubt in the world about the finish. Simms simply lifted Brush a foot or so in front at the last jump.”

 

For three-year-olds (foals of 1893), $5 to accompany the nomination; $15 to be paid May 1, 1895; $30 to be paid May 1, 1896; $100 additional to start. The Club to guarantee the value of the stakes to be $6,000, of which $700 to second and $300 to third. Colts to carry 122 pounds; geldings (at time of starting) 119 pounds; fillies 117 pounds. Those not having won a race for three-year-olds (without respect to sex) of the value of $1,500 allowed 5 pounds; maidens, 10 pounds. One mile and a quarter. 171 nominations.

IndexStarters Jockeys St. ½ ¾ S. F. Betting
 Ben Brush, 117 Simms 2 4 4 1 h 1 n 1 to 2
 Ben Eder, 117 Tabor 1 4 5 2 1 2 8 12 to 1
 Semper Ego, 117 Perkins 3 2 3 4 2 3 8 9 to 1
[Pg 68] First Mate, 117 Thorpe 6 1 1 3 h 4 4 5 to 1
 The Dragon, 117 Overton 8 6 5 5 2 5 4 20 to 1
 Parson, 109 Britton 7 7 7 7    50 to 1
 The Winner, 117 Walker 4 3 2 6   7 30 to 1
 Ulysses, 117 R. Williams 6 8 8 8   8 8 to 1

Time at post 20 minutes; start good; won in a fierce drive. M. F. Dwyer’s b c Ben Brush, by Bramble—Roseville. Hot Springs Stable’s b c Ben Eder, by Fonso—Workmate. Fractional Time—:25, :49½, 1:15½, 1:42, 2:07¾

 

 


TWENTY-THIRD DERBY 1897

The twenty-third Kentucky Derby has been won and Typhoon II. wears the laurel wreath. It was a splendid race and the winner earned his victory fairly and honestly, leading from start to finish, winning a race that, for the track was extraordinarily fast, with the pick of three-year olds of the West behind him. Ornament was second, Dr. Catlett was third, Dr. Shepard fourth, Goshen fifth, and Ben Brown, the pride of Newport, last.

To Typhoon must be fairly conceded the race on its merits. He won squarely, fairly and honestly the prize, but it must also be as fairly conceded that he had to divide the honors. Probably two-thirds of the turfmen who saw the race still believe that Ornament is the better colt, and with equal luck, would have won, and while Typhoon showed great speed and endurance, Ornament added to this by as thrilling a display of gameness as was ever witnessed on a race course. With the worst of the going he raced from the whip like the true thoroughbred that he is, and in the last quarter, which is the crucial test, cut down Typhoon’s two lengths of daylight to a scant neck. Great colt as he is, it was a lucky win for Typhoon, and probably even his owner would not care to have him measure strides again with his so recently defeated opponent.

[Pg 69]Withal Typhoon is by no means the faint-hearted sprinter that his early races indicated; he shows a strong infusion of the good old stout Glenelg blood, and if Ornament can beat him he cannot give him much and do it.

The race was a beautiful one, and the following description, written by Mr. E. L. Aroni, turf editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal, could scarcely be excelled in accuracy as well as graphic power.

“It lacks eight minutes of four o’clock when the six colts line up. Ornament begins to dance a little, and the jockeying of the boys on the other starters causes a wait. Typhoon does not relish the delay, and prances back of the field. In a few minutes they move up and break, but Typhoon whirls around and the flag does not fall. A minute later, when they have been at the post only six minutes, they break once again. This time they are caught in line with less than half a length between first and last. Down go the red and yellow squares. There is a roar from the crowded grand stand, and the twenty-third Kentucky Derby is begun.

“What all careful watchers of the turf expected comes to pass. Typhoon sweeps to the front, with the others after him. Garner with admirable judgment swings the big chestnut toward the dry middle of the track as they round into the stretch. Goshen and Ben Brown are lapped on him, lying toward the rail, but on good going. Dr. Shepard is still near the inside, while behind come Ornament and Dr. Catlett, the slowest to get in motion. “Teen” Williams starts to work through the bunch with Dr. Catlett, choosing the faster part of the track. Clayton, on the other hand, carries Ornament toward the rail. He saves ground, bearing out on the others as strongly as possible to get good going, but thereby using energy that his mount will need later in the race.

[Pg 70]“Rating towards the stand Typhoon’s splendid burst of speed is in evidence. He comes like a wild horse opening a gap of three daylight lengths—a yellow streak, like that other one that came flying along the outer rail across the track eight years ago, when Proctor Knott raced home just one jump behind Spokane. Like Proctor Knott in many ways this same Typhoon—in color, action and the unconquerable desire to lead his field.

“Passing the stand Ornament is the nearest to him. Dr. Shepard is at the favorite’s side with Ben Brown on even terms with him. Dr. Catlett is close up and running strongly, though showing no great speed, while Goshen even this early is in trouble.

“Scarcely a change is to be noted as they round the turn and near the finish of the first half-mile of their journey. Dr. Shepard is hanging on better than was expected and Dr. Catlett is striving gamely to lie with the flying leaders. But they are out of it clearly barring falls and sudden deaths. As for Ben Brown and Goshen they are simply striking examples of the difference between stake and plater class regardless of the time test. They are lost in the dim distance before the end of the first half-mile.

“The two Doctors are good colts, and game colts, but from the time the field straightened into the backstretch, they too may be dismissed from comment. They strive hard, but that chestnut demon in front is breaking their hearts, and their utmost efforts do not save them from falling foot by foot farther back from any chance in the final struggle for the prize.

“It is a duel. To the uninitiated Typhoon seems to be merely rating in front with ample in reserve. To those who know the colt it is soul-stirring to see that other little chestnut colt buckling to his work, holding that lead down to three lengths and refusing to be outfooted by a splendid sprinter.

[Pg 71]“Around the far turn Clayton throws the whip into Ornament’s side, and he runs out from under it marvelously. A full length is closed, but Clayton settles down to hand-riding again and no more of the gap is closed. Again he does this as the finish of the first mile is passed. Again he changes his tactics. And still Typhoon races in front.

“Garner is proving himself a rider of fine quality. He is coaxing Typhoon. He is handling a colt with hand-riding, and it may be stated right here that no prettier bit of that same sort of riding has been seen on the Louisville track since the best days of Isaac Murphy, with the one exception of Simms’ finish on Ben Brush.

“Garner looks neither to right nor left. He has the race if he can hold. He swings Typhoon wide into the homestretch, landing him in the best and dryest path. Ornament must catch that colt if there is hope for him to win. He must get to Typhoon’s throat-latch and ask him the question of courage. Clayton takes a chance. He hugs the rail and saves at least a length. Then, wisely, he bears out toward the hard going. Ornament is closing on Typhoon.

“Clayton goes to the whip at the eighth pole and again Ornament comes forward from under punishment. He is nearing Typhoon. What is that boy Garner going to do? Every ounce in Typhoon is out! If Garner has not a wonderfully cool head he will drop the rein and lift the whip. He does not do it. He looks straight ahead. He is climbing forward on the leader’s withers coaxing him on, coaxing him always on. Typhoon is all out, but Ornament, too is staggering a length back and the wire is overhead.

“Ornament is gaining, gaining at every jump, running from the whip, ready to go on until he drops. But Typhoon, with that same steam-engine action with which he gained his lead, is holding[Pg 72] it. The wire is reached. Garner is still climbing and coaxing, Ornament is still fighting a neck back, and Typhoon II., is winner of the Kentucky Derby of 1897.”

 

For three-year-olds (foals of 1894); $5 to accompany the nomination; $15 to be paid May 1, 1896; $30 to be paid March 1, 1897; $100 additional to start. The club to guarantee the value of the stakes to be $6,000, of which $700 to second and $300 to third. Colts to carry 122 pounds; geldings (at time of starting), 119 pounds; fillies, 117 pounds. Those not having won a three-year-old race of the value of $1,500, allowed five pounds; maidens ten pounds. One mile and a quarter. Closed with 159 nominations. One mile and a quarter.

Index Starters Jockeys St. ½ ¾ S. F. Betting
(325) Typhoon II, 117 Garner 1 1 3 1 2 1 2 1 h 11 to 5
(186) Ornament, 117 A. Clayton 5 2 2 2 6 2 8 2 25 7 to 5
(404) Dr. Catlett, 117 R. Williams 6 4 1 4 8 4 10 3 4 4 to 1
  Dr. Shepard, 117 J. Hill 4 3 4 3 6  4 30 15 to 1
(336) Goshen, 117 Wilhite 2 6 6 6 5 15 to 1
(284) Ben Brown, 117 Ballard 3 5 3 5 2 5 1 6 6 to 1

Start fair; won with first 2 driving hard. Time—2:12½.

J. C. Cahn’s ch c Typhoon II, by imp. Top Gallant-Dolly Varden.

 

 


TWENTY-FOURTH DERBY 1898

Kentucky is happy. The Kentucky Derby on Wednesday last was won by a Kentucky horse, bred, owned and trained, while Memphis and the Southern talent are clothed in sackcloth and ashes. The gallant Plaudit lowered the colors of the hitherto invincible Lieber Karl.

The day of the great event opened gloomy and showery, and the weather, therefore, reduced the crowd which would have otherwise been perhaps the greatest in the history of this famous race. Before the races began, however, the rain ceased and a brilliant assembly saw the 24th Kentucky Derby, and even in[Pg 73] numbers the crowd suffered little in comparison with previous Derby Days, from ten to fifteen thousand people being present. The track had been deep in dust, and the light showers of the morning made the track a little slow and soggy, but by no means sloppy or muddy.

Col. M. Lewis Clark was presiding judge and Secretary Price his associate.

Thirteen bookmakers were in line and there was business for twenty.

Lieber Karl’s Memphis performances had made him the hottest tip that in recent years has started for the Derby. Although all of the trainers at Louisville had been confident that Plaudit would win the Derby, as shown in the reports of the Louisville correspondent of The Record, the Memphis tip was brought up so hot and strong by the Southern delegation, that, with few exceptions, Plaudit’s sturdiest friends succumbed and sadly concluded that after all the Memphis Hindoo would beat their pet. The most notable exceptions were Dr. J. D. Neet, who bred Plaudit and who was there to pull for the colt; “Brown Dick,” who trained him as a two-year-old, and Willie Simms, who was to ride him. Albert Simons, his trainer, felt the responsibility too keenly to commit himself to an expression of opinion and John E. Madden, the owner, had gone to New York two days before with Plaudit’s half brother Glenheim, of which he is said to have a higher opinion of even than Plaudit. Major Thomas, who owned Himyar when Plaudit was sired, did not come down from his Lexington home to see the great son of his great sire perform.

The bookies had nearly all come from Memphis, and were thoroughly imbued with the belief that no horse on earth could beat Lieber Karl, and that every dollar they bet against him was thrown away. Hence they tentatively put up 9 to 20 Lieber[Pg 74] Karl and 2 to 1 Plaudit. This was soon changed to 7 to 20 Lieber Karl and 2½ to 1 and 3 to 1 Plaudit, and 2 to 1 the field against Karl. As the other two starters—Isabey and Han d’Or—were considered to have no earthly show for first money the bulk of the money was forced on Plaudit by the prohibitive price on Karl, and the bookies were probably losers by the race, although Mr. Schorr was said to have bet heavily on his colt.

Karl is an impressive looking fellow, with a high-headed, dashing way of going, and duly impressed the spectators as he worked by the stand. He is a handsome horse, much resembling in appearance and gait Typhoon II and First Mate. Plaudit, on the other hand, though more blood-like, is the least imposing looking of all Cinderella’s great sons and is withal a sluggish racer. He has, however, a clean, low frictionless stride far preferable to the high sweeping action of his rival, and his clean-cut thoroughbred lines and splendid chest indicated that he had both gameness and stamina.

There was little delay at the post, and when the flag fell Lieber Karl at once shot to the front, and came by the stand like a wild horse, with Burns pulling with might and main and keeping the rank colt well within himself. Plaudit was on the outside and running last, but easily, and the others right on the flying Karl’s heels. Simms sent Plaudit forward, and when the back stretch was reached his red jacket flashed in front of Isabey and Han d’Or, who were never noticed again in the race. Lieber Karl was still running like a locomotive, but Simms set sail for him and before the middle of the back stretch was reached had his head at the leader’s flanks and held his place, though he seemed to be extended, while Karl was apparently well in hand. As they struck the next turn Plaudit made a move to go up but Burns let out a link and Karl shot away. Simms began to ride, however, and the sluggish Plaudit, as if waiting to be called on, held his own[Pg 75] at Lieber Karl’s tail. Straightened into the run home Simms drew his whip and at the first touch of the lash Plaudit shot forward and slowly drew up to his rival’s head, and at the last eighth pole they were on even terms. Karl for the first time this season had been collared. Not till then did Burns begin to urge his mount, and soon the catgut was raising welts upon Karl’s heaving sides, while Simms was vigorously plying the lash to Plaudit. It was a desperate duel for a few strides, and then Plaudit gamely responding drew away and the race was over. Lieber Karl was all out, and while Simms rode the sluggish Plaudit to the end, he no longer needed the lash and finished with something to spare by a full length.

When the winner trotted back to the stand, the heartiest ovation tendered a Derby winner in recent years was given him. The crowd surged through the gates and over the fence and it was necessary to call a policeman to keep the enthusiastic crowd from the horse’s heels. A wreath of red roses was placed about the victor’s neck, and as he was led before the stand the crowd—ladies and all—arose and cheered the hero to the echo.

 

Kentucky Derby; for three-year-olds; guaranteed value $6,000. 1 mile and a quarter.

Index  Starters  Jockeys  St.  ½  ¾  S.  F.  Betting
   Plaudit, 117  Simms  3  2  4  2 8  2 8  1 1 3 to 1
(740)  Lieber Karl, 122  Burns  2    1 2    2 20  1 to 3
191  Isabey, 117  Knapp  1  3 h    3nk  3 3  12 to 1
   Han d’Or, 117  Conley  4  4  4  4  4  25 to 1

Start good; won driving.

Post 4 minutes. Lieber Karl was rank and Burns had him under a stout pull to the head of the stretch; he tired badly in the last furlong. Fractional time—0:25½, O:50½, 1:17, 1:30, 1:43½, 1:55¾, 209.

