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
Seattle Slew was an American Thoroughbred race horse who won the Triple Crown in 1977—the tenth of twelve horses to accomplish the feat. He is the horse to have won the Triple Crown while having been undefeated in any race previous. In the Blood-Horse magazine List of the Top 100 U. S, racehorses of the 20th Century Seattle Slew was ranked ninth. Joe Hirsch of the Daily Racing Form wrote, Every time he ran he was a favorite. Slewmania was a virulent and widespread condition, Seattle Slew was a dark brown colt with a small white patch of hair by his left rear hoof bred by Ben S. Castleman. He was sired by Bold Reasoning who won the Jersey Derby and his dam My Charmer went on to produce the 2000 Guineas winner Lomond and Seattle Dancer. Horse owners since the early 1970s, Karen Taylor was a flight attendant. They lived in White Swan, Washington and their friend Dr. Jim Hill, a veterinarian, recommended that they buy Seattle Slew, a son of Bold Reasoning out of the mare My Charmer, at a 1975 Fasig-Tipton yearling auction. Seattle Slew was foaled at Ben Castlemans White Horse Acres Farm near Lexington, Hill and his wife, Sally, had met the Taylors through the horse business. In partnership, they bought 13 prospects, including Seattle Slew and they named him for the city of Seattle and the sloughs which loggers once used to transport heavy logs. Karen felt that the spelling of slough—a slow-moving channel of the Pacific Northwest—would be too hard for people to remember, a later co-owner was Glenn Rasmussen, the accountant for the equine partnerships. Seattle Slews owners sent the colt to Billy Turner, a friend, Seattle Slew made his first start in a six-furlong maiden race on September 20,1976, the fifth race at Belmont Park on Long Island, New York. The big, nearly black colt was bet down to the 5–2 favorite and he gave the public its first look at what was later called his war dance and won by five lengths. Seattle Slew started only twice more as a two-year-old, winning a race on October 5,1976 by 3½ lengths. Despite starting just three times, Seattle Slew was named Champion 2-Year-Old of 1976, Turner scheduled three races for Seattle Slew leading up to the Kentucky Derby. His first start as a three-year-old came on March 9,1977, on March 26, Seattle Slew won the Flamingo Stakes by four lengths in the third-fastest time in the stakes 51-year history. On April 23, he completed his Kentucky Derby preparation with a 3¼-length victory in the Wood Memorial Stakes, Seattle Slew went off as the odds-on 1-2 favorite in the 1¼-mile Kentucky Derby on May 7. A speed horse who normally broke well and went right to the lead, however, Cruguet and Seattle Slew recovered and got to the lead, dueling with For the Moment for the first mile of the race
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
Jean Cruguet is a French-American thoroughbred horse racing jockey who won the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. At age five, Cruguet was placed in an orphanage after his father abandoned the family, from age ten to sixteen, he lived at a secondary school run by Roman Catholic priests where he says he was physically abused. At age sixteen, a friend of his offered the diminutive Cruguet work at a Thoroughbred race track. His fledgling career as a jockey was interrupted by military service. After being discharged from the army, Cruguet returned to thoroughbred flat racing and he replaced army-bound jockey Yves Saint-Martin at the stable run by trainer Francois Mathet. Once Saint-Martin was discharged from the army, Cruguet had to find new rides, after meeting his future wife Denyse, a trainer and one of the pioneering woman in French racing, in 1965, they decided to emigrate to the United States. In Florida, Cruguet was hired to ride for Horatio Luro at Hialeah Park Race Track, in 2004, Jean Cruguet said Hoist The Flag was the best horse he ever rode. The career-ending injury denied the colt a chance to try for the Triple Crown, after finishing second in Frances jockey standings for 1972, Cruguet and his wife returned to the United States. In 1976, Cruguet rode the two-year-old colt Seattle Slew to victory in the Champagne Stakes. C, International at Laurel Park Racecourse in Laurel, Maryland. Mac Diarmida was voted the 1978 Eclipse Award for American Champion Male Turf Horse, Jean Cruguet retired from riding at age 41 in July 1980 to join his wife as a full-time trainer in their own small stable, but he returned to riding two years later. His last major Grade I Stakes victory came aboard Hodges Bay in the 1989 Canadian International Stakes at Woodbine Racetrack. For a time, he almost completely disappeared from the eye because he was the sole caregiver for his wife Denyse. She died at their home in Kentucky in September 2010, Cruguet planned a one-race comeback at the Keeneland Racecourse Spring Meet in April 2011 at age 72
William H. Turner Jr.
Billy Turner, Jr. Turner maintains a public training stable and bloodstock consulting services, operating mainly in New York, Florida and the Mid-Atlantic region. S. Born in Rochester, New York, Turner grew up riding and fox hunting in Pennsylvanias horse country and began his career with racehorses as a steeplechase jockey while still a teenager. At the age of 26, Turner went into business on his own as a trainer and found success with the Thoroughbred racehorse Salerno. In 1975, Karen and Mickey Taylor gave their $17,500 colt to Billy Turner for training, Turner started the colt, named Seattle Slew, at Mrs. Henry Obres Andor Farm in Monkton, Maryland. At 2, Seattle Slew moved to the racetrack and, under Turner, Seattle Slew is still the only undefeated triple crown winner in history. Two years after Slews historic run, Turner trained a colt, Czaravich. His campaign included wins in the Carter Handicap, Withers Stakes, Jerome Handicap, in 1984, Turner conditioned Welcome Farms colt Play On, who won that years Withers Stakes and finished second to Gate Dancer in the Preakness. From 1995 to 1999, Turner trained Althea Richards Punch Line, a horse he referred to as the second best horse I ever trained. A winner of 21 races from ages 2 to 8, Punch Line was named the Virginias Horse of the Year, champion sprinter 1997,1998 and at the age of 8, today, Punch is retired in Virginia, and Turner still pays him regular visits. Since 1976, Turners horses have won more than $15 million in purses, Turner took in $780,000 of that purse money in 1977. Billy Turner is married to former jockey and exercise rider Patricia Rich Patti Turner and has two children from previous marriages, since 1992, Patti has acted as Assistant Trainer for Turner Racing. She has been involved in racing since 1969 and over the years has worked as a rider and jockey with horses that include Mr. Prospector, Talc, Sea Hero. Patti is also a consultant on bloodlines and breeding and, along with Turner, regularly travels to Keenland, Saratoga, Timonium etc. to assess bloodstock. Seattle Slew, Last living Triple Crown Winner