The Kentucky Derby /ˈdɜːrbi/ is a horse race held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of one, colts and geldings carry 126 pounds and fillies 121 pounds. It is the first leg of the American Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness Stakes, unlike the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, which took hiatuses in 1891–1893 and 1911–1912, respectively, the Kentucky Derby has been run every consecutive year since 1875. A horse must win all three races to win the Triple Crown, the attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders Cup. The 2017 Kentucky Derby will be the 143rd running, and is set for Saturday, May 6,2017 with a $2 million guaranteed purse. In 1872, Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition, traveled to England, visiting the Derby, a famous race that had been running annually since 1780. Returning home to Kentucky, Clark organized the Louisville Jockey Club for the purpose of raising money to build quality racing facilities just outside the city, the track would soon become known as Churchill Downs, named for John and Henry Churchill, who provided the land for the racetrack. Officially, the racetrack was incorporated as Churchill Downs in 1937, the Kentucky Derby was first run at 1 1⁄2 miles, the same distance as the Epsom Derby. The distance was changed in 1896 to its current 1 1⁄4 miles, on May 17,1875, in front of an estimated crowd of 10,000 people, a field of 15 three-year-old horses contested the first Derby. Under jockey Oliver Lewis, a colt named Aristides, who was trained by future Hall of Famer Ansel Williamson, won the inaugural Derby, later that year, Lewis rode Aristides to a second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes. Despite this, the business foundered until 1902 when Col. Matt Winn of Louisville put together a syndicate of businessmen to acquire the facility, under Winn, Churchill Downs prospered and the Kentucky Derby then became the preeminent stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses in North America. Derby participants are limited to three-year-old horses, no horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without having raced at age two. The three races offered the largest purse and in 1919 Sir Barton became the first horse to win all three races, however, the term Triple Crown didnt come into use for another eleven years. In 1930, when Gallant Fox became the horse to win all three races, sportswriter Charles Hatton brought the phrase into American usage. Fueled by the media, public interest in the possibility of a superhorse that could win the Triple Crown began in the leading up to the derby. Two years after the term was coined, the race, which had run in mid-May since inception, was changed to the first Saturday in May to allow for a specific schedule for the Triple Crown races. Since 1931, the order of Triple Crown races has been the Kentucky Derby first, followed by the Preakness Stakes, prior to 1931, eleven times the Preakness was run before the Derby. On May 12,1917 and again on May 13,1922, the Preakness, on eleven occasions the Belmont Stakes was run before the Preakness Stakes
Churchill Downs, located on Central Avenue in south Louisville, Kentucky, United States, is a Thoroughbred racetrack most famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby annually. It officially opened in 1875, and held the first Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs has also hosted the renowned Breeders Cup on eight occasions, most recently in 2011. It is next scheduled to host the Breeders Cup in 2018, Churchill Downs Incorporated owns and operates the racetrack. With the infield open for the Kentucky Derby, the capacity of Churchill Downs is roughly 170,000, in 2009, the Horseplayers Association of North America introduced a rating system for 65 Thoroughbred racetracks in North America. Churchill Downs was ranked number 5 on this list, in 2014, prior to the start of their spring meet, Churchill Downs announced an increase in parimutuel takeout rates. As a result of the increase, Churchill Downs was ranked number 22 in the 2014 Horseplayers Association of North America Track Ratings. His father-in-law, Richard Ten Broeck, was a horse breeder and trainer. Churchill Downs filled a void in Louisville left by the closing of Oakland and Woodlawn, the then-rural location was along Louisville and Nashville Railroad tracks, allowing for easy transport of horses. Clark, who preferred longer races to the short ones that had become popular by the 1890s, was running short of funds. Among the new people Applegate brought on board to help him run the rack was Col. Matt Winn of Louisville, Churchill Downs prospered and the Kentucky Derby then became the preeminent stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses in North America. During that early period, a new clubhouse was built in order to promote interaction, and new events such as steeplechases, automobile races. The State Fair was held on the grounds, featuring the odd spectacle of two locomotives being intentionally crashed head-on in the infield. On June 5,1907, African American jockey James Lee set a record that has never beaten when he won the entire six-race card at Churchill Downs. In 1908, parimutuel betting machines were introduced as gambling began to be less controversial again, Churchill Downs was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986. On Friday, June 19,2009, Churchill Downs hosted its first-ever night race with an attendance of over 27,000, Churchill Downs ventured into the music business, organizing the inaugural HullabaLOU Music Festival, held on the weekend of July 23–25,2010. The track had planned to make this an event to compete with other summer music festivals. HullabaLOU attracted 78,000 people but that short of the more than 100,000 expected by the company. The company attributed this to the heat, but others cited high ticket prices in a poor economy
