Derby Winners: Making Their Maiden Wins Matter

By US Racing Team

Only one Derby winner since 1908 broke his maiden in the Derby, which means that the majority of all Derby runners have at least graduated to the winners’ class and made it to stakes company. In 2020, Authentic became the fourth Derby winner to have broken his maiden at Del Mar. Mandaloun, the eventual winner of the 2021 Derby, broke his maiden in his debut at Keeneland, and last year’s winner, Rich Strike, broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in his second career start and was claimed that day for $30,000. Belmont leads all tracks with 16.

With that said, some tracks still send out more Derby winners than others, so following is a list of track success where Derby winners broke their maidens, in alphabetical order.

Aqueduct: 9
Arlington Park: 5
Belmont Park: 16
Calder: 2
Churchill Downs: 5
Del Mar: 4
Delaware Park: 3
Fort Erie: 1
Gulfstream Park: 3
Hialeah: 7
Hollywood Park: 5
Keeneland: 3
Pimlico: 1
Santa Anita: 9
Saratoga: 10
Tampa Bay Downs 1
Turfway Park: 2
Woodbine: 3

Last winner to have broken their maiden at each track:

Aqueduct: 2013 winner Orb
Arlington Park: 2007 winner Street Sense
Belmont Park: 2010 winner Super Saver
Calder: 1992 winner Lil E. Tee
Churchill Downs: 2022 winner Rich Strike
Del Mar: 2020 winner Authentic
Delaware Park: 2006 winner Barbaro
Fort Erie: 1964 winner Northern Dancer
Gulfstream Park: 2019 winner Country House
Hialeah: 1975 winner Foolish Pleasure
Hollywood Park: 2014 winner California Chrome
Keeneland: 2021 winner Mandaloun
Meadowlands: 1981 winner Pleasant Colony
Parx Racing: 2004 winner Smarty Jones
Pimlico: 1979 winner Spectacular Bid
Santa Anita: 2018 winner Justify
Saratoga: 2008 winner Big Brown
Saratoga (dirt): 1988 winner Winning Colors
Saratoga (male on dirt): 1962 winner Decidedly
Tampa Bay Downs” 2017 winner Always Dreaming
Turfway Park: 1987 winner Alysheba
Woodbine: 2009 winner Mine That Bird
On Synthetic: 2011 winner Animal Kingdom

On Turf: 2008 winner Big Brown

Foreign: 1976 winner Bold Forbes (El Commandante, Puerto Rico)

How many starts did it take for Derby winners to break their maiden?

Derby winners who broke maiden in first start: 46
Derby winners who broke maiden in second start: 27
Derby winners who broke maiden in first or second start: 71
Derby winners who broke maiden in third start: 16
Derby winners who broke maiden in 4+ starts: 17
Derby winners who broke maiden on turf: 3
Derby winners who broke maiden on synthetic: 4
Derby winners who broke maiden on turf (since 1914): Sea Hero (1993), Barbaro (2006) & Big Brown (2008)
Derby winners who broke maiden on a synthetic surface (since 1914): Mine That Bird (2009), Animal Kingdom (2011), I’ll Have Another (2012), California Chrome (2014) & American Pharoah (2015)

Derby winners who broke maiden in a maiden claiming race (since 1914): Charismatic (1999), Mine That Bird (2009) and Rich Strike (2022).

Maiden Winners (since 1929 or last 90)

Derby winners who broke maiden in April: 8
Derby winners who broke maiden in May: 6
Derby winners who broke maiden in June: 11
Derby winners who broke maiden in July: 10
Derby winners who broke maiden in August: 11
Derby winners who broke maiden in September: 12
Derby winners who broke maiden in October: 10 (including 9 of last 25)
Derby winners who broke maiden in November: 8
Derby winners who broke maiden in December: 0
Derby winners who broke maiden in January.: 8
Derby winners who broke maiden in February: 1 (latest February 18, except 1933)
Derby winners who broke maiden in March: 0
Derby winners who broke maiden in April: 0
Derby winners who broke maiden prior to December: 75 (82.4%)

More than two-thirds of the Derby winners broke their maiden in their first or second start, including 19 of the last 23 years.

Twelve maidens have run in the Kentucky Derby since 1937 – Bodexpress, 2019, 13th; Sonneteer, 2017, 16th; Trojan Nation, 2016, 16th; Nationalore, 1998, 9th; Pendleton Ridge, 1990, 13th; Great Redeemer, 1979, 10th; Fourulla, 1971, 19th; The Chosen One ,1959, 14th; Flamingo, 1958; 13th; On The Mark, 1950, 8th; Senecas Coin, 1949, 14th; and Bert G., 1945, 14th.



Kentucky Derby 2023 Odds

PP Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Odds
1 Hit Show Franco Brad H. Cox West, Gary and Mary 30-1
2 Verifying Gaffalione Brad H. Cox Poulin, Jonathan, Westerberg, Magnier, Mrs. John, Smith, Derrick and Tabor, Michael B. 15-1
3 Two Phil’s Loveberry Larry Rivelli Patricia’s Hope LLC and Sagan, Phillip 12-1
4 Conficence Game Graham J. Keith Desormeaux Don’t Tell My Wife Stables 20-1
5 Tapit Trice Saez Todd A. Pletcher Whisper Hill Farm, LLC and Gainesway Stable (Antony Beck) 5-1
6 Kingbarns J. Ortiz Todd A. Pletcher Spendthrift Farm LLC 12-1
7 Reincarnate Velazquez Tim Yakteen SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables LLC, Masterson, Robert E., Stonestreet Stables LLC, Schoenfarber, Jay A., Waves Edge Capital LLC and Donovan, Catherine 50-1
8 Mage Castellano Gustavo Delgado OGMA Investments, LLC, Restrepo, Ramiro, Sterling Racing LLC and CMNWLTH 15-1
SCR Skinner Hernandez John A. Shirreffs C R K Stable 20-1
SCR Practical Move Vazquez Tim Yakteen Amestoy, Jr., Pierre Jean, Amestoy, Leslie A. and Beasley, Roger K. SCR
9 Disarm Rosario Steven M. Asmussen Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC 30/1
10 Jace’s Road Geroux Brad H. Cox West Point Thoroughbreds and Albaugh Family Stables LLC 15-1
11 Sun Thunder Hernandez Jr Kenneth G. McPeek R.T Racing Stable and Cypress Creek Equine 30-1
12 Angel Of Empire Prat Brad H. Cox Albaugh Family Stables LLC 8-1
SCR Forte I. Ortiz JR. Todd A. Pletcher Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable 3-1
13 Raise Can Corrales Ben Colebrook Warren, Andrew and Warren, Rania 15-1
14 Derma Sotogake Lemaire Hidetaka Otonashi Hiroyuki Asanuma 10-1
15 Rocket Can Alvarado William I. Mott Frank Fletcher Racing Operations, Inc. 15-1
SCR Lord Miles Lopez Todd A. Pletcher Vegso Racing Stable 30-1
SCR Continuar Sakai Yoshito Yahagi Lion Race Horse Co. Ltd. 50-1
16 Cyclone Mischief J. Rosario D. Romans Albaugh Family Stables LLC and Castleton Lyons. 30-1
17 Mandarin Hero Kazushi Kimura Terunobu Fujita Hiroaki Arai. 20-1
18 King Russell Rafael Bejarano Ron Moquett Jones, Brereton C. and Naber Racing, LLC 50-1
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