Archives for April 2022


How much do you know about Kentucky Derby history?  Here are 10 questions plus a bonus question.  (Answers are shown after the last question.)

1) In what year was the inaugural Kentucky Derby run?


2) Who has the distinction of being the oldest person to have trained a Kentucky Derby winner?

Ben Jones
James Fitzsimmons
Max Hirsch
Charles Whittingham
Art Sherman

3) What father/son pair each won the Kentucky Derby and went on to win the Triple Crown?

Count Fleet/Count Turf
Man o’ War/War Admiral
Gallant Fox/Omaha
Native Dancer/Kauai King
Bull Lea/Citation

4) What jockey rode five Kentucky winners and is the only jockey to have won two Triple Crowns?

Charles Kurtsinger
Eddie Aracro
Mike Smith
Earle Sande
Bill Shoemaker

5) In what year was the Kentucky Derby for the first time contested at 1 ¼ miles?

The Kentucky Derby has always been contested at 1 ¼ miles

6) Who was the first woman trainer of record in the Kentucky Derby?

Mary Hirsch
Janet Elliott
Kathy Ritvo
Jenine Sahadi
Shelly Riley

7) Three horses have crossed the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby but have been disqualified.  Medina Spirit was disqualified in 2021, Maximum Security in 2019, and ___________ in 1968.

Native Dancer
Forward Pass
Sword Dancer
Dancer’s Image

8) What individual rode a Kentucky Derby winner and later in life trained a Kentucky Derby winner?

James Fitzsimmons
Isaac Murphy
Roscoe Goose
John Longden
Edward Brown

9) Who was the second filly to win the Kentucky Derby?

Lady’s Secret
Winning Colors
Genuine Risk

10) Secretariat holds the Kentucky Derby record for 1 ¼ miles.  What colt ran the second-fastest time?

Northern Dancer

11) Bonus Question:  Only one U. S. president has attended the Kentucky Derby while he was the current president.  Which president?

Harry Truman
Lyndon Johnson
Richard Nixon
George H. W. Bush
George W. Bush

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  1. 1875; 2. Art Sherman; 3. Gallant Fox/Omaha; 4. Eddie Arcaro; 5. 1896; 6. Mary Hirsch; 7. Dancer’s Image; 8. John Longden; 9. Genuine Risk; 10. Monarchos; 11. Richard Nixon


Dear Commonwealth of Kentucky:

We are writing to congratulate you and thank you profusely for your legislature’s failure once again to legalize sports betting.  What a neighborly gesture!

Six of us that border the Bluegrass state—Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia—deeply appreciate your selfless gift. Our citizens will certainly benefit via tax collections from Kentuckians exporting their sports-betting dollars.

New Albany, Indiana, Cincinnati, Ohio, Huntington, West Virginia, Clarksville, Tennessee, and a host of our other cities on or close to the Kentucky border will welcome Kentuckians with proverbial open arms when they visit to bet on college and professional sports. 

We want to enjoy your largesse while we can because we know that sooner or later you will act on the adage that “charity begins at home.”  Mark Twain may have been accurate in his day for saying: “When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Kentucky, because everything there happens 20 years after it happens anywhere else.”  But his wry observation is wrong now. Kentucky is probably only a decade behind, maybe less, at least when it comes to sports betting.

It looks like Missouri, the seventh state bordering Kentucky, is on the verge of legalizing sports betting, so the Kentucky folks down Paducah way won’t be left out and can help the ”show me” state balance its budget, too.

Best Regards…and thanks again, from grateful:

Illini, Hoosiers, Buckeyes, Volunteers, Virginians, and Mountaineers

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What does it mean for a horse’s place in racing history to win the Kentucky Derby? How important is it?

To bring facts to bear on these questions, consider how each Kentucky Derby winner has fared in winning Eclipse Awards since they were established in 1971. In order to win an Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year or Three-Year-Old Male (or Filly) of the Year, a Kentucky Derby winner has to win enough Grade I races afterwards to prove the Derby triumph was not a fluke.

In the 51-year history of Eclipse Awards, Kentucky Derby winning colts have been named champion Three-Year-Old Male 23 times and the two fillies to win the Derby (Genuine Risk and Winning Colors) were voted Three-Year-Old Fillies of the Year.  So 49% of the time, the Kentucky Derby winner was also named champion in its age/sex category.

Sixteen times Kentucky Derby winners have been Eclipse Award Horse of the Year, or 32% of the time. Secretariat, Affirmed, and California Chrome each won twice and Ferdinand and Alysheba won Horse of the Year as 4-year-olds rather than as 3-year-olds. Secretariat won the award for his 2-year-old and 3-year-old campaigns.

To summarize, based on over five decades of Eclipse Awards, nearly 50 percent of Kentucky Derby winners were voted either champion 3-year-old colt/gelding or filly. And close to a third of the time a Kentucky Derby winner was Horse of the Year.

Moreover, on ten occasions Horse of the Year was awarded to a colt or gelding that ran in the Kentucky Derby and lost. Thus 51% of the time, a Kentucky Derby starter was Horse of the Year,

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