Trivia Minute May 17, 2015

Episode 78: First Kentucky Derby

by Marcus Michelson
Etching by C. Lloyd first published as a plate in the 1877 book "Famous Horses of America: Containing fifty-nine portraits of the celebrities of the American turf past and present" by Porter and Coates, Henry B. Ashmead Publisher, Philadelphia. (via Wikipedia)
Etching by C. Lloyd first published as a plate in the 1877 book “Famous Horses of America: Containing fifty-nine portraits of the celebrities of the American turf past and present” by Porter and Coates, Henry B. Ashmead Publisher, Philadelphia. (via Wikipedia)

Today marks the 140th anniversary of the first Kentucky Derby horse race.

Here are a few things you may not have known about the first Kentucky Derby:

One: The first race was won by Aristides with jockey Oliver Lewis aboard. Including Lewis, 13 of the 15 jockeys in the race were African-American. Aristides’ trainer Ansel Williamson was also African-American.

Two: The Kentucky Derby was the brainchild of Meriweather Lewis Clark Jr., grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He was inspired by the Epsom Derby in England.

Three: The first 21 Derbies were run at a distance of 1 1/2 miles. In 1896, the race adopted the current mile and a quarter distance.

Our question: Which is oldest, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes or the Belmont Stakes?

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