1875 Kentucky Derby

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1st Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby
Grade I stakes race
Location Churchill Downs
Date May 17, 1875
Winning horse Aristides
Jockey Oliver Lewis
Trainer Ansel Williamson
Owner Hal P. McGrath
Surface Dirt
1876 →

The 1875 Kentucky Derby was the first running of the Kentucky Derby.[1] The race took place on May 17, 1875.[2] The first Kentucky Derby was a 1.5-mile race, and the traditional distance of 1.25 miles was not established until the 1896 Derby.[3] Thirteen of the fifteen jockeys in the race, including winner Oliver Lewis, were African-American.[4] Attendance was estimated at 10,000.[5]

The winner was Aristides, by two lengths. His jockey was Oliver Lewis, his trainer was Ansel Williamson, and his owner was H.P. McGrath. Aristides' half-brother and stablemate Chesapeake also ran in the race. Both Aristides' jockey and trainer were black. Aristides's time of 2 minutes and 37.75 seconds was at the time a world record for the distance.

Full results[edit]

Finished Post Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Time / behind
1st 1 Aristides Oliver Lewis Ansel Williamson H.P. McGrath 2:37.75
2nd Volcano H. Williams George H. Rice
3rd Verdigris W. Chambers C.A. Lewis
4th Bob Woolley William Walker Robinson, Morgan & Co.
5th Ten Broeck M. Kelso Harry Colston F.B. Harper
6th Grenoble J. Carter Allen Bashford
7th Bill Bruce M. Jones S.J. Salyer
8th Chesapeake W. Henry H.P. McGrath
9th Searcher R. Colston J.B. Rodes
10th Ascension W. Lakeland William Cottrill
11th Enlister Halloway Stringfield and Clay
12th McCreery D. Jones Gen. Abe Buford
13th Warsaw Masterson Stringfield and Clay
14th Vagabond J. Houston A.B. Lewis & Co.
15th Gold Mine Stradford J.A. Grinstead


The winner received a purse of $2,850. The second-place finisher received $200.[6]


  1. ^ http://kdl.kyvl.org/catalog/xt7jdf6k1285_5?
  2. ^ Kentucky Derby History, 1875
  3. ^ Jessica Elliot, "Kentucky Derby Facts and History". About.com
  4. ^ "The First Kentucky Derby". America's Library.
  5. ^ "What Happened in 1870–1879?" The People History.
  6. ^ "1875 Kentucky Derby Results Tables" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2010-07-08.