J. E. Madden’s br c Plaudit, by Himyar, imp. Cinderella.

 

 


[Pg 76]

TWENTY-FIFTH DERBY 1899

The twenty-fifth Kentucky Derby was run on Thursday, May 4, and was won easily by A. H. and D. H. Morris’ Manuel, ridden by Fred Taral, who had come on from New York expressly for the mount. The weather was warm and pleasant, though cloudy, and the track deep with dust. The race was a poor one from the standpoint of time and would seem to indicate that with the single exception of Manuel there was not a horse of Derby class of ordinary years in the field. Some excuses could be made for Corsine, as he traveled from the Pacific Coast and was giving from five to twelve pounds to his opponents. But the son of Riley showed no speed at any part of the journey, though he seemed to be in fine form, and will have to improve remarkably to win rank among the good horses of America. There is not much to say about the others, except that they finished behind Corsine. Mazo will probably do much better at shorter distance, but Fontainbleau and His Lordship seem to be counterfeits. The latter was trained to the hour by his trainer and part owner, Mr. John Smith, who showed his skill in the development of the crack McIvor in his first year on the turf, but he shut up like a jack knife when collared and dropped out of it. But few words are needed in addition to the form-sheet in describing the race. His Lordship took the lead before reaching the grand stand and going down the back stretch seemed to be leading easily with his mouth wide open. Taral had Manuel under a wrap close up in second place and approaching the turn from the backstretch he nailed the leader. There was a moment’s struggle and His Lordship fell back sulky and beaten and was no longer a contender in the race. Coming into the homestretch Corsine made his run and half way home came up under the whip and for an instant had his head at Manuel’s hips. But Taral[Pg 77] shook up the son of Bob Miles and the latter springing away, came on with Taral looking over his shoulder, and won without farther urging.

Although the race was by no means a sensational one, yet it was the Kentucky Derby, and an immense crowd, estimated at 20,000 people, saw the race. Of this number, probably one-third were ladies in their spring toilets and presenting a scene of beauty which is equalled at no other race in America save the great Kentucky classic.

There were eighteen bookmakers in line. The executive officers were as follows:

Presiding Judge—Charles F. Price.
Associate Judge—Lew Tarlton.
Timers—Arthur Newsom, Pat Dunne and Charles McMeekin.
Starter—Morgan Chinn.

Manuel is a bay colt, sired by Bob Miles, son of Pat Malloy and Dolly Morgan, by Revenue; dam Espanita, daughter of Alarm and Outstep, by Blue Eyes. He is owned by Messrs. A. H. and D. H. Morris, and trained by Robert Walden, son of Mr. Wyndham Walden, one of the greatest of American trainers. Manuel was bred by George J. Long, Bashford Manor, Louisville, Ky., who raced him in his two-year-old form until October, when he was bought by his present owners for $15,000. Last year he started twenty-one times, winning three races, second three times, and third six times.

 

The Kentucky Derby; for three-year olds; guaranteed value $6,000 1¼ miles. Fractional time, 0:25¾, 0:50½, 1:17¾, 1:45½, 2:12. 151 nominations.

Starters  Jockeys  St.  ¼  ½  ¾  M.  S.  F.  Betting
Manuel, 117  Taral  1  3 3  3 2  1 h  1 2  1 2  1 2  11 to 20
Corsine, 122  T. Burns  5  5  5  3 h  2 3  2 4  2 5  3 to 1
[Pg 78]Mazo, 117  Conley  4  4 1  4nk  4 1  4 3  3&nbsnbsp;3  3 6  8 to 1
His Lordship, 110  Turner  2    1 1  2 1  3 h    4 2  12 to 1
Fontai’ebleu, 117  Overton  3  2 1    5  5  5  5  50 to 1

Start good. Won easily; place same. Post 3 minutes. Winner, b c by Bob Miles—Espanita. Value to winner $4,850.

 

 


TWENTY-SIXTH DERBY 1900

Louisville, Ky., May 3rd, 1900, weather fine, track fast. One mile and a quarter. Time 2:06¼. Value $4,850, second $700, third $300.

Lieut. Gibson, 117, D. Boland 1 by 4 lengths
Florizar, 122, Van Dusen 2 by 2 lengths
Thrive, 122, Winkfield 3 by 1 length

Highland Lad, His Excellency, Kentucky Farmer, Hindus also ran. Betting 10 to 7 on Gibson. Good start. Won easily, place same. Gibson made his field look common.

Lieut. Gibson, br c, by G. W. Johnson—Sophia Hardy, owned by Charles H. Smith, trained by Charles Hughes.

There was little delay at the post. To a perfect start, His Excellency was the first to show, closely followed by Lieut. Gibson and Kentucky Farmer, with the field well bunched. When all were straightened out and the race had begun Lieut. Gibson took command from the momentary leader and began nodding off fast quarters with wonderful regularity. The pace rate of speed was terrific the first quarter, being run in :24¼, at the end of which the gallant pacemaker let out a link and running the third eighth in 0:11½ was at the seven-eighths pole in :35¾. Boland now steadied the big colt by letting him rate right along. The fourth eighth in :12¼ carried him to the three-quarter pole in :48, a heart-breaking clip of the first half-mile of a mile and a quarter race.

[Pg 79]Carrying 117 pounds as lightly as a feather, Lieut. Gibson still going easy, traversed the first three-quarters in 1:13½. The conservative element among the backers of the favorite became uneasy at this stage of the race, fearing the horse would be unable to withstand the tremendous strain of the fast pace. A second time Boland took hold of the flying leader that with measured strides seemed to be annihilating distance and defying time.

A second glance at the field and all cause of doubt as to Gibson’s ability to live at the flying clip was expelled. He was going easy, much easier than any horse behind him, and seemed only a horse out for a good stiff breeze. Passed the mile ground in 1:40⅖, he was only rating along three lengths in front of the tired His Excellency, with Scoggan’s pair Florizar and Highland Lad, going well, but in no danger of overhauling the galloping leader.

Into the stretch, a novice could see that Gibson was going easy, and coming on the gallant colt passed first under the wire by four lengths in front of Florizar that Van Dusen had most sensibly not driven to his limit when he found it impossible to overtake the great son of G. W. Johnson.

The time was 2:06¼, one and one-half seconds faster than the Kentucky Derby had ever been run.

 

 


TWENTY-SEVENTH DERBY 1901

Louisville, Ky.; April 29, 1901. Weather fine; track fast. One and one-quarter miles. Time 2:07¾, value to winner $4,850, second $700, third $300. 134 nominations.

His Eminence, 117, Winkfield 1 by 2-l
Sannazarro, 117, O’Connor 2 by 2-l
Driscoll, 110, Boland 3 by 2-l

[Pg 80]Amur and Alard Scheck also ran. Betting 10 to 7 Scheck; 3 His Eminence. Good start. Won easily, place same.

His Eminence, b c, by Falsetto-Patroness. Owned by F. B. Van Meter.

 

DESCRIPTION OF RACE

His Eminence, a beautiful bay colt by Falsetto-Patroness by Pat Malloy, foaled in the Blue Grass and trained at Churchill Downs, won the twenty-seventh renewal of the Kentucky. Sannazarro, the brown son of imp. Pirate of Penzance—Roseola by Duke of Montrose, was second, while Driscoll, Woodford Clay’s bay colt by Dixon—Merry Maiden by Virgil was third. The time was 2:07¾. Alard Scheck, the odds-on favorite, the property of John W. Schoor, of Memphis and the pride of all Tennessee, finished absolutely last, five lengths behind Amur. It was a truly run race and His Eminence outclassed his field.

Twenty thousand people saw the Derby run. The grand stand was a monster hillside of beautiful costumes and shining faces.

They were at the post only a short time—four minutes. There was a little jockeying for positions, one false break; they were called back and lined up again. Then there was a flash of yellow and red, a long hoarse roar from the thousands packed in the stand and here they come, five good colts closely bunched, with the black nose of Alard Scheck showing slightly in front.

Before the colts had gone fifty yards Winkfield had moved his charge up to first position and as they passed the stand His Eminence was half a length in front of Scheck, while Driscoll had also moved up and was only a neck behind, with a length between him and Amur, Sannazarro bringing up the rear. They ran the first eighth in :13, and passed the quarter in :25½.

His Eminence was beautifully rated by Jockey Winkfield, the colored boy. He carried his field to the three-eighths in :38[Pg 81] and passed to the half in :51, consistent pace in a mile and one-quarter race. His Eminence, in fact was never headed after he passed the stand and was never in trouble. He made his own pace and Winkfield shook him up above the eighth pole and he responded gamely and came on, dashing a couple of lengths ahead without effort. At the half, he was a length to the good, at the five-eighths he was a length and one-half to the good, at the three-quarter pole he was three lengths in front of the bunch. This is where Winkfield shook him up, for O’Connor on Sannazarro; Boland on Driscoll and Dupee on Amur, were whipping and digging the rowels into the satiny sides of their mounts.

And Alard Scheck, the favorite? J. Woods, the crack Schorr jockey, had him under restraint, believing the colt would be able to win easily when he got good and ready. He was under a steady pull for the first three-quarters, and when Woods called on him he did the worse thing a horse can do next to quitting—he sulked. When Woods attempted to lay him down he positively refused to go ahead and finished five lengths behind Amur, the next to the last horse.

His Eminence continued to increase his lead, and as they round into the stretch the colored boy looked over his shoulder and saw the others hopelessly beaten. He kept His Eminence under restraint all the way through the stretch and won easily by two lengths in 2:07¾. O’Connor gave a fine exhibition of riding on Sannazarro and while the Hayes colt was not quite up to such a race as the Derby was, he got all out of him that was in him and finished second ahead of Driscoll, as easily as His Eminence finished ahead of him.

The fractional time of the race was :13, :25½, :38, :51, 1:04, 1:16¾, 1:29, 1:43, 1:55½, 2:07¾.

 

 


[Pg 82]

TWENTY-EIGHTH DERBY 1902

Louisville, Ky., May 3, 1902. Weather fine, track fast. One and one-quarter miles. Time 2:08¾. Value to winner $4,850, second $700, third $300. 112 nominations.

Alan-a-Dale, 117, Winkfield 1 by a nose
Inventor, 117, R. Williams 2 by ½-l
The Rival, 117, N. Turner 3 by a nose
Abe Frank, 122, Coburn 4

Betting 5 to 3 on Frank, 6 to 5 Dale and Rival coupled. Good start, won driving, place driving. Alan-a-Dale outclassed his field.

Alan-a-Dale, ch c, 3, by Halma—Sudie McNairy. Owned by Thos. C. McDowell.

 

DESCRIPTION OF RACE

The New Louisville Jockey Club opened their gates on Saturday, May 3, which was Derby Day, and as everybody old and young, who can, goes to the races, the crowd was enormous. Among the large assemblage were notable people from all over the United States, including many high State officials. The victory of Alan-a-Dale was the most popular Derby win ever run at Churchill Downs. T. C. McDowell the owner of the fortunate horse, which carried off the honors in game and gallant style by winning the Blue Riband, bred this horse himself at his Ashland Stud.

The Derby was a true run race and the best horse won and as the English say, that any horse that makes his own pace at a mile or over from the drop of the flag to the finish must certainly be the best horse. It was Alan-a-Dale all through the race. The crowd yelled and cheered itself hoarse even those who bet and lost on other horses in the race, joined in the cheering. When it was over it was a sight worth going a thousand miles to see. It seemed as though everybody was[Pg 83] looking for the popular owner, T. C. McDowell to shake him by the hand and congratulate him.

The pace was fast for the first mile and then it dropped off badly, but when one really notices how fast Alan-a-Dale went the first mile in the race, they will not wonder that the last quarter was so slow. A first glance at the time of the race one would think from a time standpoint that it was a bad race, but when compared with other races of its kind, you will see that in all races that are fast run the horses who make the fast time generally rate along instead of running the first part of it real fast. In his race, Alan-a-Dale, according to our timing ran as follows: ⅛ :12½, ¼ :25, ⅜ :37½, ½ :49¾, ⅝ 1:02½, ¾ 1:14¾, ⅞ 1:27½, 1 mile 1:40¾; 1⅛ miles 1:54½ and 1¼ miles in 2:08¾.

Of course, the winner tired greatly after setting the terrific pace he did in the early part of the race, but the other horses also tired as much by trying to keep within striking distance of him. Abe Frank, although conceding the winner, Alan-a-Dale, Inventor, the second horse and The Rival, the third horse, five pounds each, was only beaten a scant length by Alan-a-Dale and a half length and a neck by Inventor and The Rival. It was a great race to watch from start to finish. At the finish of the race all four jockeys were riding like demons, and the favorite, Abe Frank, was beaten because he was not the best horse at the weights that day. Inventor and The Rival, second and third horses in this race were well ridden and ran gamely, but there is no way they could have been closer up at the finish no matter in what way they would have changed their running. All the glory and honor belongs to Alan-a-Dale and his popular owner and trainer, Mr. T. C. McDowell of Lexington, who in spite of winning this great event, has also a great misfortune[Pg 84] to bear as Alan-a-Dale has broken down and it is doubtful if he will ever face the starter again.

 

 


TWENTY-NINTH DERBY 1903

Louisville, Ky., May 2, 1903. Weather fine, track fast. 1¼ miles, time 2:09. Value to winner $4,850, second $700, third $300. Nominations not given.

Judge Himes, 117, H. Booker 1 by¾-ls
Early, 117, Winkfield 2 by4-ls
Bourbon, 110, Crowhurst 3 by6-ls

Bad News, Woodlake, Treacy also ran. Betting 5 to 3 on Early, 4 Bourbon and Woodlake coupled, 12 Himes. Poor start. Won driving, place easily. Himes ran an excellent race.

Judge Himes, ch c by Esher—Lullaby. Owned by C. R. Ellison, trained by J. P. Mayberry.

Within the shadow of the wire, Judge Himes snatched from Early the twenty-ninth Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs to-day. It may have been the over confidence of Winkfield that lost to the favorite the blue ribbon event of the Blue Grass State. Bourbon, six lengths off, was third, while Bad News, Woodlake and Treacy finished in the order named. It was a Derby run and won not by the touted, odds-on favorite, but by the much despised outsider, but be it said to the credit of colt and jockey, he was well piloted and when Judge Himes passed under the wire winner of the classic event, it was to the plaudits of all Kentucky. The victory was a surprise even to Mr. Ellison who had not thought his colt good enough to win.

A Kentucky Derby always marks an epoch in Kentucky history; time and incidents are reckoned from one Derby to the next, and the event of to-day was characteristic, for there was the same surging, jostling, mass of humanity, crowding stands[Pg 85] and paddock and overflowing to the field. Eighteen thousand people were in attendance.

