Winners

The Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner has always taken the first bold step towards achieving the elusive Triple Crown. With nearly $2 million up for grabs in total purse, the Kentucky Derby always draws the strongest talent. If the lucrative purse isn’t enough, then the prestige of participating is just as tantalizing for owners and trainers. The Kentucky Derby is the apex of competition for three-year-old thoroughbreds every year.

This challenging race stretches out for one and a quarter mile, roughly two kilometers, and has always heralded the beginning of the Triple Crown season. Time will tell which horse emerges from the field to challenge for the Triple Crown at the 2017 Kentucky Derby, set to run on May 6 at Churchill Downs.

Winning the Kentucky Derby requires the delicate combination of several factors; a great trainer, pedigree, jockey and ownership. Only 12 horses have completed the Triple Crown sweep, the last being American Pharoah in 2015 and the first being Sir Barton in 1919. Since the turn of the century, six horses have nearly completed the milestone with California Chrome (2014) being the most recent, falling short at the Belmont Stakes. Before that, I’ll Have Another (2012), Big Brown (2008), Smarty Jones (2004), Funny Cide (2003) and War Emblem (2002) all had shots heading in to the final leg at Belmont Park.

Below is a list of the most recent Kentucky Derby winners, with approximate odds, dating back to the legendary Secretariat in 1973.

2016 – 1973 Kentucky Derby Winners

Year

Winner

Jockey

Trainer

Odds

Time

2016

Nyquist

Mario Gutierrez

Doug O’Neill

3-1

2:01:31

2015

American Pharoah

Victor Espinoza

Bob Baffert

5-2

2:03.02

2014

California Chrome

Victor Espinoza

Art Sherman

5-2

2:03.66

2013

Orb

Joel Rosario

Claude McGaughey III

5-1

2:02.89

2012

I’ll Have Another

Mario Gutierrez

Doug O’Neill

15-1

2:01.83

2011

Animal Kingdom

John Velazquez

H. Graham Motion

20-1

2:02.04

2010

Super Saver

Calvin Borel

Todd Pletcher

8-1

2:04.45

2009

Mine That Bird

Calvin Borel

Bennie L. Woolley, Jr.

50-1

2:02.66

2008

Big Brown

Kent Desormeaux

Richard E. Dutrow, Jr.

3-1

2:01.82

2007

Street Sense

Calvin Borel

Carl Nafzger

5-1

2:02.17

2006

Barbaro

Edgar Prado

Michael R. Matz

6-1

2:01.36

2005

Giacomo

Mike E. Smith

John Shirreffs

50-1

2:02.75

2004

Smarty Jones

Stewart Elliott

John Servis

10-1

2:04.06

2003

Funny Cide

Jose Santos

Barclay Tagg

15-1

2:01.19

2002

War Emblem

Victor Espinoza

Bob Baffert

20-1

2:01.13

2001

Monarchos

Jorge F. Chavez

John T. Ward, Jr.

10-1

1:59.97

2000

Fusaichi Pegasus

Kent Desormeaux

Neil Drysdale

2-1

2:01.00

1999

Charismatic

Chris Antley

D. Wayne Lukas

30-1

2:03.20

1998

Real Quiet

Kent Desormeaux

Bob Baffert

8-1

2:02.20

1997

Silver Charm

Gary Stevens

Bob Baffert

4-1

2:02.40

1996

Grindstone

Jerry Bailey

D. Wayne Lukas

6-1

2:01.00

1995

Thunder Gulch

Gary Stevens

D. Wayne Lukas†

25-1

2:01.20

1994

Go for Gin

Chris McCarron

Nick Zito

9-1

2:03.60

1993

Sea Hero

Jerry Bailey

MacKenzie Miller

12-1

2:02.40

1992

Lil E. Tee

Pat Day

Lynn S. Whiting

15-1

2:03.00

1991

Strike the Gold

Chris Antley

Nick Zito

5-1

2:03.00

1990

Unbridled

Craig Perret

Carl Nafzger

10-1

2:02.00

1989

Sunday Silence

Pat Valenzuela

Charlie Whittingham

3-1

2:05.00

1988

Winning Colors 

Gary Stevens

D. Wayne Lukas

3-1

2:02.20

1987

Alysheba

Chris McCarron

Jack Van Berg

8-1

2:03.40

1986

Ferdinand

Bill Shoemaker

Charlie Whittingham

18-1

2:02.80

1985

Spend A Buck

Angel Cordero, Jr.

Cam Gambolati

4-1

2:00.20

1984

Swale

Laffit Pincay, Jr.

Woody Stephens

3-1

2:02.40

1983

Sunny’s Halo

Eddie Delahoussaye

David C. Cross, Jr.

3-1

2:02.20

1982

Gato Del Sol

Eddie Delahoussaye

Edwin J. Gregson

20-1

2:02.40

1981

Pleasant Colony

Jorge Velasquez

John P. Campo

3-1

2:02.00

1980

Genuine Risk 

Jacinto Vasquez

LeRoy Jolley

13-1

2:02.00

1979

Spectacular Bid

Ronnie Franklin

Bud Delp

2-1

2:02.40

1978

Affirmed 

Steve Cauthen

Laz Barrera

2-1

2:01.20

1977

Seattle Slew 

Jean Cruguet

William H. Turner, Jr.

1-1

2:02.20

1976

Bold Forbes

Angel Cordero, Jr.

Laz Barrera

3-1

2:01.60

1975

Foolish Pleasure

Jacinto Vasquez

LeRoy Jolley

1-1

2:02.00

1974

Cannonade

Angel Cordero, Jr.

Woody Stephens

1-1

2:04.00

1973

Secretariat 

Ron Turcotte

Lucien Laurin

1-1

1:59.40

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Churchill Downs can seat around 50,000 for the spectacle of the Kentucky Derby. However, a combination of 79 luxury suites available along with standing room allows well over 150,000 spectators to enjoy the Kentucky Derby in person. The 2014 event hosted the second-largest crowd in derby history, wth over 164,000 in attendance. Will you be one of them in 2015?

In 2013 Churchill Downs installed a magnificent, ultra high-definition video board that was custom made by Panasonic, allowing all in attendance to capture a view of the race as it happens. Spanning 171 feet and towering at 90 feet tall, the aptly named “Big Board” means that you won’t miss a beat of the action no matter where you are. 

The Kentucky Derby is a sight to behold in person, and is definitely a sporting event every sports and race fan should have on their bucket list. It’s fun for everyone, with outrageous outfits, celebrities and giant hats heading to Louisville to enjoy a mint julep in hand while the greatest race of the year unfolds before their very eyes.

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