For those of us with an active Facebook account, we are all
aware of Timeline. Most of my Facebook friends have either verbally stated to
me or have posted on the social networking site about their displeasure with
the new look home page. As for me, I have yet to switch over. I’m happily still
using the original home page look. In a nutshell, Facebook Timeline is a neatly
organized social scrapbook. How does this tie into the Kentucky Derby you
ask? After all, it is Derby week in
America. Just like we all have important
events in our lives that standout, so too does the Kentucky Derby. This blog
edition takes a look at some signature events that have transpired over the
last 137 years. Consider this if you will, a Trackside text scrapbook about the
“Run for the Roses."
January 1st, 1872—Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark
Jr., grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, begins
working on the idea of the Kentucky Derby after witnessing the Epsom Derby in
May 17th, 1875—Jockey Oliver Lewis rides a colt
named Aristides to victory in the first Kentucky Derby in front of 10,000
people. The distance was 1 ½ miles, but later was changed to the current 1 ¼ miles.
May 11th, 1892—15-year old African-American
jockey Alonzo “Lonnie” Clayton becomes the youngest jockey to win the Kentucky
May 2nd, 1904—Elwood becomes the first Derby
starter to be owned by a woman, Laska
May 10th, 1913—At $92.40 to 1, Donerail becomes
the longest shot ever to win the Kentucky Derby.
May 8th, 1915—Regret becomes the first filly to
win the Derby. Only three fillies total have won the race.
May 12th, 1917—English-bred colt Omar Khayyam wins
the Derby, becoming the first foreign-bred horse to win.
May 10th, 1919—Sir Barton becomes the first horse
to win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and
May 17th, 1930—Sportswriter Charles Hatton coins
the term “Triple Crown” to denote the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness
and Belmont after Gallant Fox becomes the second horse to win all three races.
May 7th, 1932—The Derby is moved to the first
Saturday in May to create a specific schedule for Triple Crown races.
May 3rd, 1952—The Derby is shown on national
television for the first time.
May 4th, 1968—Dancer’s Image becomes the first
and only Derby winner to be disqualified, after phenylbutazone, an analgesic
and anti-inflammatory drug, is discovered
during post-race urinalysis.
May 5th, 1973—Secretariat runs the fastest Derby
ever (at 1 ¼ miles) at I minute, 59 2/5 seconds. The horse, widely considered
the greatest ever, actually ran each successive quarter of the race faster than
the previous one, and went on to win the Triple Crown.
May 4th, 1974—The Derby’s largest crowd ever:
163,628 sees Cannonade win.
May 6th, 1978—Just days after his 18th
birthday, jockey phenom Steve Cauthen wins the Derby aboard Affirmed and goes on to become the youngest jockey ever to win the Triple Crown.
May 3rd, 2008—Eight Belles finishes second but
breaks both ankles and is euthanized on the track, the first time in Derby
history a horse has died at the race.
May 1st, 2010—Calvin Borel wins aboard Super
Saver for his third Derby win in four years and giving trainer Todd Pletcher
his first Derby win after missing with 24 previous horses.
With this year’s 138th “Run for the Roses” just a
few days away, will we witness another historical event that will be added and
forever etched into the Kentucky Derby Timeline?