It was an exciting finish. Early, with a length and a half to the good, was ridden down the stretch as though the race had already been won, when within the last sixteenth H. Booker brought up Judge Himes and in a merciless finish Early who had lost his stride by the overconfident Winkfield, was beaten three-quarters of a length by the practically neglected colt. The day was perfect. From the South drifted an invigorating breeze, bearing the fragrance of sprouting foliage on the nearby hills, of which the green slopes of Sugar Loaf and Iroquois afforded a delightful rest to the eyes bewildered by a maze of gorgeous costumes and myriads of beautiful faces, banked tier upon tier in the grand stand and club house terrace and representing the fairest of Kentucky’s womanhood.

The track was fast. The six colts were not kept long at the post, and after some ten minutes consumed in getting them in line, the flag went down and the Derby was on. When Starter Holtman gave the word the colts were almost at the fretful line and the jockeys found Woodlake of the McDowell entry hugging the inside rail with the others well bunched and Judge Himes a half length away. They raced in this position past the stand, Bad News being third, Early fourth and Bourbon fifth, while Treacy brought up the rear. When they made the lower turn it was evident that Helgesen on Woodlake wanted to make a runaway race of it, for he had increased his lead to two lengths. Bad News had moved up to second position with Judge Himes a neck away, while Early still maintained his position of fourth, Bourbon being fifth and Treacy a half dozen lengths in the ruck and out of the race.

[Pg 86]When the colts had been straightened out on the back stretch the canary jacket of Jockey Winkfield emerged from the rear and with an unusual burst of speed.

“Early wins!” was the exultant cry of the vast majority of the crowd as the son of Troubadour with even, steady stride, moved to the front. When the three-quarters was reached he was in easy command with nearly a length to the good and this lead he increased as they rounded the last turn for the final struggle. Meanwhile Judge Himes and Bad News had been having an almost neck and neck race of it for third place, with their noses at the flank of Woodlake, which had continued to show the way down the backstretch, until he had surrendered to Early’s burst of speed. As the colts made the swing for the turn into the stretch, Booker saw an opening and when they had straightened out he had Judge Himes next the rail. There was but one horse between him and victory. Maintaining a comfortable position, some two lengths behind the favorite it was not until he had passed the eighth pole that he called on him for speed. In the interim Winkfield sat quietly on Early, contemplating the victory so near at hand, and not until Judge Himes thundered down upon him was he apparently conscious of the colt’s approach. Winkfield half turned, then quickly resorted to the whip and spur. But it was too late, Judge Himes passing under the wire winner of the event, with the question of supremacy still a mooted one. The fractional time for the race was :25½, :51, 1:16½, 1:42, 2:09.

 

 


[Pg 87]

THIRTIETH DERBY 1904

Louisville, Ky., May 2. Weather fine, track fast. One and one-quarter miles. Time 2:08½. Value to winner $4,850, second $700, third $300. 140 nominations.

Elwood, 117, Prior 1
Ed. Tierney, 117, Dominick 2
Brancas, 117, Lyne 3
Prince Silverwings, 117, Austin 4
Proceeds, 122, Helgeson 5

Betting evens Proceeds, 2 Brancas, 4 Tierney, 8 Silverwings, 10 Elwood. Good start, won driving. Silverwings, Proceeds, Tierney and Elwood ran 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th for 1⅛. Proceeds stumbled at start.

Elwood, b c, 3, by Free Knight—Petticoat. Owned by Mrs. C. E. Durnell, trained by C. E. Durnell.

 

DESCRIPTION OF RACE

In the presence of one of the largest crowds ever seen at Churchill Downs race track the thirtieth renewal of the Kentucky Derby was decided on Monday. The winner turned up in Elwood, a son of Free Knight and Petticoat by Alarm, and the outsider in the betting. Elwood was bred by Mrs. J. B. Prather, Marysville, Mo. Proceeds, the favorite, took command just after the start, but began to quit before five furlongs had been negotiated. The Talbot horse, Prince Silverwings, who had been in second place, now took the lead and led the way until well in the stretch, where lack of condition told and he gave way to Elwood who had trailed the field to this point. Ed Tierney joined Elwood at the paddock gate, and from there on the race was between the two, Elwood winning by half length. Elwood was a seasoned horse and this probably gave him the race. According to our way of thinking, Prince Silverwings would have won easily had he been fit. While a small[Pg 88] horse he is well made and showed he possessed more speed than anything in the race. Take it all in all, one cannot help but say that they were a bad lot of Derby horses, and if such a horse as Ben Brush, Ornament, Halma or Alan-a-Dale had been there they would have looked like $200 selling platers. It was a nice race to look at, every horse looked to have a chance the entire route, well bunched they struggled hard and did their best. The time, 2:08½, was good when you consider the time made in previous Derbies. Judge Himes won the Derby in 2:09, Alan-a-Dale in 2:08¾, His Eminence in 2:07¾, Lieut. Gibson in 2:06¼, Plaudit in 2:09, Typhoon II., in 2:12½ and Ben Brush in 2:07¾, all carrying the same weight, 117 pounds.

 

 


THIRTY-FIRST DERBY 1905

Louisville, Ky., May 10, 1905. Weather clear. Track muddy. 1¼ miles. Value to winner $4,850, second $700, third $300. Time 2:10¾. Nominations (——).

Agile, 122, J. Martin 1
Ram’s Horn, 117, Lyne 2
Layson, 117, D. Austin 3

Betting 3 to 1 on Agile, 2 Horn, 15 Layson. Won by three lengths, ten lengths between second and third.

Agile, bay colt, 3, by Sir Dixon—Alpena. Owned by Capt. S. S. Brown.

 

DESCRIPTION OF RACE.

Today is Derby Day in Louisville and the thirty-first running of the Kentucky Derby was won by Capt. S. S. Brown’s Agile, with Ram’s Horn in second place and Layson third. The attendance was the largest in the history of the famous track and the twenty thousand people who stood and watched the race looked like a solid mass of humanity. At 1 o’clock the track was a sea of mud, but after an hour’s working it had[Pg 89] dried out considerably and was in fair condition when the bugle called the Derby candidates to the post.

The crowd waited patiently for the Derby, which was the fourth race on the card and at 15 minutes past 4 o’clock the three colts passed from the paddock out into the broad, heavy path. A cheer that is almost a roar goes up from the crowd. The parade takes but a few minutes and they passed on up to the turn, where Starter Dwyer gives the boys a few words of instructions and almost before the crowd has had time to realize it, they’re off to a beautiful start, and here they come on the trip that means so much to the admirers of both star performers.

Jockey Martin has his orders regarding Agile, and obeying these instructions to the letter, he starts out to show Ram’s Horn a merry time, because it is a well-known fact that the son of Bute is unable to do himself justice in the mud. They pass the stand with Agile a length in front, while Jockey Lyne, on Ram’s Horn, is trying to rate his colt and keep him within striking distance of the leader. Even at this early point in the race Layson is hopelessly beaten and even to the most inexperienced, he is merely running for the money that goes to the third horse. The cherry jacket and blue cap which is on Agile’s back bobs up and down like a cork in a choppy sea. The black silk on Ram’s Horn’s back moves through space with very little motion. A long roar like the snarl of a multitude of bulldogs comes from the stand and spreads itself over the crowd in the infield and reverberates from the whitewashed barns on the other side of the beautiful course. This is the cry of the people from the Blue Grass land, friends of Ram’s Horn, the poor man’s horse. The real race has only begun.

As they round the first turn, Martin lets out a wrap and Agile shoots forward like an arrow from a bow. Ram’s Horn[Pg 90] is too close for comfort, and the boy has orders to keep the lead. Then they turn into the back stretch, and here Ram’s Horn runs his race. With whip and spur and with his knees digging into the satiny sides of Ram’s Horn, Jockey Lyne asked the question of the son of Bute. Instantly the game colt responds, and before the half-mile pole is reached Ram’s Horn has cut the lead down to one length and his nose is very close to Agile’s tail.

The positions do not change for a quarter of a mile. Then the favorite gradually begins to move away from Rams Horn in spite of the vigorous efforts of Lyne. But its no use—the track is muddy and sticky and slippery, and this son of one of the best stallions any American ever brought to this country from England is unused to the going and does not like it. And so they turn into the home stretch, with Agile two lengths in front and galloping with his mouth wide open, while Ram’s Horn is laboring many lengths in front of Layson.

The shouting and the tumult die and Martin, realizing that his victory is now assured, eases his mount to an ordinary gallop, while Lyne, on Ram’s Horn, also refuses to drive Jim Williams’ colt, because he knows the case is hopeless. They pass under the wire in a straggling procession, with little excitement or applause. The time, 2:10½, shows the condition of the track.

 

 


THIRTY-SECOND DERBY 1906

Louisville, Ky., May 2, 1906. Weather fine, track good. 1¼ miles. Time 2:08⅘. Value to winner $4,850, second $700, third $300. 110 nominations.

Sir Huon, 117, Troxler 1
Lady Navarre, 117, Burns 2
James Reddick, 117, Dominick 3
[Pg 91]Hyperion II., Debar, Velours also ran.

Betting 6 to 5 Huon, 9 to 5 Navarre and Reddick coupled 7 to 2 Debar; 8 Hyperion, 40 Velours. Good start. Won easily by two lengths, 3 between second and third.

Sir Huon, b c, 3, by Falsetto—Ignite. Owned by George J. Long of Louisville, Ky., trained by Pete Coyne.

 

DESCRIPTION OF RACE.

Sir Huon, carrying the colors of George J. Long, one of the most popular breeders of Kentucky, won the thirty-second Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs on May 2, before one of the most representative gatherings that ever witnessed this classic event.

Guided by Roscoe Troxler, he crossed the finishing line two lengths in front of the gallant little filly, Lady Navarre, which beat her stable companion, James Reddick, by three lengths. Five lengths behind came Hyperion II, which had set a heartbreaking pace, and a dozen lengths behind the latter was Debar, which carried the hopes and money of the Lexington contingent, and last of all, practically beaten off, came Velours, from Sunny Tennessee.

Sir Huon did not win easily, for he was a very tired horse at the finish, and it required great skill on the part of his jockey to nurse him through the final furlong; at the same time, it might be said that those behind him were more tired. Sir Huon was by long odds the best looking horse in the race; in fact, he looked the Derby horse all over, and he is the first real Derby horse that has crossed the wire in front since Alan-a-Dale struggled home on three legs.

Considering that Lady Navarre was conceding five pounds to the winner, a good deal of credit must be given to her. She ran a great race, but that was today, and in the opinion of many, she will never be able to get that close to Sir Huon again.

[Pg 92]It was a great day for Louisville, and everyone with a trace of sporting blood in his veins was out to see the Derby, and when a home-bred horse won, the crowd demonstrated that the victory of Mr. Long was a most popular one. They cheered him from the time he left the paddock until he crossed the wire, only to renew it when the usual formalities were gone through with at the judges’ stand.

There was no delay at the post, and as the barrier was lowered, the horses came walking up and Starter Dwyer gave the word. “They’re off!” yelled the crowd with one accord, and down the stretch came the sextette in pretty close order. Nearing the eighth pole, Hyperion II drew clear and by the time the judges’ stand was reached he was three lengths in front, with Velours and Sir Huon next in order. Then came Lady Navarre and James Reddick, and Debar brought up the rear. As the club-house turn was rounded, Sir Huon dropped in behind Hyperion II, and there he laid all the way up the back stretch. Velours was done when the field straightened out in the backstretch, and James Reddick, which showed unexpected speed, moved up behind Sir Huon. Out in front Hyperion II was still sifting sand, Troxler sitting still and holding Sir Huon well in hand. Lady Navarre, who had suffered a little interference on the lower turn, was being whipped to keep up and Velours was now the trailer.

As they approached the far turn, Hyperion still had a clear lead, but now Troxler had gone to work on the son of Falsetto and it took considerable of an effort on his part to run the flying Hyperion down. He caught him and passed him on the stretch turn and then the Ellison pair closed, as the rest were beaten. Straightened for home, Troxler plied his whip and then sat down to ride. Dominick was busy on James Reddick and Burns was putting forth his best efforts on Lady Navarre,[Pg 93] but it was to no avail, for the big colt had enough left to stall off the efforts of the tired pair behind him.

Sir Huon broke a tradition in the race, and that was that a colt which had not previously started the same year that the Derby was run always got beat, no matter how good his work might have been.

 

 


THIRTY-THIRD DERBY 1907

Louisville, Ky., May 6, 1907.—Weather bad. Track heavy. 1¼ miles. Time 2:12⅗. Value to winner $4,850, second $700, third $300. 128 nominations.

Pink Star, 117, Minder 1
Zal, 117, Boland 2
Ovelando, 117, Nicol 3

Redgauntlet, Austin; Wool Sandals; Koerner; and Orlandwick, J. Lee also ran.

Betting 6 to 5 Redgauntlet; 3 each Ovelando and Sandals; 8 Zal, 10 Orlandwick. Good start. Won easily by 2 lengths; 1 between 2nd and 3rd.

Pink Star, b c, 3, by Pink Coat—Mary Malloy. Owned by J. Hal Woodford, trained by W. H. Fizer.

In the presence of an enormous crowd, J. Hal Woodford’s Pink Star won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Monday, the opening day of the New Louisville Jockey Club’s spring meeting. Behind Pink Star were Zal, Ovelando, Redgauntlet, Wool Sandals and Orlandwick.

Redgauntlet was made favorite. Pink Star’s victory was not a popular one. The public had no confidence in the flashy grandson of the great Leonatus, which won the same event in 1883, and neither did his owner Hal Woodford of Paris, Ky. But his trainer, W. H. Fizer, fairly bubbled with enthusiasm over the chances of his colt. “So these are the Derby horses?”[Pg 94] said he. “Well, if they are Derby colts, Pink Star will walk in.” So he did.

The race itself was robbed of a great deal of interest by the withdrawal of Arcite, which did not start on account of the going. His owner, George J. Long, waited until the last moment before scratching him, chiefly on account of the sentiment that has marked his career on the turf. Mr. Long is a Louisville man, he takes great pride in her institutions, one of which is the “Darby”, and he felt as if he were duty bound to run the colt, but after consulting with his trainer, decided that the going was impossible.

