If you are a racing fan and at all superstitious — or even if you’re not superstitious — you’ve probably heard of the Curse of Apollo.
This dreaded curse relates to the fact that no horse has won the Kentucky Derby after not starting as a two-year-old since Apollo in 1882.
Think about that: 1882. Back then Tesla wasn’t a car, but an actual person. In fact, cars were a rarity in 1882. And movies? Well, they didn’t exist at all… although I understand that Betty White hired an agent on a hunch.
Of course, there have been a lot of great curses in sports, even though most have been broken. The Curse of the Bambino — set in motion when Harry Frazee, owner of the Boston Red Sox, sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees in 1919 — ended in 2004. The Curse of the Billy Goat, which was placed on the Cubs when longtime fan Billy Sianis was asked to remove his pet goat from Wrigley Field during the 1945 World Series, came to a screeching halt two years ago. (Apparently, in the ‘40s, one cast spells rather than file lawsuits — ah, the good ol’ days.)
True, the Curse of Bobby Layne, supposedly started by the Hall of Fame quarterback when he was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers, endures, as does the Cardinals Curse, which has followed the NFL team from Pottsville to St. Louis to Arizona.
But the Curse of Apollo is one of the longest — if not the longest — active curses in sports. (I suspect somebody, somewhere put a curse on my beloved Seattle Mariners, but I don’t have any proof… I mean, outside of what I see on the field each year.)
Below is a listing of all the horses that have tried, but failed, to win the Kentucky Derby without starting as a 2-year-old over the past 80 years.