The Kentucky Derby by the Numbers

by Ray Wallin

Last spring we looked at the Preakness by the numbers. This year, we’ll take a look at some fun facts about the upcoming 145th running of the Kentucky Derby by the numbers:

0 – The number of times the Kentucky Derby has been cancelled due to weather.

1 – The number of horsemen to win as both a jockey and trainer. Johnny Longden won in 1943 as the jockey on Count Fleet and again as a trainer with Majestic Prince in 1969.

2 – The number of Kentucky Derbies won by apprentice jockeys (Ira Hanford 1936 and Bill Bolland 1950)

3 – The number of starters in the 1892 running of the Kentucky Derby which was won by Azra with Alonzo Clayton in the irons for trainer John H. Morris. Clayton would ride in three more Kentucky Derbies in 1893, 1895, and 1897, never finishing out of the money.

5 – Most wins by a jockey in the Kentucky Derby (Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack)

6 – Most wins by a trainer in the Kentucky Derby (Ben “Plain Ben” Jones – 1938, 1941, 1944, 1948, 1949, 1952). Bob Baffert currently has five winners and looks to tie Jones this year.

6 – The number of jockeys who have won back to back Kentucky Derbies (Isaac Murphy 1890/1891, Jimmy Winkfield 1901/1902, Ron Turcotte 1972/1973, Eddie Delahoussaye 1982/1983, Calvin Borel 2009/2010, Victor Espinoza 2014/2015)

8 – Most wins by an owner in the Kentucky Derby (Calumet Farms)

8 – Largest margin of victory in terms of lengths. (Old Rosebud 1914, Johnstown 1939, Whirlaway 1941, Assault 1946)

9 – The number of times a female jockey has ridden in the Kentucky Derby. (Diane Crump 1970; Patrica Cooksey 1984; Andrea Seefeldt 1991; Julie Krone 1992 and 1995; Rosemary Homeister Jr 2003; Rosie Napravnik 2011, 2013, and 2014). The best finish was by Rosie Napravnik in 2013 who finished fifth aboard Mylute.

12 – Original number of furlongs the Kentucky Derby was run at until 1896 when the race was changed to 10 furlongs. 12 furlongs is the same distance as the Epsom Derby.

15 – Youngest age of a Derby winning jockey – Alonzo Clayton (1892 – Azra) and James Perkins (1895 – Halma)

15 – The number of starters in the first Kentucky Derby in 1875. The race was won by Aristides.

19 – The number of Kentucky Derby winners with a name starting with the letter “S”. The last was Super Saver in 2010.

22 – The number of jockeys that won their first and only Kentucky Derby. The most recent was Ronnie Franklin with Spectacular Bid in 1979.

26 – Most mounts by any Kentucky Derby jockey- Bill Shoemaker who won four of them (Swaps 1955, Tomy Lee-GB 1959, Lucky Debonair 1965, Ferdinand 1986)

40 – Total number of fillies to run in the Kentucky Derby. The most recent filly was Devil May Care who finished tenth in 2010. Three have won (Regret 1915, Genuine Risk 1980, and Winning Colors 1988). However, with the advent of the new qualifying system it is unlikely that we’ll see many other fillies starting in future Kentucky Derbies.

47 – Lowest temperature on race day: twice (1935 and 1957).

52 – Most starters in the Kentucky Derby by a trainer. Todd Pletcher has two Derby winners out of all those starters (Super Saver 2010 and Always Dreaming 2017)

54 – Age of the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. Bill Shoemaker was 54 years old when he guided Ferdinand to victory in 1986.

91 – The highest odds of a horse to win the Kentucky Derby. Donerail won at odds of 91-1 in 1913.

94 – Hottest temperature on race day – 1959

120,000 – The number of mint juleps that are estimated to be served at Churchill Downs every Kentucky Derby weekend.

The last big number is hopefully the amount of money you win on this race! So whether you are a causal fan or you make your living playing the races, be sure to sit back and enjoy the 2019 Kentucky Derby!

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