After the parade passed the grandstand and clubhouse, the horses cantered to the post, and it was but a moment before Starter Holtman sprung the barrier and the thirty-third Derby was on. As they swept past the stand the first time, Zal was leading, with Ovelando second and Wool Sandals third. Around the clubhouse turn, it was quite noticeable that Pink Star, with his pink-coated jockey was bringing up the rear. Round the lower turn they went and now Zal had a clear lead and was running freely. Ovelando was under restraint and was a good second, next to the rail. Redgauntlet had dropped to the rear and Austin was busy with the whip but there was no response. Up the back stretch they went, Zal with gigantic strides, still in front and Ovelando was going easily close up. Redgauntlet moved up a bit and Pink Star was last. As the three-eighths pole was reached, Nicol went up to Zal, and it looked as if he could pass the Gerst colt any time he wanted to. Pink Star was moving up on the extreme outside. Nicol rounded the stretch turn on even terms with Zal and the cry went up, “Ovelando walks in.” But the jubilation was too early, for Zal drew away a bit as the field straightened for home and Nicol drew his whip. Pink Star was still coming. At the eighth pole the[Pg 95] positions were still the same, but here Ovelando began to hang out signals of distress and he was done. Pink Star by this time had gotten on almost even terms with Zal and, as the sixteenth pole was passed, he was slowly drawing away from the fleet-footed chestnut. A few strides and it was all over, for Boland began to ride Zal, but he was done to a turn and at the end Pink Star was under wraps. Ridden out, Zal finished a little over a length in front of Ovelando, and quite a piece back came the favorite.

 

 


THIRTY-FOURTH DERBY 1908

Louisville, Ky., May 5, 1908.—Weather cloudy, track heavy. 1¼ miles. Time 2:15⅕. Value to winner $4,850, second $700, third $300.

Stone Street, 117, Pickens 1
Sir Cleges, 117, Koerner 2
Dunvegan, 114, Warren 3

Synchronized, F. Burton; Banridge, V. Powers; Milford, Minder; Bill Herron, J. Lee, and Frank Bird, J. Williams also ran.

Good start. Won easily by three lengths, heads each next four. Mutuels $123.60 for $5.

Owned by C. E. Hamilton, trained by J. Hall.

Stone Street, b c, 3, by Longstreet—Stone Nellie.

 

DESCRIPTION OF RACE

Stone Street, a despised outsider, carrying the blue jacket and white sash of C. E. Hamilton, the popular Latonia turfman, and ridden by Jockey Pickens, walked away with the thirty-fourth Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on Tuesday, with the pride of Louisville, Sir Cleges, the public’s choice, in the place. The $5 mutuels paid $123.60. Three lengths in front of the favorite,[Pg 96] Stone Street crossed the wire a pretty tired horse, but the others were more so. Sir Cleges got the place by a neck and Dunvegan got third place by an eyelash from Synchronized, which was added at the last moment. It was a clear-cut victory and an instance where condition won over class. It was also an instance where a colt that was at home in the going beat a better horse, which besides being a bit short, the condition of the track precluding the chance to give him a final good work, did not fancy the stick track, and labored all the way. Stone Street by heritage comes of stout stock, his sire being Longstreet, son of Longfellow, a family noted for endurance rather than speed.

After the bugle called the horses to the post there was not much time wasted on instructing jockeys. Paddock Judge John Walsh called out: “Lead out, Powers,” and the eight Derby horses were on their way to parade past the judges’ stand and clubhouse and then to the post. There was no time lost at the barrier, where Judge Will Shelley presided in the absence of Jake Holtman.

The crowd rose as the horses swept past the stand, and when the field reached the line the first time Banridge forged to the front, after crowding Sir Cleges out. Stone Street was second. Dunvegan third and the favorite fourth, with Frank Bird last of all. Around the lower turn they went in the same order. When straightened out on the back stretch, Banridge opened a streak of daylight on Stone Street, while Sir Cleges passed Dunvegan. The rest of the field was not out of the running and it was also noticeable that while Sir Cleges gained ground that it was with an effort, as the colt was laboring and climbing. At the far turn, Banridge’s lead was cut down and Stone Street and Sir Cleges, the latter under urging moved up on the leader. Round the stretch turn came Banridge and at his heels were his[Pg 97] relentless pursuers. Stone Street nailed him when straight for the wire and the shout went up, “Sir Cleges is beaten.”

Koerner was hard at work on him and he held his place with bulldog courage, but the lack of condition was telling on him and Stone Street which raced at New Orleans and was fit, drew away with ease and came under the wire with his jockey sitting still. There was a bitter struggle for the place and Sir Cleges secured this through the powerful finish of Koerner, who never let up until the last two strides, when he had second position safe. Synchronized and Dunvegan finished almost on a line a neck behind the favorite and the latter got third place. Banridge was fifth many lengths in front of Milford, which beat Bill Herron home for the distinction of having finished sixth by a head and away back came Frank Bird.

 

 


THIRTY-FIFTH DERBY 1909

Louisville, Ky., May 3, 1909.—Weather clear, track slow. 1¼ miles. Time 2:08⅕. Value to winner $4,850, second $700, third $300.

Wintergreen, 117, V. Powers 1
Miami, 117, C. Shilling 2
Dr. Barkley, 117, 3

Sir Catesby, Friend Harry, Direct, Michael Angelo, Warfield, Campeon and Match Me also ran. Betting $5 mutuels paid $14.80 straight. Start good, won easily, second and third driving.

Wintergreen, b c, 3, by Dick Welles—Winter. Owned by J. B. Respess, trained by C. Mack.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE RACE

Wintergreen, an Ohio-bred colt, carrying the colors of Rome Respess, ridden by V. Powers, galloped away from his opponents to-day in the race for the thirty-fifth Kentucky Derby.[Pg 98] Four lengths behind him came Miami, which carried all the hopes and money of Central Kentucky, and he was three lengths in front of Dr. Barkley, a despised outsider, which beat Sir Catesby a head and gave the latter the place of honorable mention. Wintergreen hardly left the outcome of the race in doubt after the barrier rose. His backers had a moment of anxiety when he was bumped by Miami right after the start and once in the final furlong, when Powers laid the lash on the big bay colt. The rest of the race was play for the son of Dick Welles and Winter. Miami ran a good game race, Direct and Warfield failed to show anything much and Campeon and Match Me were outclassed. Sir Catesby ran the best race behind the winner and would have been second but for bad racing luck. The going made Friend Harry stop.

For a horse that was born and bred in the Buckeye State to win the Kentucky Derby is a new feature in the history of this classic event. California, Eastern horses, and in the majority of cases, Kentucky and Tennessee have furnished all the Derby winners.

Slowly and with Wintergreen in the lead, they filed past the stand and clubhouse and, turning, galloped to the starting point, where Jake Holtman was ready to send them away. The field got away quickly to a good start. Wintergreen and Miami came together as the barrier went up, but the son of Dick Welles was not to be denied and he at once went to the front and there he stayed. Coming past the stand, he had a clear lead, with Miami next and Dr. Barkley and Friend Harry close up. Sir Catesby was on the inside and was apparently trying to run over horses. Going up the back stretch Powers took a nice hold on Wintergreen and the great colt just skimmed along pricking his ears. Friend Harry made a determined effort passing the half-mile post, but it was just a flash in the pan, for scarcely had the[Pg 99] cry “Friend Harry is catching him” rung out before the crowd was yelling Friend Harry is beaten, as the Alvey colt’s stride shortened. Miami, which had clung tenaciously to second place, also under restraint, was now sent after the flying pacemaker with a will. But Shilling could not rally his mount and the farther the field went the easier was Wintergreen’s task. Nearing the eighth pole Powers got a little uneasy and gave Wintergreen one good crack with the whip and he bounded away like the others were standing still. Miami was just as easily second and Dr. Barkley just managed to beat out Sir Catesby, the latter coming through the worst going. The rest were pretty well scattered.

 

 


THIRTY-SIXTH DERBY 1910

Louisville, Ky., May 10, 1910.—Weather clear, Track fast. 1¼ miles. Time 2:06⅖. Value to winner $4,850, second $700, third $300.

Donau, 117, Herbert length
Joe Morris, 117, 2-h
Fighting Bob, 117, 3-n
Boola Boola, 117, 4
Topland, 114, 5
John Furlong, 107, 6
Gallant Pirate, 117, 7

$5 mutuels paid $13.25. At post one minute. Start good, won driving second and third same.

Donau, b c, 3, by Woolsthorpe—Al Lone. Owned by Wm. Gerst, Nashville, Tenn., trained by G. Ham.

 

DESCRIPTION OF RACE

An enormous crowd gathered from all points of the compass saw and cheered the victory of the bay colt Donau in the thirty-sixth running of the Kentucky Derby, now truly the “Blue Riband”[Pg 100] of the American turf, at Churchill Downs this afternoon. It was the largest crowd that ever graced this historic battle ground of the thoroughbreds and that crowd saw the keenest contest and the most thrilling finish that ever attended the winning of the prize, which has been annually coveted by owners of three-year olds in all the land since Price McGrath first took it with game Aristides in 1875.

The winner is owned in Tennessee, but he was bred in the Blue Grass of old Kentucky, as were also each of the half dozen that went to the post with the son of Woolsthorpe and Al Lone and came back behind him.

Derby Day dawned clear and warm. There was not a fleck in the sky when the sun peeped over the Eastern horizon. The track had dried out rapidly after the severe rain of Saturday and was fast.

When the bugle called the horses to the post, Donau, accompanied to the paddock gate by his piebald pony companion was the first to step on the track. He was No. 1 on the program. After the post parade, the horses cantered to the starting point one quarter of a mile up the stretch. Starter Milton was ready for them, and after they had lined up about twenty yards behind the barrier, gave orders to walk up. They came in good alignment and sprung the barrier at the first attempt. They were off to a good start four minutes after they left the paddock.

Joe Morris was first to show and Donau next, then Boola Boola and Gallant Pirate, Fighting Bob fifth, John Furlong sixth and Topland last.

Herbert had Donau well in his stride and he lost no time sending him to the front and when they passed the stand at the end of the first quarter of a mile in :24, he was leading Joe[Pg 101] Morris by half a length and was at the rail with Topland third a head back and the others close up. Around the clubhouse turn, Joe Morris swerved outward and carried the others with him, giving Donau a lead of about three lengths as they straightened out for the run down the backstretch, having passed the half in :48⅘. Joe Morris was here two lengths in front of John Furlong and Topland, they on nearly even terms, with Fighting Bob two lengths back of them, a length in front of Boola Boola and Gallant Pirate a neck apart.

Herbert took a restraining hold on Donau, passing the three-quarter ground in 1:14 and steadied him around the turn out of the backstretch still three lengths in front of Joe Morris. Here Stanley Page made his move on Fighting Bob. The son of Knight of Ellerslie was in third position in a jiffy and less than two lengths back of Joe Morris. Coming around the turn into the homestretch, Boola Boola made up ground rapidly and the pace seemed to quicken. At the end of the mile in 1:39⅘, and heading for home, Donau led by half a length, with Joe Morris a head in front of Fighting Bob, and he four lengths better than Boola Boola, the others clearly out of contention. There it looked as any one of the first four might win, for Boola Boola was carrying the Camden colors with the speed of the wind and loomed up big and strong. Down the stretch they came, whips whirling and resounding even above the roar from the stand and the field, and those jockeys rode desperately for the prize that hung at the end of the tiring, heart-breaking journey now less than a sixteenth of a mile away. On and on they came near to the black mark of the white board that should proclaim the finish; flying, yet struggling gamely and determinedly under the punishment of the bending striving riders to be first to that goal where hung fame, glory and gold.

[Pg 102]Donau though tiring fast, was still able to hold the lead. Unshaken, his nose shot first past the finishing mark, with Joe Morris at his withers, Fighting Bob at Joe Morris’ throat-latch, and Boola Boola beaten only a nose for third money. Topland was fifth five lengths back, and two lengths in front of John Furlong, eight lengths better than Gallant Pirate a trailing last.

It was a great finish and any human being with a drop of sporting blood in his veins was to be excused for giving over for the moment to the feelings of ecstasy that well up from the soul of man at such a contest. It was beyond question the most thrilling finish ever seen in a race for the Kentucky Derby.

 

 


THIRTY-SEVENTH DERBY 1911

Louisville, Ky., May 13, 1911.—Weather clear, track fast. 1¼ miles. Time 2:05 (equals track record). Value to winner $4,850, second $700, third $300.

Meridian, 117, G. Archibald length
Governor Gray, 119, Troxler 2-15
Colston, 110, Conley 3-2
Jack Denman, 117, Wilson 4
Mud Sill, 107, Koerner 5
Round the World, 117, McGee 6
Col. Hogan, 110, McIntyre 7

$2 mutuels paid $7.80 straight. At post 2 minutes. Start good, won driving, second and third same.

Meridian, b c, 3, by Broomstick—Sue Smith. Owned by R. F. Carman, trained by A. Ewing.

 

DESCRIPTION OF RACE

Meridian, Kentucky-bred, but Eastern-owned, triumphantly carried the colors of R. F. Carman to the front in the thirty-seventh Kentucky Derby in record time and before a record crowd at Churchill Downs to-day. The Derby was run from[Pg 103] “eend to eend” as Frank Harper of Ten Broeck and Longfellow fame, used to say, for the winner set a heart-breaking pace and had the stamina to last the route and get home a scant length in front of Governor Gray. The latter was about 15 lengths in front of Colston, the dark horse for the Derby. The time 2:05, a new mark for the Derby. The best time ever recorded for the sixteen blue ribbon events which have been run at this distance was made by Lieut. Gibson in 1900, when 2:06¼ was made. It also equaled the track record made last year by Royal Report. The race was not a gallop for Meridian for he was a tired horse at the finish and was exceedingly well handled at the end by Jockey G. Archibald. Governor Gray had some bad luck. He was next to the fence going round the first turn, and Troxler was forced to take him back, and he was lengths behind the pacemaker going into the back stretch. The others were not in the same class with the two placed horses and only figured in the race for the first mile. Probably Colston will do better in the next effort and the same could be said of Mud Sill and Jack Denman.

It was 4:55 when the first of the Derby contingent filed through the gate to lead the parade of the field past the sands. The huge crowd applauded vigorously as the horses filed past the clubhouse, where they turned and slowly came back again on the outside. It was easy to tell which was the favorite as Governor Gray got a great reception. After passing the betting shed the field cantered to the post with Mars Cassidy galloping up to the same point on a fiery steed and on the steeplechase track, while the crowd in the field kidded him a bit. There was but a moment’s delay at the barrier. The field would have gotten away at the first line-up, but for Round the World which acted sour and Jack Denman. They were quickly lined up again and[Pg 104] in a jiffy Cassidy yelled “Come on!” and the horses were on their way. The start was a good one for all but Col. Hogan, which was last to break, and when he did go went very wide and that settled his chances once for all.

