2017 Kentucky Derby: History & Key Facts

Bet on Kentucky Derby

  • Location: Churchill Downs
  • Inaugural Race: 1875
  • Current Distance: 1 & 1/4 miles (10 furlongs)
  • Track Type: Left-Handed Dirt
  • Age Qualification: Three-year-olds
  • 2017 Purse: $2 million
  • Race Date: Saturday, May 6, 2017

Stay Informed as the 2017 Kentucky Derby Approaches

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Video of the 2016 Kentucky Derby

Check out the results of the 2016 Kentucky Derby, where jockey Victor Espinoza rode the Nyquist to victory over Exaggerator in the 142nd running of the race!

Video of the 2015 Kentucky Derby

Watch the 2015 Kentucky Derby, where Victor Espinoza rode his second consecutive Derby winner as American Pharoah swoops to defeat Firing Line and Dortmund!

Video of the 2014 Kentucky Derby

Check out the results of the 2014 Kentucky Derby, where jockey Victor Espinoza rode the 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome to victory, securing his shot at the Triple Crown!


A Brief History of the Kentucky Derby

The most famous horse race in the world is the most thrilling two minutes in sport.  It takes place on the first Saturday in May at the historic Churchill Downs racecourse in Louisville, Kentucky and regularly attended by more than 150,000 people. The record attendance was 165,307 in 2012, and in 2014 164,906 watched California Chrome win “the run for the roses”.

The inaugural Kentucky Derby took place in 1875 after Col. Meriweather Lewis Clark, Jr had visited England three years earlier and witnessed the Epsom Derby, a famous race which had been run since 1780 on the outskirts of London. The Kentucky Derby was originally raced over the same distance of 1 & 1/2 miles as the Epsom Derby (it was changed to its current distance of 1 & 1/4 miles in 1896. An estimated crowd of 10,000 watched the colt Aristides crowned winner of the first running of the race at the newly constructed Churchill Downs racecourse.

The first live radio broadcast of the Kentucky Derby was in 1925, and it wasn’t until 1949 that the first television coverage of the race happened. In 2016 the race will be covered live by NBC with real-time payouts and results from horse racing’s premier event available all day on BetAmerica.com.

The race is so popular that in the preceding two weeks leading up to the running, the city of Louisville holds the Kentucky Derby Festival, Kentucky’s largest single annual event. The Kentucky Derby Festival is comprised of several events, including Thunder Over Louisville (the biggest annual fireworks display in North America), the Great Balloon Race, the Pegasus Parade (one the countries largest), and The Great Steamboat Race.

Entries into the Kentucky Derby include some of the most famous racehorses to ever compete. Notable entries into the race include Regret, Sir Burton, Gallant Fox, Omaha, War Admiral, Citation, Northern Dancer, Seattle Slew, War Emblem, and California Chrome.

Visit our Derby Trivia page for more insights into the most famous race in the world, including detailed facts about entries, records, and winners.

BetAmerica is a licensed supplier of online betting on the Kentucky Derby.  You can bet on the Kentucky Derby legally online at BetAmerica with a regulated U.S. based website where your deposits are safe and your winnings are guaranteed.  All bets are placed directly into the official Churchill Downs betting pools and all winnings are paid at full track odds.


Bet On The Kentucky Derby – Race Records

Scroll over any box below to view the historical records for the Kentucky Derby:

Fastest Time

1.59.40
Secretariat- 1973

Biggest Odds Winner

91-1
Donerail- 1913

Most Wins by a Jockey

5
Eddie Arcaro (1938, 1941, 1945, 1948, 1952) & Bill Hartack (1957, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1969)

Most Wins by a Trainer

6
Ben A Jones (1938, 1941, 1944, 1948, 1949, 1952)

Most Wins by an Owner

8
Calumet Farm (1941, 1944, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1957, 1958, 1968)

Biggest Winning Margin

8 lengths
Assault (1946) & Whirlaway (1941)

Historical Race Results for the Kentucky Derby

Winners of the Kentucky Derby are immediately cemented in horse racing history. In the table below, view a record of the winning horses,  jockeys and trainers for the Kentucky Derby.