Hindoo was an outstanding American Thoroughbred race horse who won 30 of his 35 starts, including the Kentucky Derby, the Travers Stakes, and the Clark Handicap. He later sired Preakness Stakes winner Buddhist and Belmont Stakes winner and he was a bay colt bred by Daniel Swigert of Elmendorf Farm in Kentucky. His dam, Florence, was by the racehorse and sire Lexington. He was a brother to Florida, who was the dam of the good racemare Firenze. He was trained by future Hall of Fame inductee Edward D. Brown, ridden by Jim McLaughlin, when the race started, Hindoo, as expected, took the lead. Then, at the pole, Lexex took the lead. As the horses went into the turn, Hindoo regained the lead, on September 1,1881, Hindoo won his 19th consecutive race in a purse event at Sheepshead Bay Race Track. His winning streak ended six days later when he finished third in the September Handicap at Sheepshead and he placed second in the Day Boat Line Stakes, Brighton Beach Cap, and Dixiana Stakes. Hindoo finished third in the Windsor Hotel Stakes and the September Cup, in thirty five starts, Hindoo was never out of the money. He won thirty times, was three times, and was third twice. As a three-year-old, he won the 1881 Kentucky Derby in a season where he recorded eighteen straight wins over the course of a few months— nineteen if a dead-heat run-off on the day is counted. Over the course of his career, he won $71,875. In 1881, he was Americas Champion Three-Year-Old Male, in his first season at stud, Hindoos mating with Bourbon Belle produced the champion Hanover, who became the leading sire in the United States for four consecutive years. Following the creation of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1955, list of leading Thoroughbred racehorses Hall of Fame page, with images Americas Champion Three-Year-Old Males
A jockey is someone who rides horses in horse racing or steeplechase racing, primarily as a profession. The word also applies to camel riders in camel racing, the word is by origin a diminutive of jock, the Northern English or Scots colloquial equivalent of the first name John, which is also used generically for boy, or fellow, at least since 1529. A familiar instance of the use of the word as a name is in Jockey of Norfolk in Shakespeares Richard III. v.3,304, the current usage which means a person who rides a horse in races was first seen in 1670. Another possible origin is the Gaelic word eachaidhe, a horseman, the Irish name Eochaid is related to each, horse, and is usually translated as horse rider. This is phonetically similar to jockey Jockeys must be light to ride at the weights which are assigned to their mounts. There are horse carrying weight limits, that are set by racing authorities, the Kentucky Derby, for example, has a weight limit of 126 lb including the jockeys equipment. The weight of a jockey usually ranges from 108 to 118 lb, despite their light weight, they must be able to control a horse that is moving at 40 mph and weighs 1,200 lb. Though there is no limit for jockeys, they are usually fairly short due to the weight limits. Jockeys typically stand around 4 ft 10 in to 5 ft 6 in, Jockeys are normally self employed, nominated by horse trainers to ride their horses in races, for a fee and a percentage of the purse winnings. In Australia, employment of apprentice jockeys is in terms of indenture to a master, Jockeys often cease their riding careers to take up other employment in racing, usually as trainers. In this way the system serves to induct young people into racing employment. Jockeys usually start out when they are young, riding work in the morning for trainers and it is normally necessary for an apprentice jockey to ride a minimum of about 20 barrier trials successfully before being permitted to ride in races. An apprentice jockey is known as a bug boy because the asterisk that follows the name in the program looks like a bug, all jockeys must be licensed and usually are not permitted to bet on a race. An apprentice jockey has a master, who is a horse trainer and this allowance is adjusted according to the number of winners that the apprentice has ridden. After a four-year indentured apprenticeship, the apprentice becomes a jockey and usually develops relationships with trainers. Sometimes senior jockeys are paid a retainer by an owner gives the owner the right to insist the jockey ride their horses in races. Racing modeled on the English Jockey Club spread throughout the world with colonial expansion, the colors worn by jockeys in races are the registered colors of the owner or trainer who employs them. The practice of riders wearing colors probably stems from medieval times when jousts were held between knights, however, the origins of racing colors of various patterns may have been influenced by racing held in Italian city communities since medieval times
James G. Rowe Sr.
James Gordon Rowe Sr. was an American jockey and horse trainer elected to the Hall of Fame for Thoroughbred Horse racing. He won the Belmont Stakes twice as a jockey and 8 times as a trainer and he had 34 champion horses to his credit, more than any other trainer in the Hall of Fame. Rowe was born in the environs of Richmond, Virginia, and he went from an apprentice rider to being considered the leading jockey in the U. S. at age 14, a position he kept from 1871 to 1873. With age came weight, and in 1875, at the age of 18 and he began working for the Davis & Hall racing stable as an assistant to the trainer, David W. McConn. Rowe eventually became head trainer for the stable, in 1879, Rowe joined the Dwyer Brothers Stable. On May 17,1881, with the future Hall of Fame horse Hindoo, Hindoo won eighteen straight races that year. The Dwyers pushed their horses hard, in a manner that would be unacceptable, Rowe quit the Dwyers in 1885 in a dispute regarding over-racing their horses, especially the mare Miss Woodford. Rowe trained for A. F. Walcotts Fairfax Stable, after which he was a public or freelance trainer until 1889, while he ran his own stable one of his clients was August Belmont. In 1891, Rowe was hired as the starter at minor racetracks. In January 1892, he was hired by the Board of Control as starter for the Monmouth Park Association, Coney Island Jockey Club, Brooklyn Jockey Club, in 1899, Rowe became head trainer for the racing operations of James R. Keene. In 1911, he took charge of the stable of Harry Payne Whitney. Rowe was the leading money winner in racing in 1908,1913, and 1915. Regret was named 1915s Horse of the Year and she was later elected to the Racing Hall of Fame. Rowe had four second-place finishes with horses in the Preakness Stakes, despite his many victories in important races, it is for the performance of his horses in the Belmont Stakes that Rowe is most remembered. Between 1883 and 1913, he won the Belmont Stakes 8 times, one of those victories came in 1908 with a horse named Colin, who went unbeaten during his 15-race career. Rowe considered Colin to be the greatest horse he had ever trained and he once said that for his epitaph he wanted only these words, He trained Colin. Following the formation of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1955 and his son, James Jr. also had a very successful career as a trainer but died at age 42 of a heart attack. Bowen, Edward L. Masters of the Turf, Ten Trainers Who Dominated Horse Racings Golden Age