Meridian went to the front at once and ere the field had reached the judges’ stand he was three lengths in front and setting a pace that had the others on their toes. Round the World was second a couple of lengths in front of Colston, which was some lengths in front of Mud Sill, with Jack Denman and Governor Gray close up. Col. Hogan trailed the field.

At the first turn, Governor Gray, which was next to the rail was shut off and Troxler was forced to take him back, and for a few moments it looked as if he were going to be displaced by Col. Hogan. The field went up the back stretch in Indian file, Meridian under gentle restraint but still burning up the track, Round the World hanging on gamely and Colston still holding third position. As the field swept up the backstretch and neared the half mile pole, Governor Gray which was eating up ground, loomed up and was soon in a position to overhaul the leaders. Troxler had him full on his stride and rounding the turn, passed Colston and soon passed Round the World, and there was but one horse to catch and victory was his. But that was a hard task as Meridian was still moving along in great style turning the mile in phenomenal time for a race of that distance. The whole field was under whip and spur when straightened for home, except the Carman colt. As the eighth pole was neared he began to shorten his stride and the cry went up “Governor Gray’s got him.” But this was premature and wrong, for Archibald holding the colt together, urged him on, handriding and he maintained his advantage of over a length until the sixteenth pole, where he swerved over in front of Governor Gray, on which Troxler was making a final effort, but[Pg 105] it was not for the Governor. The ground he lost on the first turn and the effort to make it up told on him and right at the finish his nose was opposite Meridian’s tail. Many lengths back came Colston, which was a couple of lengths in front of Mud Sill and Jack Denman, which finished close together in the order named, then Round the World pulled to a walk and Col. Hogan, which had been eased up some time.

 

 


THIRTY-EIGHTH DERBY 1912

Worth, the favorite, won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs this afternoon, just beating a heavy rainstorm, and by so doing saving the day for the moving-picture operators. The Kentucky Derby of 1912, the thirty-eighth renewal of the classic stake event, went to the horse which nine out of every ten horsemen and turf patrons conceded to have the race at his mercy. He did not win as easily as many expected, but he won, just lasting long enough to get the money and the honor from a dark horse. Duval, which would have paid 20 to 1 had he popped in front, was second, and Flamma, the only filly in the contest, was third. The time, 2:09⅖, is about four seconds slower than that made by Meridian, the winner last year. Worth won by a neck, while Duval was five lengths in front of the filly, Flamma.

Worth established his claim to the three-year old championship for the 1912 season, although he will have to win many more races this year to hold that title. At the present time he is the best of all three-year olds. To-day, just as last season, there were many doubting Thomases regarding his ability and class. It took the celebrated match race at Latonia last fall to convince these persons that he was the best two-year old out[Pg 106] in 1911, and this spring the Kentucky Derby race is the one which sweeps aside all chances for an argument.

The colt was dead tired when the race was finished, and had to be urged hard in the last furlong. He was “prepped” for this race, and lasted long enough to win it, which ends all arguments what might have happened had the race been 20 or 30 yards more. Shilling, who rode him, announced before the race that he did not intend to have mud slung in his eyes, and he kept his word. The beaten ones in the contest had no excuse; they were beaten fairly and squarely, luck never entering into the result in the least.

There were no unusual incidents connected with the preliminaries to the big race. The crowd during the interval between the ending of the third and the time to go to the post in the big event, wended its way to the paddock and stood several deep around the railing, each and every one anxious to get a good look at the contenders. Promptly at 4:30 they left the paddock and paraded down past the judges’ stand. Flamma, the only filly in the race, leading the procession, but she was a little shy and on several occasions refused to come down in front. Wheelwright, with Byrne up, followed with free Lance, sporting the colors of George J. Long, the Louisville turfman, leading Guaranola, which was directly in front of the favorite, Worth. Sonada and Duval brought up in the rear in the order named. The clouds were hanging quite low and it was doubtful if the race would be finished before the rain fell.

The horses pranced down the stretch to the quarter pole, where Starter Cassidy told riders just what was expected of them. Several times they could have been let go, but Flamma was still in an ugly mood and she broke up many perfect starts. After about two minutes of work at the post the [Pg 107]simultaneous cry from 18,000 throats proclaimed the fact that the big race was on.

Shilling pushed Worth into the lead, and the big brown son of Knight of the Thistle went about his work in a determined manner. He needed no urging to keep him in front and ran straight and true under the clever guidance of his rider. Free Lance cut across at the start and took the second position, laying back of Worth about a length, although Wheelwright breaking first, did not get to going right away. Sonada broke well, with Duval only a short distance back. Guaranola was a couple of lengths behind soon after they got to going, with Flamma bringing up in the rear, the filly having been caught unawares. Shilling took no chances with the Hallenbeck colt, but held him right to his knitting, coming down the stretch for the first time.

Passing the wire, Worth was easily a length and a half to the good of Free Lance, which was laying back in a contending position at all times. A length back of Free Lance, hugging the rail, came Sonada, which was only a head in front of Duval. Wheelwright followed Duval, being three lengths back of him. Guaranola was two lengths in front of Flamma, which gives an idea of the poor start gotten by the filly. Around the turn going into the backstretch, Worth was still leading by his length and a half advantage. Free Lance was still holding on, although half a length separated the Alvescot colt from Guaranola, which had slipped up on the rail. Duval was laying back in fourth place on the outside, being half a length in front of Flamma, which had passed Sonada and Wheelwright. Sonada had dropped into last place and Wheelwright was not much better, both of them running neck and neck for the booby prize. It was plain to all that they were outclassed and the crowd passed them up and centered all their attention on the leaders. Away over[Pg 108] on the far turn, those without glasses could still distinguish that Worth was in the lead, although it was growing dark fast. They also noticed that Duval had slipped upon the inside and was now only a length behind the Hallenbeck champion. Flamma, on the outside, had also passed Free Lance, and it was quite patent here that the Long colt could not go the route, for Guaranola had also passed him. Sonada and Wheelwright were trailing nearly ten lengths back. Worth still held his advantage turning into the stretch, but Shilling was becoming nervous, for he felt the colt was tiring.

It was now a question with him as to whether he could stick out the last furlong. Drawing his whip he gave him a couple of blows and the big fellow hung on. Duval was only a length back and in this way they raced to the sixteenth pole, with Flamma in third place. Duval was gradually gaining on Worth and Fain started to ride hard. Shilling again pulled his whip at the sixteenth pole and applied it vigorously. It was well he did, for the colt was dead tired, but still game. Fain had no whip, but proceeded to give Duval a hand ride. Shilling held Worth’s head straight during the last gruelling sixteenth and the colt dashed before the grand stand a neck ahead of Duval. Fain rode his mount out, but he could not get up in time. Five lengths back of Duval came Flamma, after running a good, game race. Four lengths behind Flamma was the dead tired Free Lance, a length ahead of Guaranola. Sonada finished away back and Wheelwright was pulled up.

Worth had won and the crowd was satisfied that the best horse was the victor. As was said before, there is no use considering “if the race had been a few yards longer” the result might have been different.

The jockeys hurried back to the grand stand, the usual wreath[Pg 109] was placed about the neck of Worth, Shilling was given a bouquet of roses and then came the deluge.

 

SUMMARY

May 11, 1912. Track muddy. Purse $6,000. Net value to the winner $4,850. 1¼ miles. Time, :24⅗, :49⅖, 1:16⅕, 1:42⅗, 2:09⅖.

Worth, br c, by Knight of the Thistle—Miss Hanover, 117 lbs., ridden by C. H. Shilling. Won by a neck; 4 to 5. Duval, 2nd, Fain. Flamma, 112 lbs. Loftus, Third. Also ran Free Lance, Peak; Guaranola, Molesworth; Sonada, Koerner; Wheelwright, Byrne. Owner H. C. Hallenbeck. Trainer F. M. Taylor.

 

 


THIRTY-NINTH DERBY 1913

Seldom in the history of Churchill Downs has there been a prettier start in the Derby than that of to-day. At the post less than a minute, the horses wheeled in perfect alignment and were away like a shot. Jimmie Gill had a momentary advantage, but was headed by Ten Point in a flash and the big Easterner passed the stand for the first time two lengths to the good. Foundation was in second place, with Yankee Notions third, and Leochares the Gowell close up, and Jimmie Gill by this time a trailer.

Ten Point was rank and Buxton had difficulty restraining him in the next quarter, causing him to go the first half in 0:47⅘ and adding another length’s advantage over the others. Foundation was still in second place, and Yankee Notions, running well within himself, half a length away, with Gowell fourth next the inner rail. Donerail, on which Goose was riding a perfect race, was beginning to steel up in steady fashion. Gowell was given bungling handling by the diminutive McCabe and was also suffering from bumping. Leochares was thoroughly[Pg 110] done for after the first half, and Lord Marshall and Jimmie Gill were also out of it to all intents and dropped rearward steadily. There was a general closing up by the first five in the next quarter, but Ten Point still held to a slight lead until the stretch turn was reached, where Buxton found his mount wavering and he began using his whip. At this time Yankee Notions was passing Foundation, and the supporters of the Knapp representative gave a shout of joy, for it was expected by them if Yankee Notions got to Ten Point before the stretch turn he would make short shift of the favorite in the battle to the finish.

Unexpectedly, Yankee Notions weakened just when his chances appeared best and the Ten Point supporters again took heart, but their hopes went glimmering shortly after when Donerail shot out of the bunch and headed the others in the last furlong. In the final drive Donerail easily held his own. Ten Point and Foundation were struggling gamely for the place at the last furlong post when the colt seemed to bore over a trifle. In the last sixteenth Foundation began weakening and Ten Point managed to get clear of him, but another menace loomed up for place honors in the shape of Gowell, though he succeeded in passing the finishing line in advance of her. Foundation was fourth and Yankee Notions fifth, the rest were distant trailers, with Leochares the whipper in.

A warm reception awaited the winner when the boy returned to the judges’ stand to weigh in. Jockey R. Goose was probably happier than Owner T. P. Hayes.

It devolved on Governor James B. McCreary to present Jockey Goose with the bouquet of flowers given by the New Louisville Jockey Club to the winning jockey of the day. He said:

“Young man, I congratulate you. The highest compliment that any person can receive in life is that of success. You have[Pg 111] met with great success to-day and are deserving of the honor now bestowed upon you. You were on a gallant horse and you rode a brilliant race.”

Jockey Goose, in reply, bashfully said:

“Governor, I more than appreciate your compliment. I regard it as the greatest afternoon in my whole life for the reason that I was born and reared in Louisville and I have won Louisville’s greatest race. I will never forget this day as long as I live. I will say for my mount that he did all I asked of him throughout the race. He held his position well in the early part and finished staunch and game when I called on him in the stretch. While I rode him to the best of my ability, I was on a good horse to-day.”

 

FOLLOWING IS A SUMMARY OF THE RACE

Kentucky Derby; one mile and a quarter; for three-year olds; $5,000 added; net value to winner $5,475. Fractional Time—0:23⅘, 0:47⅘, 1:12⅗, 1:39⅗, 2:04⅘, new record.

    P. P. St. ¼ ½ ¾ S. F.
T. P. Hayes’ Donerail, 117 Goose 5 3 6 1 6  5 1 5 2 
A. L. Aste’s Ten Point, 117 Buxton 4 4 1 2 1 3 1 2  2 
J. T. Weaver’s Gowell, 112 McCabe 3 2 5 2 4 h 4  4 1 3 h
C. W. McKenna’s Foundation, 117 Loftus 8 5 2 1  2 h  4nk
H. K. Knapp’s Yankee Notions, 117 Glass 6 7  3 h 3   5 5
J. O. & G. H. Keene’s Lord Marshall, 117 Steele 1 8 7 1 7 1 6 2 6 1 6 8
Doerhoefer & West’s Jimmie Gill, 110 Borel 2 1 8 8 8 7 10 7 15
J. W. Schorr’s Leochares, 114 Peak 7 6 4 h  7 h 8 8

[Pg 112]Donerail, the winner of the thirty-ninth Kentucky Derby, was raised on John S. Barbee’s Glen-Helen Farm, near Lexington. Mr. Barbee keeps all of Mr. Hayes’ mares. Ten Point, the second horse, was also raised on Mr. Barbee’s farm. Donerail gets his name from Donerail, a flag station near Lexington on the Q. & C. Railway.

Donerail was sired by imp. McGee, a stallion owned by Charles W. Moore, Mere Hill Stud, near Lexington. McGee was imported from England by E. Corrigan and raced in this country by that turfman with much success.

Algie M., the dam of Donerail, is by Hanover out of Johnetta, by Bramble. Her sire lines are those of Kentucky Derby winners, Hanover, her sire, having gotten Halma, winner of the event in 1895, which in turn, sired Alan-a-Dale the victor in the race in 1902, whereas Bramble, sire of her grandam, got Ben Brush, the Kentucky Derby winner of 1896.

Donerail is a nicely made colt of more than average height, being close to 16 hands high. He has never been credited with speed of the sprinting order, but what he can do is of the rating sort, which tells for a lot in his favor in a long race. He started eighteen times last season, winning four times, finishing second four, and third six times. This season he ran three times previous to the Derby to-day, his best race being in the Blue Grass Stakes, at Lexington, in which he ran second to Foundation, at a mile and an eighth, run in 1:51⅖.

The Kentucky Derby of to-day was the richest race in the history of that classic, being worth $6,600 gross. Of this, the second horse, Ten Point, won $700, and the third horse, Gowell, $300. With the $125 deducted, the winner’s entrance and starting fee, the net value to Donerail is $5,475.

 

 


[Pg 113]

FORTIETH DERBY 1914

Derby followers awoke this morning to find that, with a cloudless sky smiling above, the elements had looked upon the day with favor, it being an ideal day for racing. A warm sun dissipated the moisture of two preceding days and also assisted extensively in putting the course in good shape.

It was just a few minutes after 5 o’clock when the Derby entrants, after having been cantered past the grandstand and clubhouse veranda, approached the starting point a quarter of a mile above the judges’ stand. Old Ben, which had the inside position at the start, was the first to slip under the barrier and wheel about facing it. Then came Watermelon, John Gund, Bronzewing, Surprising, Old Rosebud and Hodge in the order named.