YearWinnerJockeyTrainerOwnerTime*
2015American PharoahVictor EspinozaBob BaffertAhmed Zayat02:03.2
2014California ChromeVictor EspinozaArt ShermanSteve Coburn and Perry Martin02:03.7
2013OrbJoel RosarioClaude McGaughey IIIStuart Janney and Phipps Stable02:02.9
2012I'll Have AnotherMario GutierrezDoug O'NeillJ. Paul Reddam02:01.8
2011Animal KingdomJohn VelazquezH. Graham MotionTeam Valor02:02.0
2010Super SaverCalvin BorelTodd PletcherWinStar Farm02:04.5
2009Mine That BirdCalvin BorelBennie L. Woolley, Jr.Double Eagle Ranch et al.02:02.7
2008Big BrownKent DesormeauxRichard E. Dutrow, Jr.IEAH Stables and P Pompa02:01.8
2007Street SenseCalvin BorelCarl NafzgerJames B. Tafel02:02.2
2006BarbaroEdgar PradoMichael R. MatzLael Stables02:01.4
2005GiacomoMike E. SmithJohn ShirreffsJerry & Ann Moss02:02.8
2004Smarty JonesStewart ElliottJohn ServisSomeday Farm02:04.1
2003Funny CideJose SantosBarclay TaggSackatoga Stable02:01.2
2002War EmblemVictor EspinozaBob BaffertThoroughbred Corp.02:01.1
2001MonarchosJorge F. ChavezJohn T. Ward, Jr.John C. Oxley02:00.0
2000Fusaichi PegasusKent DesormeauxNeil DrysdaleFusao Sekiguchi02:01.0
1999CharismaticChris AntleyD. Wayne LukasBob & Beverly Lewis02:03.2
1998Real QuietKent DesormeauxBob BaffertMichael E. Pegram02:02.2
1997Silver CharmGary StevensBob BaffertBob & Beverly Lewis02:02.4
1996GrindstoneJerry BaileyD. Wayne LukasOverbrook Farm02:01.0
1995Thunder GulchGary StevensD. Wayne LukasMichael Tabor02:01.2
1994Go for GinChris McCarronNick Zito02:03.6
1993Sea HeroJerry BaileyMacKenzie MillerRokeby Stables02:02.4
1992Lil E. TeePat DayLynn S. WhitingW. Cal Partee02:03.0
1991Strike the GoldChris AntleyNick ZitoBCC Stable02:03.0
1990UnbridledCraig PerretCarl NafzgerFrances A. Genter02:02.0
1989Sunday SilencePat ValenzuelaCharlie WhittinghamH-G-W Partners02:05.0
1988Winning ColorsGary StevensD. Wayne LukasEugene V. Klein02:02.2
1987AlyshebaChris McCarronJack Van BergD. & P. Scharbauer02:03.4
1986FerdinandBill ShoemakerCharlie WhittinghamElizabeth A. Keck02:02.8
1985Spend A BuckAngel Cordero, Jr.Cam GambolatiDennis Diaz02:00.2
1984SwaleLaffit Pincay, Jr.Woody StephensClaiborne Farm02:02.4
1983Sunny's HaloEddie DelahoussayeDavid C. Cross, Jr.D. J. Foster Stable02:02.2
1982Gato Del SolEddie DelahoussayeEdwin J. GregsonHancock and Peters02:02.4
1981Pleasant ColonyJorge VelasquezJohn P. CampoBuckland Farm02:02.0
1980Genuine RiskJacinto VasquezLeRoy JolleyDiana M. Firestone02:02.0
1979Spectacular BidRonnie FranklinBud DelpHawksworth Farm02:02.4
1978AffirmedSteve CauthenLaz BarreraHarbor View Farm02:01.2
1977Seattle SlewJean CruguetWilliam H. Turner, Jr.Karen L. Taylor02:02.2
1976Bold ForbesAngel Cordero, Jr.Laz BarreraE. Rodriguez Tizol02:01.6
1975Foolish PleasureJacinto VasquezLeRoy JolleyJohn L. Greer02:02.0
1974CannonadeAngel Cordero, Jr.Woody StephensJohn M. Olin02:04.0
1973SecretariatRon TurcotteLucien LaurinMeadow Stable01:59.4
1972Riva RidgeRon TurcotteLucien LaurinMeadow Stud02:01.8
