Interesting facts about the annual Run for the Roses schedule for Saturday at Churchill Downs
The Associated Press
How well do you know the history of the Kentucky Derby? Try this quiz:
1. Which jockey has ridden in the most Kentucky Derbys?
A. Bill Shoemaker
B. Gary Stevens
C. Calvin Borel
D. Pat Day
FUN FACT: Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack are tied for most Derby victories by a jockey with five. Arcaro won with Lawrin (1938), Whirlaway (1941), Hoop Jr. (1945), Citation (1948) and Hill Gail (1952); Hartack won with Iron Liege (1957), Venetian Way (1960), Decidedly (1962), Northern Dancer (1964) and Majestic Prince (1969).
2. The Blue Grass Stakes has produced more Kentucky Derby winners (23) than any other 3-year-old prep race. Which prep race is next on the list?
A. Santa Anita Derby
B. Florida Derby
C. Arkansas Derby
D. Wood Memorial
FUN FACT: Eleven. That’s how many Wood Memorial winners went on to win the Kentucky Derby and that’s how many Blue Grass Stakes winners did the same. The Wood-Derby winners are Fusaichi Pegasus (2000), Pleasant Colony (1981), Seattle Slew (1997), Bold Forbes (1976), Foolish Pleasure (1975), Assault (1946), Hoop Jr. (1945), Count Fleet (1943), Johnstown (1939), Twenty Grand (1931), and Gallant Fox (1930). The Blue Grass-Derby winners are Strike the Gold (1991), Spectacular Bid (1979), Riva Ridge (1972), Dust Commander (1970), Forward Pass (1968), Lucky Debonair (1965), Northern Dancer (1964), Chateaugay (1963), Tomy Lee (1959), Shut Out (1942), and Bubbling Over (1926).
3. The most popular first letter in the name of a Kentucky Derby winner is “S.” There are 19. Three became Triple Crown champions, winning the Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
Who are they?
FUN FACT: For those who like the letter game, here are the 19 “S” horses who won the Kentucky Derby: Spokane (1889); Sir Huon (1906); Stone Street (1908); Sir Barton (1919); Shut Out (1942); Swaps (1955); Secretariat (1973); Seattle Slew (1977); Spectacular Bid (1979); Sunny’s Halo (1983); Swale (1984); Spend a Buck (1985); Sunday Silence (1989); Strike the Gold (1991); Sea Hero (1993); Silver Charm (1997); Smarty Jones (2004); Street Sense (2007); and Super Saver (2010).
Currently, this year’s Derby field “S” horses are Shagaf and Suddenbreakingnews.
4. Nyquist comes into the Kentucky Derby with seven wins in seven starts. Since 1915, 26 Derby starters entered the race undefeated. Only seven exited undefeated.
Name them, or as many as you can.
FUN FACT: Two horses came into last year’s Kentucky Derby without a loss. Dortmund was 6 for 6 and finished third; Materiality was 3 for 3 and finished sixth. American Pharoah had one loss before his Derby victory.
5. For nearly a century, the Mint Julep has been the traditional cocktail of the Kentucky Derby (and Kentucky Oaks). The recipe calls for sugar, water, fresh mint, crushed ice, and bourbon. How many Mint Juleps are prepared for the Oaks-Derby weekend?
FUN FACT: Here’s the Derby’s recipe for a Mint Julep: 2 cups sugar; 2 cups water; sprigs of fresh mint; crushed ice; Old Forester straight bourbon whisky; silver julep cups. … Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of bourbon. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint. Ta da!
6. Only three fillies have won the Kentucky Derby. Can you name one, two, all three?
FUN FACT: A total of 40 fillies have run in the Kentucky Derby. The three winners all raced against males before taking them on again in the Derby. Genuine Risk (1980) and Winning Colors (1988) competed in the all three Triple Crown races: Genuine Risk was second in the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes; Winning Colors was third in the Preakness and sixth in the Belmont. The last filly to run in the Derby was Devil May Care, who finished 10th.
7. When was the last time the margin of victory in the Kentucky Derby was less than one length?
A. Orb over Golden Soul
B. American Pharoah over Firing Line
C. Street Sense over Hard Spun
D. Giacomo over Closing Argument
FUN FACT: Giacomo’s win over Closing Argument in 2005 triggered record payouts. Giacomo was 50-1, Closing Argument was 71-1. A $2 exacta ticket — picking the first and second-place finishers in order — returned a whopping $9,814.80. A distant second? Mine That Bird (50-1) topped Pioneerof the Nile (6-1) in 2009 for a $2 exacta payoff of $2,074.60.
1. Bill Shoemaker 26
2. Florida Derby, 22
3. Sir Barton (1919), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977)
4. Regret (1915), Morich (1922), Majestic Prince (1969), Seattle Slew (1977), Smarty Jones (2004), Barbaro (2006), and Big Brown (2008).
6. Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980), Winning Colors (1988).
7. Giacomo beat Closing Argument by a half-length in 2005.