At the post less than two minutes the seven entrants in the Derby were off like a shot. For the fraction of a second they ran in perfect alignment, the start having been an ideal one. Then Old Rosebud began moving into the lead. Hodge, a bit slower than his rival, was quickest of the others, however, and closed in immediately behind the leader. Bronzewing was last of the seven to get going, and at the end of the first quarter was last by five lengths.

As the eyes of those stationed at the starting point followed the racers in their swift circling of the track they saw Old Rosebud gradually increasing the lead assumed by him during the first quarter of the journey.

Rounding the turn into the stretch Old Rosebud was in the lead by two lengths, Hodge was second by four lengths and John Gund was third by half a length. Surprising was a head[Pg 114] in advance of Old Ben, and the latter was a length and a half in advance of Bronzewing, which was running like a wild horse. As the band of racers passed into the stretch, McCabe called on Old Rosebud for an extra effort, and he responded in a manner that opened the oldest turfman’s eyes in wonder and amazement, for he sprinted away from his opposition as if they were standing still to win easily by eight lengths in the remarkable time of 2:03⅖, a record for the distance here, and making the performance stand out the more in view of the fact that the track was far from being in its best shape. Hodge finished second by a length and a half. Bronzewing closed up the space separating her from John Gund, Surprising and Old Ben, passing the three and dropping into third position four lengths behind Hodge.

The ride which Old Rosebud received was second only to his own great courage. Jockey McCabe, a midget whose head and hands are busy under all conditions, rode a wonderful race. Coming through the stretch he was working in perfect unison with his mount. McCabe was restraining the high-strung gelding, and at the same time looking back into the rut of blasted hopes where Hodge, Bronzewing and other stars of the turf struggled toward the wire.

Old Rosebud seemed to realize the importance of the occasion. He had given his best efforts and won. Except for flecks of foam and sweat upon his arching neck, he seemed as though he had just come out of the barn for a workout. He was the leading money-winner on the turf in 1913, and bids fair to hold his record again in 1914.

Governor McCreary, who had witnessed the Derby running as the guest of the stewards, presented Jockey McCabe with[Pg 115] the huge bouquet of American Beauty roses and also tendered his congratulations to Messrs. Weir and Applegate, the joint owners of the winner.

Old Rosebud, the winner, was bred by J. E. Madden at Hamburg Place. His sire, Uncle, was bred by Col. E. F. Clay and his breeding partner, Catesby Woodford, in Bourbon County, and his dam, Ivory Bells, was bred by E. S. Gardner at Avondale Stud, in Tennessee. She is by Himyar, the sire of Domino, and out of the wonderful race mare Ida Pickwick, by Mr. Pickwick. The latter horse is a son of the English Derby winner Hermit. The next dam was Ida K., by King Alfonso, she being the dam of Indigo, that produced the Suburban Handicap winner, Go Between.

Old Rosebud was purchased, along with four yearling fillies, in the season of 1912, by H. C. Applegate & Co., for $3,000. He won his first race, the Yucatan Stakes, at Juarez, Mexico, in the winter of 1913, and also won another race at that track before being brought to Kentucky last spring. Little Nephew, also by Uncle, is the only horse that ever beat Old Rosebud in a race.

Last year the Derby winner won twelve of his fourteen starts. He ran three most remarkable races as a two-year old at Douglas Park, first winning at five furlongs in 0:58⅘, again in 0:58⅗ and again 0:58⅖. In all of these races he beat his old rival, Little Nephew. He has only started once before this season, that being a mile race at Lexington, which he won with ease. That race was intended as a preliminary trial for his Derby race to-day, and it must be admitted that it brought him to the post in the Derby in the very pink of condition. The great gelding was trained by F. D. Weir, who is famous in turf[Pg 116] annals of other days as the trainer of Roseben, one of the champion sprinters of all time.

“This was surely a great day, and the Kentucky Derby this season eclipses all records,” said President Charles F. Grainger. “Old Rosebud and Hodge are two three-year olds the like of which perhaps never met in a Derby race. To beat a performer like Hodge as handily as he did to-day makes Old Rosebud one of the champion three-year olds of all time. Hodge beat the previous Derby record for a mile and a quarter as well as Old Rosebud, and the race was run over a track more than a second slow. Had the Downs course been at its fastest undoubtedly Old Rosebud would have beaten the world’s record for the Kentucky Derby distance on a circular track had he been pushed.”

Judge Charles F. Price stated that he had never seen a greater day of racing. “There was not a single happening to mar the great pleasure of the afternoon, and the Derby of 1914 was the most remarkable race ever run in the long history of this classic event,” said the presiding official. “It was not only a track record for the Downs, but it was a remarkable race in every particular and wonderful to relate, the two starts of the contest, Old Rosebud and Hodge, are both geldings. It is questionable if in a life-time two such horses as these three-year olds will be seen in any Derby race together.”

 

SUMMARY

Saturday, May 9, 1914. Track good. Derby 1 and ¼ mile. $10,000 added, value to winner $9,125. For 3-year olds. Time 1:38⅘, 2:03⅖.

Old Rosebud, 114, McCabe 1
Hodge, 114, Taylor 2
Bronze Wing, 117, J. Hanover 3

[Pg 117]John Gund, 117, Byrne; Old Ben, 114, Turner; Surprising, 117, Peak; Watermelon, 112, French.

Winner bay geld, by Uncle—Ivory Bells. Owner H. C. Applegate. Trainer F. D. Weir.

 

 


FORTY-FIRST DERBY 1915

Regret, a chestnut daughter of Broomstick—Jersey Lightning, to-day overcame tradition that has withstood since Aristides, the “little red horse,” triumphed in the inaugural running of the Blue Grass State classic in the spring of 1875, and gained for her owner, Harry Payne Whitney, the Eastern sportsman, the sum of $11,450 and what is infinitely more to him the honor of winning The Kentucky Derby.

Regret, the scion of illustrious thoroughbreds, achieved an easy victory, and, while she may not be the greatest horse that ever won the Derby, the daughter of Broomstick and the granddaughter of Ben Brush furnished a spectacle for more than 40,000 persons at Churchill Downs that will not soon be forgotten. Dashing to the front with the rise of the barrier, she made every post a winning post and came on to laurels that were rightfully hers.

Behind Regret trailed the greatest field that has ever worn silks in this premier turf event. Pebbles, also carrying the colors of the Eastern invasion, straining aching muscles, pursued the flying leader to the wire. In his wake were Sharpshooter, another representative of the East; Royal II, the English-bred colt; Emerson Cochran, Leo Ray, Double Eagle and the rest of the struggling field. Sixteen pure-blooded animals accepted the issue, the largest number in the history of the race.

Far Back was For Fair, a winter king; Ed Crump, the hope of the Tennesseeans; Norse King, a star of the Maryland racing,[Pg 118] and others. Each had done nobly, he had done his best, but it was not enough to-day. Old horsemen squinted their eyes unavailingly; they could not recall a Derby wherein so many good horses had been found wanting. For when was there such a field as that in the forty-first running of this turf fixture? Regret and her victory will long be talked of where the turf is discussed.

“A filly cannot win the Derby” has been a familiar slogan in Kentucky. But no filly of Regret’s type has ever before aspired to this turf honor. Of richest lineage, trained by the master hand of James Rowe, and ridden by the clever Notter, Regret’s claim demanded consideration. Those who scoffed at her chances did not consider.

After a short delay at the starting pole, all breasted the line together and up went the barrier. Down the stretch came the charging thoroughbreds; past the grandstand they sped with Regret leading by a half length, Pebbles second and Sharpshooter third, overlapped by Ed Crump. The others were in close attendance.

On swept Regret, Jockey Notter sat well forward and the filly moved with the utmost precision, maintaining a moderate rating stride that bespoke much reserve. Pebbles still hung at the saddle girth, his long sweeping strides a source of discomfort to the backers of the favorite. Plain it was that Pebbles was the chief contender, and in the interest of the thousands it was a two-horse race.

Around the first turn and up the back stretch went the flying leaders. At the five-eighths pole Pebbles challenged, and momentarily seemed to make up a few inches on the pacemaker, but Notter loosened his reins a notch and Regret responded easily. Sharpshooter was still leading the pursuit. Ed Crump, a close[Pg 119] attendant, then made his move. Near the end of the back stretch the Schorr colt crept up. He was ridden by Jockey Goose, a Louisville boy, and his friends sounded above the din, “Come on Roscoe.” But Ed Crump was not equal to the occasion. He tried, but failed and dropped back further and further as the journey progressed.

As they took the turn by the old clubhouse Pebbles made a determined bid for the honor and glory that go to the winner of the Kentucky Derby. Again Regret met his challenge easily. She moved away from her dogged rival and came into the stretch with a lead of a length and a half. Sharpshooter plodded stubbornly after the Butler crack, his steel-like cords playing beneath the skin. Three-sixteenths of a mile from the wire Notter shook up the filly slightly and she came on down the rail two lengths in front of Pebbles. Sharpshooter, driving madly under the urging of Jockey Butwell, held Royal II. safe.

Regret pulled up remarkably fresh after her long journey. When she came back into the charm circle before the judges’ stand she was still full of run. When the wreath was placed around her neck and Jockey Notter boosted up on her bare, sweaty back the cheering which had accompanied her victory was a mere whisper in comparison to the ovation she received when the idea that the unattainable had been attained and that a filly had conquered the princes of the turf and won a Kentucky Derby, penetrated the head of the vast throng.

Regret was bred at Mr. Whitney’s Brookdale Farm, in New Jersey.

Under a smiling sun, forgetful of world’s tragedy, society assembled a brilliant gathering around the clubhouse grounds to witness the running of the Derby to-day.

Mr. Whitney was one of the first men out on the track after the race was over, and as Regret was jogging back to the stand he[Pg 120] remarked: “Isn’t she the prettiest little filly you ever saw? You know,” he continued, “this is the greatest race in America at the present time, and I don’t care if she never starts again. The glory of winning this event is big enough, and Regret can retire to the New Jersey farm any time now. I told Rowe I didn’t care if she never won another race if she could only land this one. I have seen much bigger crowds than this one in the East and abroad, but I never saw a more enthusiastic one. It’s great” and the expression on his face as he stood patting the mare’s neck was the best evidence in the world that he is a worthy representative of his illustrious father, than whom racing never had a better friend.

This was the largest field which ever went to the post in the Kentucky Derby. In 1875, when the first Kentucky Derby was run, and Aristides, the little chestnut horse was returned the victor, fifteen competed for the prize and honors. In 1882, when Apollo was victorious, fourteen went to the post, but never in its long history did sixteen horses fight it out.

 

SUMMARY

May 8, 1915. Track fast. Derby, $10,000 added, value to winner $11,450; $2,000 to second; $1,000 to third. Time 23⅗, 48⅗, 1.13⅗, 1.39⅖, 2.05⅖.

Regret, 112, J. Notter 1
Pebbles, 117, C. Borel 2
Sharpshooter, 114, J. Butwell 3

Royal II, 117, A. Neylon; Emerson Cochran, 117, W. Taylor; Leo Rey, 117, T. McTaggart; Double Eagle, 117, C. Burlingame; Dortch, 110, A. Mott; For Fair, 117, Warrington; Ed Crump, 117, R. Goose; Little String, 117, E. Pool; Goldcrest Boy, 114, J. Kederis; Uncle Bryn, 117, J. McTaggart; Tetan, 117, J. Smyth; Norse King, 117, W. J. O’Brien; Booker Bill, 117, W. Andress.

Winner Ch F, by Broomstick—Jersey Lightning. Trained by J. Rowe. Owner, H. P. Whitney.

 

 


[Pg 121]

FORTY-SECOND DERBY 1916

As old Rome raised her gates for the returning conqueror and turned over to him the city’s keys so did Louisville surrender to-day to the spirit of the Derby.

Again must the mind go back to palmy days of the city by the Tiber to imagine anything like the scene when that crowd of 50,000 cheering persons saw Gov. Stanley present the victor’s wreath to Loftus, the boy who rode George Smith, winner of the classic.

It was a surrender complete, unequivocal and universal with all classes, at all places and in every regard.

But perhaps it was not a surrender at all, for that spirit of the great Kentucky classic gave to the city a gala day that even the carnival of Venice or Mardi Gras at New Orleans cannot surpass; it crowded the city with 25,000 strangers from far and near and, from the calculations of hotel men and others who come in immediate contact with the racing crowds, brought and left no less than one-half million out-of-town dollars to the Gateway of the South.

There was but one limit to the festivities of the day—the azure sky. If Louisville was joyful to see so many strangers within her walls and delighted in a day of sport that might befit dwellers of the Elysian Fields, she had yet another cause for gladness. Despite the efforts of “the East” to capture the Kentucky Derby for two seasons, the first and third horses in the classic were “bred in old Kentucky.”

The Derby was the fifth race on the card, and it was 5:15 o’clock when the horses reached the post. There was but little delay at the barrier, and within a minute they were on their way. Dodge, which ran coupled with Franklin as the Weber & Ward entry, was the first to show colors, and his stablemate[Pg 122] dashed away right behind him. Dominant, which was coupled with Thunderer as the Harry Payne Whitney entry, followed the Weber & Ward pair, and he immediately dashed into a long lead.

Passing the stand for the first time Dominant had a long lead and appeared to be running easily, but after reaching the back side of the track it was evident that he was not good enough to last it out. Franklin was running close to him and appeared to be ready to run over him. George Smith was in third position, and Jockey Johnny Loftus was carefully nursing him along reserving his speed for the gruelling drive through the stretch, which he knew must come. Nearing the three furlong pole Dominant gave it up and then Loftus called on George Smith.

The Sanford colt bounded to the front at a rapid rate and soon had a lead of a length over his field, with Franklin closest to him. Then it was that Star Hawk loomed up as a dangerous contender as he finally found his stride and had clear sailing. In the stretch, though, Loftus kept hard at work on George Smith, while Jockey Walter Lilley, who rode Star Hawk, was making vigorous efforts to get him up.

Between the sixteenth pole and the finish it looked as though Star Hawk could make it, but Loftus’ experience served him well and he never drove a horse harder than he drove George Smith.

The showing of the Whitney pair was disappointing to the Eastern contingent and to Trainer James Rowe himself, who was the picture of confidence before the race. Thunderer did not show to advantage at any stage of the race, but he finally managed to beat his stablemate, he finishing fifth, and Dominant seventh.

Nine three-year old colts contested for the race, Bulse, Huffaker and St. Isidore being scratched.

[Pg 123]George Smith is entirely of English blood, both his sire, Out of Reach, and his dam, Consuelo II., being of imported blood. His sire is now owned by the New York turfman, James Butler.