1971Canonero IIGustavo AvilaJuan AriasEdgar Caibett02:03.2
1970Dust CommanderMike ManganelloDon CombsRobert E. Lehmann02:03.4
1969Majestic PrinceBill HartackJohnny LongdenFrank M. McMahon02:01.8
1968*Forward PassIsmael ValenzuelaHenry ForrestCalumet Farm02:02.2
1967Proud ClarionBobby UsseryLoyd Gentry, Jr.Darby Dan Farm02:00.6
1966Kauai KingDon BrumfieldHenry ForrestFord Stable02:02.0
1965Lucky DebonairBill ShoemakerFrank CatroneAda L. Rice02:01.2
1964Northern DancerBill HartackHoratio LuroWindfields Farm02:00.0
1963ChateaugayBraulio BaezaJames P. ConwayDarby Dan Farm02:01.8
1962DecidedlyBill HartackHoratio LuroEl Peco Ranch02:00.4
1961Carry BackJohnny SellersJack A. PriceKatherine Price02:04.0
1960Venetian WayBill HartackVictor J. SovinskiSunny Blue Farm02:02.4
1959Tomy LeeBill ShoemakerFrank E. ChildsFred & Juliette Turner02:02.2
1958Tim TamIsmael ValenzuelaJimmy JonesCalumet Farm02:05.0
1957Iron LiegeBill HartackJimmy JonesCalumet Farm02:02.2
1956NeedlesDavid ErbHugh L. FontaineD & H Stable02:03.4
1955SwapsBill ShoemakerMesh TenneyRex C. Ellsworth02:01.8
1954DetermineRaymond YorkWilliam MolterAndrew J. Crevolin02:03.0
1953Dark StarHank MorenoEddie HaywardCain Hoy Stable02:02.0
1952Hill GailEddie ArcaroBen A. JonesCalumet Farm02:01.6
1951Count TurfConn McCrearySol RutchickJack J. Amiel02:02.6
1950MiddlegroundWilliam BolandMax HirschKing Ranch02:01.6
1949PonderSteve BrooksBen A. JonesCalumet Farm02:04.2
1948Eddie ArcaroBen A. JonesCalumet Farm02:05.4
1947Jet PilotEric GuerinTom SmithMaine Chance Farm02:06.8
1946Warren MehrtensMax HirschKing Ranch02:06.6
1945Hoop Jr.Eddie ArcaroIvan H. ParkeFred W. Hooper02:07.0
1944PensiveConn McCrearyBen A. JonesCalumet Farm02:04.2
1943Johnny LongdenDon CameronFannie Hertz02:04.0
1942Shut OutWayne D. WrightJohn M. Gaver, Sr.Greentree Stable02:04.4
1941Eddie ArcaroBen A. JonesCalumet Farm02:01.4
1940GallahadionCarroll BiermanRoy WaldronMilky Way Farm02:05.0
1939JohnstownJames StoutJim FitzsimmonsBelair Stud02:03.4
1938LawrinEddie ArcaroBen A. JonesHerbert M. Woolf02:04.8
1937Charley KurtsingerGeorge ConwayGlen Riddle Farm02:03.2
1936Bold VentureIra HanfordMax HirschMorton L. Schwartz02:03.6
1935Willie SaundersJim FitzsimmonsBelair Stud02:05.0
1934CavalcadeMack GarnerBob SmithBrookmeade Stable02:04.0
1933Brokers TipDon MeadeHerbert J. ThompsonEdward R. Bradley02:06.8
1932Burgoo KingEugene JamesHerbert J. ThompsonEdward R. Bradley02:05.2
1931Twenty GrandCharley KurtsingerJames G. Rowe, Jr.Greentree Stable02:01.8
1930Earl SandeJim FitzsimmonsBelair Stud02:07.6
1929Clyde Van DusenLinus McAteeClyde Van DusenHerbert P. Gardner02:10.8
1928Reigh CountChick LangBert S. MichellFannie Hertz02:10.4
1927WhiskeryLinus McAteeFred HopkinsHarry P. Whitney02:06.0
1926Bubbling OverAlbert JohnsonHerbert J. ThompsonEdward R. Bradley02:03.8
1925Flying EbonyEarl SandeWilliam B. DukeGifford A. Cochran02:07.6
1924Black GoldJ. D. MooneyHanley WebbRosa M. Hoots02:05.2
1923ZevEarl SandeDavid J. LearyRancocas Stable02:05.4
