The Kentucky Derby: Where It All Begins


Where did the race come from? Why is that the race is called Kentucky Derby? Where did they coin the name Kentucky? Is it because the horses are the one who participated in the race? Who started it all? Let us find out the answers to those questions.

Who Started the Idea of the Race?

The idea of the whole Kentucky Derby was first started when the grandson William Clark named Meriwether Lewis Clark visited Europe and was inspired all the horses that he had seen. This is where he raised money when he returned home to Kentucky to start it all.

Additionally, it was in 1872 that he traveled to Europe and got inspired by the horses of Epsom Downs and seen that these are extraordinary and leading horses. When this happened, he had made his way of returning home to his hometown and founded a Louisville Hockey Club.

Moreover, the said club was Clark’s way of raising money to organize everything and built a horse racing area using the land donated by his uncles. Along with his goal of making a grand derby event, he also envisioned that this horse racing event would be a gathering of the country’s most stylish residents.

Making the Idea into Motion

When everything went well and Clark have been feeling that this race would be a successful event, he asked new management to took over the organization headed by Colonel Matt Win. He is a Louisville native which had successfully turned the racing event from just a local show to America’s iconic horse racing tournament.

In 1908, Matt Win also earned the Colonel title because he revised the full rules of the event making a new system rise. This is placing a new bet in the Church Hill Downs revising the old format adopted from French horse racing tradition that Clark had originally made.

Lastly, Win also had paved a way of promoting the race in the best way he can be. Way back in 1925 where the very first Kentucky Derby was aired and attended by a lot of listeners and horse racing fans. He also had made a way of inviting celebrities to witness the grandest event of the Kentucky Derby.

Introduction to Public

As stated above, it was in 1925 that the very first Kentucky Derby was aired on radio. Though the race already existed before Matt Win’s management, it never gained any popularity. Until then when Win took over, he made the very first way of making the race publicized.

Moreover, the derby got its first TV telecast in 1949. This was locally shown within the coverage of the county and an only limited audience can witness the said event. As Win worked hard to make sure that the race will gain more popularity, it was then in 1952 that the first event was televised on national TV.

Inauguration of the Race

The very first derby was inaugurated on May 17, 1875, run by 1.5 miles which were the same format by Epsom Derby. It has an estimated crowd of 10, 000 and was participated by fifteen horses under a three-year-old racing experience.

With the said inaugural race had taken place, Aristides was the very first horse racer to win the said event. He was trained by Ansel Williamson, a famous Hall of Famer in the world of horse racing history.

Although the first and succeeding racing event were all successful, there were some financial difficulties that the racing had experience way back in 1894. This is for the reason that the management had worked hard to maintain the facilities of the event; however, as years go by they did their best and luckily did their best to manage to continue the Kentucky race.

2019 Kentucky Derby

The 2019 Kentucky Derby and all its version which includes the Kentucky Derby 2019 will have the newest edition which will start on the 4th of May.  This is a little bit earlier starting date compared to the previous years since all horse racing fans are expecting a greater show this year.

It is also expected that the showstoppers of 2018 Kentucky Derby show will still grace the said event making a more interesting competition. According to some experts, there will be a some new and more competitive entries which will give the champions a harder task to keep their existing titles.

Lastly, the list of horse racer’s who’s going to give an incredible show includes Game Winner, Improbable, and War of Will. Surely, this edition of Kentucky Derby race would be more amazing.