The Derby was worth gross $13,200. The winner’s net share was $9,750, while the second horse, Star Hawk, took down $2,000; the third horse, Franklin, $1,000, and the fourth horse, Dodge, saved his stake of $225. The time, 2:04, has only once been beaten in the Derby, being second to the mark of 2:03⅖, scored by Old Rosebud in 1914, which is still the Kentucky Derby race record.

Jockey John Loftus, who rode George Smith to victory in the Kentucky Derby, is a native of Chicago, Ill., where his parents reside. He has long been regarded one of the leading riders of America, and is now under contract to James Butler. He only came West this spring to ride George Smith at Lexington and in the Derby, and will return to New York at once to his employer. Loftus was long connected with the stable of J. B. Respess and was also awhile with the J. Livingston stable. He rode one season in France and made good there, the same as he has in this country.

John Sanford, the owner of George Smith, is a son of the noted turfman of the same surname, who raced such great horses as Caughnawaga, Rockton, Chuctanunda, Mohawk II. and Molly Brant. The Sanford place is Hurricana Stud, near Amsterdam, N. Y., where is also located the Sanford carpet manufacturing plant. It is at Hurricana Stud that George Smith will do stud service when his turf career is over.

George Smith, the winner of the forty-second renewal of the historic and classic Kentucky Derby, is a superbly made black colt of average good size and much quality, with a superior way of going. He is very sightly in appearance and has a perfect track disposition.

[Pg 124]He was bred in Mercer County, Kentucky, at the Fountainbue Stud of Chinn & Forsythe, and was sold at a fall sale of yearlings at the Latonia track for $1,600, being the second highest priced yearling sold at that time. Ed McBride, at that sale, left considerable money with Lou Tauber to buy three yearlings, one of these was George Smith, another was Tom Elwood, and the other was Eddie Henry, both of which have won stake races for McBride.

 

SUMMARY

May 13, 1916. Track fast. $10,000 added. Value to winner $9,750, second $2,000, third $1,000. Time 22⅖, 46⅖, 1.12⅕, 1.38⅘, 2.04.

George Smith, 117, J. Loftus 1
Star Hawk, 117, W. Lilley 2
Franklin, 117, T. Rice 3

Dodge, 117, F. Murphy; Thunderer, 117, T. McTaggart; The Cock, 110, M. Garner; Dominant, 117, J. Notter; Kinney, 117, L. Gentry; Lena Misha, 117, E. Dugan.

Winner black colt, by Out-of Reach—Consuelo II. Owned by John Sanford. Trained by H. Hughes.

 

 


FORTY-THIRD DERBY 1917

Mindful still of the war time, but mindful more of the play time—of Kentucky’s great play day of the May time—35,000 citizens of everywhere came from the high and low places of earth to-day to make Derby Day in Louisville what Derby Day always had been.

When a Maytime sun flushes the bluegrass of Churchill Downs, dapples the satin coats of thoroughbreds and touches to brilliancy the brave green and gold of paddock, lawn and infield, when a hawthornscented breeze, straight from the wooded[Pg 125] hills of Jacob Park, ripples the gleaming folds of “Old Glory,” when Senators and Governors, multi-millionaires and internationally famous beauties foregather for the running of the Derby, when the motion picture cameras are licking, when the bands are playing, and the bugles sounding “Boots and Saddles,” it is time to heed Omar’s advice:

“Come, fill the cup, and in the fire of spring
Your winter garment of repentance fling!”

There were, indeed, no “winter garments of repentance” in evidence at the Down to-day but instead such Far Eastern colors, such vivid touches of Chinese red and jade green, such oriental embroideries, such swirling military capes and coats that had their inspiration in the army as to convert the Downs into a picture that suggested some vast canvas by Velasquez.

The wise man who once declared that “four things greater than all things are: Women and horses and power and war” would have found his dictum translated into living proof to-day, for added to the beauty of the women who graced the Downs, added to the fleetness of the satin-coated horses, and the power that is Kentucky, there was the suggestion of patriotism that can only translate itself in war. The olive-drab of the First Kentucky Infantry formed a fitting background for the striking picture presented by clubhouse lawn, verandas and boxes. “Old Glory” rippled and fluttered and the notes of the bugle stirred the immense throng to one single impulse of patriotism. The feeling that if fate should decree that on the next Derby days some of “our boys” should be in France, and nearer Longchamps than Churchill Downs, that Kentucky will be sure to “place a wager for them” instead of “turning down an empty glass,” was everywhere expressed.

[Pg 126]Meanwhile, it seemed that “the loveliest, and the best” of Louisville, of Kentucky, and of the nation, were “star-scattered on the grass” of the clubhouse. In fact, the Rubaiyat of the Kentucky Derby was written to-day, and the chestnut-coated, satin-smooth Omar Khayyam won no less in the clubhouse than on the race course for everywhere the Far Eastern, the Persian, the Oriental touch was in evidence. There were Arab coats, pongees, and tussahs, silks of Oriental weave, and fabrics that were dyed in the self-same tints, and embroidered in the self-same designs and motifs as those that greeted the eyes of Omar Khayyam centuries ago.

Automobiles in a long line that narrowed close to the course and bore thousands from all quarters of the city filled all the inclosures and the open spaces near the park. Street cars, embracing nearly all the emergency equipment of the railway company, ran in an almost continuous line, southbound, for several hours on Fourth street. Many lovers of the sport and the occasion took the footpaths for the exercise.

At any rate, 1:30 o’clock found no less than 30,000 persons within Churchill Downs. It found them likewise at attention as a body of soldiers, led by a soldier band, marched in from the north gate, drawing up before a large flagstaff in the center of the infield.

When 30,000 persons are of one mind, and are gathered in silence in one place, there is eloquence in the air. The very breeze gives a thrill. When the Star Spangled Banner and a Kentucky Derby in wartime are turned loose on such a vast gathering of Americans the heart thumps mightily. In that gathering were men who have seen the ravages of war and men who expect to feel its blight; men in the khaki and men hoping soon to don it. And so, when the regiment boys burst into the anthem as[Pg 127] a large flag was raised along with two smaller ones, the crowd rose, held its silence until the band ceased, and then broke into a mighty cheer.

It was nearly 5 o’clock when the bugle sounded calling the horses to the post. The long procession of fifteen, led by the outrider on a gray horse, garbed in a fiery red jacket, made an imposing picture. The gay silks of the jockeys, with the verdant infield for a background, handed just the right touch of color to the scene. Down past the grandstand and clubhouse they pranced, and here they were all given cheers. It takes Kentucky racing audiences to grow enthusiastic, and they know how to do it. On the way to the post Ticket, the favorite, was the most nervous one of the lot, prancing and dancing throughout the stretch. All others were a well behaved lot.

It took the starter four minutes to get them in alignment, and then the grand old shout of “They’re off!” shot out from the grandstand and was spent on the distant green hills.

Ticket dashed into the lead, but Stargazer soon assumed command, with Berlin forcing the pace at his side. They swept past the grandstand at a stirring clip, the field strung out as the riders jockeyed for positions. On went Stargazer, his dazzling pace tearing at the hearts of those who attempted to follow it. Berlin curled up from the effort and dropped back, beaten, as the band sped up the back stretch. Ticket still held on and it was plain that he was the horse the winner would have to beat.

As they rounded the turn by the old clubhouse Rickety made his move. He seemed to have the speed of his party and rapidly mowed down his opposition. At the quarter pole Rickety flashed in front, but it was only for an instant. He appeared to suddenly weaken and Ticket headed the procession.

Meanwhile one of the cleverest riders in America was nestling low over the neck of a big chestnut colt. As the field passed the[Pg 128] grandstand the first time he was in tenth place. There he continued around the curve and into the back stretch. Out in front he could see the flying leaders, but his mount was running smoothly, and as they passed the half mile pole he noticed he was shortening the distance that he must make up. He was satisfied with his position. But suddenly every hope was threatened. He was borne over against the rail and his mount was knocked off his stride. But Borel did not despair. He took back until the way was clear and passed the mile mark in sixth place.

The flying leaders swung a trifle wide into the stretch and left an opening on the rail. Borel did not hesitate. Along the white fence he took Omar. In a couple of jumps his mount was at Ticket’s rump. Steadily he moved toward the front, past saddle girth and withers. He soon was stretching fiery nostrils alongside the bay colt’s neck, and then Omar Khayyam’s blaze face showed in front, and in the last hundred yards commenced to draw away and swept under the wire winner by two lengths.

The Kentucky Derby; one mile and a quarter; for three-year olds; purse, $15,000 added; net value to the winner, $16,600; $2,500 to second, $1,000 to third, $275 to fourth. Fractional Time—0:23⅗, 0:47⅗, 1:12⅘, 1:38, 2:04⅗.

Starters Weights Jockeys St. ¼ ½ ¾ S. F.
Omar Khayyam, 117 Borel 11 10 h 10 1  2 1 1 2
Ticket, 117 J. McTaggart 1 3 h 3    2 
Midway, 117 C. Hunt 12 12 1 9 1  3 h 3 4
Rickety, 117 Robinson 5  5 1 1 h  4 1
War Star, 110 Buxton 6 5  6 1  5 h 5 h
Manister Toi, 117 Keogh 15 13½ 11½ 10 1  6 h
Skeptic, 117 Martin 14 6 1 4 h 9 1 7 1 7 
[Pg 129]Guy Fortune, 117 Connolly 2 14 1 12 1 12 1 11 1 
Star Master, 117 Loftus 9  2 h 2 h 8 11 9 h
Stargazer, 110 Crump 10   3 h  10 2
Cudgel, 117 Murphy 13 11 1 7 1 13 1 12½ 11 5
Green Jones, 117 Goose 3 9 h 13 1 11½ 13 1 12 8
Top o’ the Wave, 117 Morys 4 15 14 2 14 1 14 1 13 4
Berlin, 117 Andress 7  8 h  10 1 14 12
Acabado, 114 Schuttinger 8 8 h 15 15 15 15

The $2 mutuels paid: Omar Khayyam, straight $27.60, place $10.90, show $6.20; Ticket, place $3.70, show $2.80; Midway, show $5.10.

Omar Khayyam was bred in England by Sir John Robinson and J. T. Farr and was purchased by his present trainer, Charles T. Patterson for C. K. G. Billings and Frederick Johnson at Newmarket, September 15, 1915, for $1,500. Omar Khayyam’s sire Marco won the Cambridgeshire, etc., and is the sire of Neil Gow, Beppo, Marcovil, Malua, Bembo, Mirador, Sansovino, and other good horses.

Omar Khayyam, named for the great Persian poet and astronomer, is the first foreign-bred colt to win a Kentucky Derby. His owners are Frederick Johnson, a broker, in New York and C. K. G. Billings, owner of the famous trotters Uhlan, Lou Dillon and Major Delmar and it is his second season as a thoroughbred owner. Mr. Johnson saw his colt win but Mr. Billings was unable to enjoy seeing the victory.

Trainer C. T. Patterson said before the race: “I never trained a horse in which I had more confidence than Omar Khayyam, and I handled Hamburg and Ornament.”

 

 


[Pg 130]

FORTY-FOURTH DERBY 1918

In the presence of the greatest crowd that ever thronged Churchill Downs and over a track fetlock deep in mud, Willis Sharpe Kilmer’s chestnut gelding Exterminator, saddled by Henry McDaniel, and capably ridden by W. Knapp, scored an easy victory over seven other good three-year olds in the forty-fourth running of the Kentucky Derby this afternoon. Kenneth D. Alexander’s crack Broomstick colt, Escoba, ridden by Joe Notter, finished second, a length back of the winner and eight lengths in front of Viva America, the only filly that started in the race. A. K. Macomber’s imported War Cloud, a heavy favorite in the speculation and which would have paid a little less than three to two, had he won, was never a serious factor and finished fourth, beaten all of the way.

The winner was given but scant consideration by the bettors, being the least regarded of the eight that made up the field after Aurum and Jim Heffering had been withdrawn. Exterminator paid his backers the handsome odds of nearly thirty to one and in winning upset all calculations and brought consternation to the ranks of the form players, who went to War Cloud with rare confidence.

It was after five o’clock when the bugle called the horses to the post for the Derby, in which a big surprise was in store for the spectators. Every inch of space in clubhouse and grandstand was taken, while a solid mass of humanity lined the lawns a quarter of a mile long, extending from clubhouse to the quarter pole, almost to the head of the homestretch. The procession of eight sleek thoroughbreds, trained to the minute, led by the outrider on a gray horse, garbed in a fiery jacket, made an imposing picture. The gay silks of the jockeys with the verdant field for a background, gave just the right touch of[Pg 131] color to the scene. Down past the grandstand and clubhouse they pranced, with Escoba in the lead, closely followed by the others. At sight of the dark blue and white sleeves of Mr. Alexander, worn by Escoba’s rider, faint cheers rippled along the fringe of the crowd that lined the rail, and which was turned into a noisy demonstration as War Cloud, the favorite, came in sight. They reached the post at 5:19, and it took Starter Dade but a brief time to get them in alignment. In exactly two minutes he sprung the barrier, and, shouting, “Come on,” sent the eight horses away on their history-making journey. Viva America was the first to show in front after a few strides, and was closely followed by Sewell Combs and Escoba.

As they thundered past the stand for the first time, the Worthington filly was still in the lead, with Sewell Combs and Escoba running neck and neck to her rear. Exterminator was lying in fourth position, while Lucky B., American Eagle, War Cloud and Jas. T. Clark were running abreast not far behind. There was very little change in the running positions as the field swung into the backstretch, except that the leader was beginning to show the strain of pacemaking. As they reached the half-mile pole backers of War Cloud implored Loftus to move up and for a moment it appeared that the rider had heard the cry across the field and was making an effort to comply. The English-bred horse, however, showed clearly that the task was too much for him, for despite his rider’s vigorous efforts he could not get within hailing distance of the leaders. Rounding the far turn Viva America was ready to cry quits and Escoba, after shaking off Sewell Combs, forged ahead. If Notter, who was aboard of Escoba, exulted over the advantage gained, he was soon doomed to disappointment, for Knapp had gone to work on Exterminator, and under keen urging the Kilmer gelding[Pg 132] rushed forward and was on even terms with the Alexander colt as they straightened out for the last gruelling drive. After a brief struggle, Exterminator shook off his doughty antagonist and drawing clear in the last eighth, won in a mild drive in 2:10⅘. Escoba had practically no opposition for the place. Viva America beat War Cloud four lengths for third money. Sewell Combs ran a good race, but tired chasing the leader in the first seven-eighths. Lucky B., which was supposed to be partial to the heavy track, ran far below expectations. American Eagle and Jas. T. Clark also ran below par and might just as well not have been started. War Cloud showed a very poor effort, due probably to the fact that he did not like the kind of mud that prevailed to-day.