1922MorvichAlbert JohnsonFred BurlewBenjamin Block02:04.6
1921Behave YourselfCharles ThompsonHerbert J. ThompsonEdward R. Bradley02:04.2
1920Paul JonesTed RiceBilly GarthRal Parr02:09.0
1919Johnny LoftusH. Guy BedwellJ. K. L. Ross02:09.8
1918ExterminatorWilliam KnappHenry McDanielWillis Sharpe Kilmer02:10.8
1917Omar KhayyamCharles BorelCharles T. PattersonBillings & Johnson02:04.6
1916George SmithJohnny LoftusHollie HughesJohn Sanford02:04.0
1915Joe NotterJames G. Rowe, Sr.Harry P. Whitney02:05.4
1914Old RosebudJohn McCabeFrank D. WeirHamilton C. Applegate02:03.4
1913DonerailRoscoe GooseThomas P. HayesThomas P. Hayes02:04.8
1912WorthCarroll H. ShillingFrank M. TaylorHenry C. Hallenbeck02:09.4
1911MeridianGeorge ArchibaldAlbert EwingRichard F. Carman02:05.0
1910DonauFrederick HerbertGeorge HamWilliam Gerst02:06.4
1909WintergreenVincent PowersCharles MackJerome B. Respess02:08.2
1908Stone StreetArthur PickensJ. W. HallC. E. & J. W. Hamilton02:15.2
1907Pink StarAndy MinderW. H. FizerJ. Hal Woodford02:12.6
1906Sir HuonRoscoe TroxlerPete CoyneBashford Manor Stable02:08.8
1905AgileJack MartinRobert TuckerSamuel S. Brown02:10.8
1904ElwoodShorty PriorCharles E. DurnellMrs. C. E. Durnell02:08.5
1903Judge HimesHal BookerJohn P. MayberryCharles R. Ellison02:09.0
1902Alan-a-DaleJimmy WinkfieldThomas C. McDowellThomas C. McDowell02:08.8
1901His EminenceJimmy WinkfieldFrank B. Van MeterFrank B. Van Meter02:07.8
1900Lieut. GibsonJimmy BolandCharles HughesCharles H. Smith02:06.2
1899ManuelFred TaralRobert J. WaldenAH and DH Morris02:12.0
1898PlauditWillie SimmsJohn E. MaddenJohn E. Madden02:09.0
1897Typhoon IIButtons GarnerJ. C. CahnJ. C. Cahn02:12.5
1896Ben BrushWillie SimmsHardy Campbell, Jr.Mike F. Dwyer02:07.8
1895HalmaSoup PerkinsByron McClellandByron McClelland02:37.5
1894ChantFrank GoodaleH. Eugene LeighLeigh and Rose02:41.0
1893LookoutEddie KunzeWilliam McDanielCushing & Orth02:39.3
1892AzraAlonzo ClaytonJohn H. MorrisBashford Manor Stable02:41.5
1891KingmanIsaac MurphyDud AllenJacobin Stable02:52.3
1890RileyIsaac MurphyEdward CorriganEdward Corrigan02:45.0
1889SpokaneThomas KileyJohn RodegapNoah Armstrong02:34.5
1888Macbeth IIGeorge CovingtonJohn CampbellChicago Stable02:38.0
1887MontroseIsaac LewisJohn McGintyLabold Brothers02:39.3
1886Ben AliPaul DuffyJim MurphyJ. B. A. Haggin02:36.5
1885Joe CottonErskine HendersonAbe PerryJames T. Williams02:37.3
1884BuchananIsaac MurphyWilliam BirdWilliam Cottrill02:40.3
1883LeonatusBilly DonohueRaleigh ColstonChinn & Morgan02:43.0
1882ApolloBabe HurdGreen B. MorrisMorris & Patton02:40.0
1881HindooJim McLaughlinJames G. Rowe, Sr.Dwyer Bros. Stable02:40.0
1880FonsoGeorge LewisTice HutsellJ. Snell Shawhan02:37.5
1879Lord MurphyCharlie ShauerGeorge RiceDarden & Co02:37.0
1878Day StarJimmy CarterLee PaulT. J. Nichols02:37.3
1877Baden-BadenBilly WalkerEdward D. BrownDaniel Swigert02:38.0
1876VagrantBobby SwimJames WilliamsWilliam Astor, Jr.02:38.3
1875AristidesOliver LewisAnsel WilliamsonHal P. McGrath02:37.7