The winner’s portion of the stake amounted to $14,700. The second horse’s share was $2,500, and the third horse, $1,000. By finishing fourth War Cloud saved his owner nominating and starting fees.

Exterminator and his rider were roundly applauded upon their return to the stand. Mr. Kilmer, who watched the race with Mrs. Kilmer from a box, was called into the judges’ box and warmly congratulated by Gov. A. O. Stanley, while the floral wreath was placed around the neck of the winner.

The morning dawned bright and clear, but shortly after 7 o’clock the sky became overcast and by 8:30 the rain was pouring down. It was steady and heavy until shortly after 1 o’clock when it ceased and there was an occasional feeble attempt of the sun to kiss away the dampness on stand and lawns and rye-grown infield of verdant Churchill Downs, but it was all to no purpose, for the country’s most classical race was decided over the muddiest course for any Derby since that won by Worth in 1912.

[Pg 133]As the horses came from the paddock onto the track in parade to the post for the opening race, the band struck up the national anthem, and at the same time the stars and stripes were run up to the top of the tall flag mast in the center field. Everyone stood—the soldiers, who had come in goodly numbers from Camp Zachary Taylor, at attention, and the male civilians, with their heads uncovered. Two of the jockeys, Frank Murphy and Lee Mink, took off their caps when they heard the strains of “The Star Spangled Banner,” and saw “Old Glory,” floating to the breeze, a resplendent guarantee to the freedom of the nation and earnest evidence that our fighting forces and their allies will make the world safe for democracy. And just at the moment of the good old flag’s ascendancy the sun shone out from behind the vanishing clouds until it was bright enough to cast shadows from the trees and shrubs upon the lawn.

In the spring of 1914 Joseph Knight made arrangements to breed three of his mother’s mares to McGee on shares. Mr. Moore was to have the pick of the mares owned by Mr. Knight’s mother. Fair Empress was one of the mares selected by Mr. Moore to breed to McGee and Exterminator was foaled on May 30, 1915. He was sold as a yearling at Saratoga by the Powers-Hunter Company to J. C. Milam for $1,500. Mr. Milam broke him and developed him, and last year won $1,350 with him, and this month, during the Lexington meeting, sold him to Mr. Kilmer for a price reported to have been in the vicinity of $10,000.

The Kentucky Derby; one mile and a quarter; for three-year olds; $15,000 added; net value to the winner $14,700; $2,500 to second; $1,000 to third; $275 to fourth. Fractional time—[Pg 134]0:24⅕, 0:49⅕, 1:16⅕, 1:43⅗, 2:10⅘. Went to the post at 5:19 p. m. Off at 5:21.

Starters Weights   St. ¼ ½ ¾ S. F.
Exterminator, 114 W. Knapp 5 5 1  1 h 2 4 1 1
Escoba, 117 J. Notter 2 3  2 h 2 1 1 h 2 8
Viva America, 113 W. Warrington 1 1  1  3 4 3 2 3 4
War Cloud, 117 J. Loftus 7 4 h 5 2 4 4 4 3 4 2
Lucky B., 117 J. McCabe 4 6 h 7 8  5 6 5 6
Jas. T. Clark, 117 J. Morys 8 7 3 6 3 7 6 7 3 6 12
Sewell Combs, 117 L. Gentry 3 2nk 3 1 6 2  7 1
American Eagle, 117 E. Sande 6 8 8 8 8 8

The $2 mutuels paid: Exterminator, straight $61.20, place $23.10, show $12.40; Escoba, place $4.90, show $4.60; Viva America, show $13.20.

Start good. Won handily; place driving. Winner, ch g, 3, by McGee—Fair Empress. Trainer H. McDaniel.

 

 


FORTY-FIFTH DERBY 1919

A record Derby in more ways than one was this year’s Louisville’s big racing attraction. Never was there such a crowd, the dimensions of which reminded me of Epsom and of Flemington. A vast surging mass of racing enthusiasts, which, prior to the running of the big race, were to be found eagerly discussing the merits or demerits of the Derby contestants and afterwards the whys and wherefores of the success of one and the failure of others. A record Derby also because of the fact that two horses in the same ownership finished first and second, and also for the first time in its history the spoils fell to a sportsman who hails from the land of “God save the king and heaven bless the maple leaf forever.”

[Pg 135]Fortunately the morning’s promise of still more rain was not fulfilled, nary an umbrella did I see raised during the course of the afternoon. Many there were who availed themselves of the privilege of watching the race from the infield, though the grandstand was not filled to that overflowing that has marked the decision of former Derbies. This was true because of the fact that the whole grandstand was reserved, an extra charge being demanded for admission. Surely this is a mistake, ugh! What next? What would have happened it is hard to say had Jupiter Pluvious again gone to work. The going itself was more than fair. The Churchill Downs course never becomes holdings as does Lexington; proof of this is the winner’s more than good time, made when competing for the Derby.

Now then for the Derby. The gelding Be Frank is first on view, presenting a well trained appearance. Vindex, though out on the course for a warming up canter, did not pass the stands. His manners are even yet not by any means perfect, whinnying and nickering when returning to the paddock, a magnificent specimen of a thorough bred, perhaps a trifle long of back, carrying abundant condition, too, but in every way a gentleman to look at. Along came the Canadian pair Billy and Barton, by odds the best ordered horses in the race, Kelly especially looked fit to run for the proverbial king’s ransom, his whippet like contour convincing evidence that Trainer Bedwell has lost nothing of his skill, and Barton, too, though built on somewhat more generous lines, had the look of one trained to the minute. Indeed, it is comforting to know that there are yet to be found those who can prepare a horse for a ten furlongs race. Eternal and Sailor also are shown, the favorite more bulky than ever, Sailor put up on more rangy lines. Little Regalo was the last to come out, evidently on the best of terms with herself, evincing[Pg 136] an interest in the spectators and playing with her pony companion on her return. St. Bernard, Frogtown and Under Fire I did not see, the paddock was altogether impossible. The absolutely fit condition of the Ross pair was the subject of much favorable comment, the magnificence of Vindex, the lack of scope of Eternal, the well being of Regalo, all of us had something to say, but there goes the bugle. Starter Dade did not keep us waiting long, and from the outset the Ross chestnut, Sir Barton, was at the head of affairs, followed, as they pass the stand, by Eternal, Vindex and Billy Kelly. On they sweep round the upper turn, Barton galloping easily in front of Eternal, Billy Kelly third, just in front of Vindex, then came St. Bernard and Sennings Park, well clear of the rest. Only one-half mile has been run when Vindex rapidly compounds and quickly falls to the rear. On spins the chestnut well in advance of Eternal and Kelly; won’t he ever come back? Oh no, as long as weight and condition serve, both of which are in his favor. Eternal momentarily makes a stab at the three-eighths, but is done, absolutely done thereafter. Billy Kelly now looms up, and as they straighten for home makes his gallant effort, but it is of no avail, even to the application of the rawhide he is unable to respond, and Sir Barton sails home an easy winner after making every yard of the pace. Under Fire comes out of the ruck at the end to take third place, the son of Swynford again shows lack of pace in the early running, but came along stoutly at the finish, the rest scattering. Yes, scattering; there was no rattling horse against horse at any part of the race. It was thus Sir Barton broke his maiden, assisted of course in this by his pull in weight and also by his superior racing condition. Billy Kelly’s condition, too, saved him the place, and this is a feat which Trainer Bedwell is deserving of all praise and of which[Pg 137] he may well be proud. Under Fire’s gameness and race horse qualities enabled him to obtain third place, and some day, later along, he is certain to develop into a cup horse of the best sort, sound, long winded and hardy as they come. Regalo disappointed me. Fillies, however, are ever uncertain in this spring season. The form displayed by Vindex was altogether too bad to be true. Maybe he has his peculiarities as had his grandsire St. Maclou. Eternal did not have the appearance of a thoroughly trained horse. Maybe he was more fit than was thought and does not fancy a distance. As for the rest, they simply are not of Derby calibre. The time, 2:09⅗, was remarkably good, everything, track and atmospheric conditions, considered and goes a long way to show that the Kentucky Derby this year, at all events, was a true run, honest race.

“EXILE.”

 

SUMMARY

May 10, 1919. Track heavy. $20,000 added. Value to Winner $20,825, second $2,500, third, $1,000, fourth $275. Time—24⅕, 48⅖, 1.14, 1.41⅘, 2.09⅘.

Sir Barton, 112½, J. Loftus 1
Billy Kelly, 119, E. Sande 2
Under Fire, 122, M. Garner 3

Vulcanite, 110, C. Howard; Sennings Park, 122, H. Lunsford; Be Frank, 119, J. Butwell; Sailor, 119, J. McIntyre; St. Bernard, 119, E. Pool; Regalo, 117, F. Murphy; Eternal, 122, A. Schuttinger; Frogtown, 119, J. Morys; Vindex, 122, W. Knapp.

Winner Chestnut Colt, by Star Shoot—Lady Sterling. Owned by J. K. L. Ross. Trained by H. G. Bedwell.

 

 


[Pg 138]

FORTY-SIXTH DERBY 1920

A droning buzz as if from 45,000 human bees, a sudden silence as felt before a storm, and then an outburst of sound over topped in volume by the rebel yell let out by Uncle Billy Garth, of Virginia, thousands of fluttering spasms of dying thrills, and then the finish of the forty-sixth Kentucky Derby passed into history.

Running a great and game race, that did credit to his illustrious namesake, Paul Jones, a son of Sea King and May Florence, led from start to finish of the mile and a quarter, and won under a drive by a good neck. Fighting it out to the last ounce of endeavor, Harry Payne Whitney’s Upset, that owner’s home bred son of Whisk Broom II. and Pankhurst, finished in second place, with four lengths to spare over George W. Loft’s On Watch, who was early favorite in the winter books for this big event.

On Watch was four lengths in front of Damask another of the Whitney entry, while Donnacona, the other of the Loft pair to start, was fifth, with Blazes, stable mate of Paul Jones, sixth. The race was worth $30,375 to the winner, and there was $4,000 for Upset, who ran second, and $2,000 for On Watch, as the short end of the rich purse, while Damask saved his entry fee when he finished in fourth place, $275.

For once, the monster throng, many of whom had witnessed many other Derbies, awakened to a perfect day, just as perfect as a day in June, but the track was slow, as was evidenced by the time of 2:09. The record for this race was made by Old Rosebud, who did the distance in 2:03⅖.

The start of the race could not have been better, the seventeen thoroughbreds getting away in almost perfect alignment, after having been at the post less than four minutes.

[Pg 139]Paul Jones was the first to show in front, following the rise of the barrier, but pounding along at his throat-latch was Prince Pal, with the others following closely. By the time the leader had reached a point opposite the padlock gate, a few hundred yards from the starting line, the others had begun to string out.

On they came with Paul Jones showing the way. As the field passed the grandstand, the first time, Jockey Ted Rice nestled low in the saddle. He was rating his mount nicely and the son of Sea King was eager to run. On they sped around the first turn and into the back stretch. Here By Golly made his move for the honor and glory that goes to the winner of the Derby. He hung close to the heels of Paul Jones as they swung into the straight-away, and then fell back beaten.

Wildair took up the chase. He closed to the saddle girth of the Parr winner and they swept along at a tearing pace. One or the other must falter, the crowd knew, but Paul Jones proved his mettle. Wildair dropped back.

On Watch then drew the gaze of the spectators. As the field passed the half-mile post he shot forward and sped past his tiring opposition. On he continued as they rounded the last turn, and an old horseman shouted.

“On Watch wins.”

But On Watch had spent himself and all the courage and stamina at his command could not overhaul the driving duo out front. At the furlong pole Paul Jones met his sternest test. He seemed to be weakening from the long, hard struggle. Upset appeared to be the stronger. But Jockey Rice again called on his game little mount and Paul Jones did as Hanover or Hindoo would have done. He would not be denied.

[Pg 140]Paul Jones met challenge with challenge and at the close displayed a heart of iron as he drove madly under the wire with Upset at his throat-latch.

Throughout the stretch the twain waged a heartrending duel. As they took the final turn Upset made his bid. Inch by inch he forged past rump and flank and withers. He stretched fiery nostrils alongside the geldingR#8217;s throat. Only the blazed face remained between him and victory. On they came past the furlong pole, and still the blazed face would not be dislodged. It remained there to the end.

This triumph of the East was more than a victory for Kentucky. The ugly little brown boasts blood that long has been the pride of the Blue Grass. His dam is by Hamburg, which got Jersey Lightning, the dam of Regret, and Hamburg’s sire was the immortal Hanover, by Hindoo, winner of the Kentucky Derby of 1881. Hindoo was from the loins of Virgil out of Florence, by Lexington, and he by Boston, the great Boston.

 

SUMMARY

May 8, 1920. Track slow. $30,000 added. Value to winner $30,375, second, $4,000, third $2,000, fourth $275. Time—23⅘, 48⅕, 1.14⅘, 1.42, 2.09.

Paul Jones, 126, T. Rice 1
Upset, 126, J. Rodriguez 2
On Watch, 126, N. Barrett 3

Damask, 126, E. Ambrose; Donnacona, 126, W. J. O’Brien; Blazes, 126, C. Kummer; By Golly, 126, L. Lyke; Wildair, 126, L. Fator; Bersagliere, 126, T. Murray; Patches, 126, J. Hanover; Herron, 126, J. Butwell; Sandy Beal, 126, I. Williams; Prince Pal, 126, A. Schuttinger; David Harum, 126, C. Fairbrother; Cleopatra, 121, L. McAtee; Peace Pennant, 126, M. Garner; Sterling, 126, J. Callahan.

Winner, Brown Gelding, by Sea King-May Florence, by Hamburg. Owned by R. Parr. Trained by Wm. Garth.

 

 


[Pg 141]

I love the Hoss from Hoof to Head,
From Head to Hoof and Tail to Mane.
I love the Hoss, as I have said
From Head to Hoof and back again.
I love my God the first of all,
Then Him that perished on the Cross
And next my Wife and then I fall
Down on my knees and Love the Hoss.

James Whitcomb Riley.

history_of_the_kentucky_derby_1875-1921.txt · Last modified: 2015/07/07 15:17 by briancarnell