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The ABCs of the Kentucky Derby: Which letters win it most?

How good do you know the alphabet -- that is, when it comes to Kentucky Derby winners?

There's been
143 editions of America's famous race totaling 1,884 starters, with names beginning with every letter of the alphabet except the letter "X."

Do you know which letter has won the most times? There haven't been many Derby horses beginning with letters "Q" or "Y" -- just 10 combined -- so it's not surprising that horse's names starting with those two letters have yet to emerge as winners.

The answer to the above question is: Horses with names beginning with the letter "S" have been victorious on 19 occasions

Below is a list of the Derby winners, followed by number of starters for each alphabet letter and the most recent horse to win with that letter.

Letter      Wins      Starters      Last Winner              Year

 A              11             96           Always Dreaming     2017

 B              13           188           Big Brown                 2008 

 C              12           145           California Chrome    2014

 D               7            109           Dust Commander     1970

 E               2              49           Exterminator            1918

 F               7              89           Funny Cide               2003

 G              8              84           Giacomo                    2005

 H              5              83           Hill Gail                     1952

 I                2              39           I'll Have Another      2012

 J               4              46           Jet Pilot                    1947

 K              2              34           Kauai King                1966

 L              7              79            Lil E. Tee                  1992

 M             9            112           Mine That Bird          2009

 N             3              39            Nyquist                     2016

 O             4              45            Orb                           2013

 P             7            112            Pleasant Colony      1981

 Q             0               7             

 R             5              93            Real Quiet                1998

 S           19            201            Super Saver             2010

 T             5            107            Thunder Gulch        1995

 U             1              16            Unbridled                1990

 V             2              34            Venetian Way          1960

 W            7              67            War Emblem            2002

 X             -                -              

 Y             0               3             

 Z             1               7             Zev                          1923

Folks, the Kentucky Derby is four months away. But if you had to wager today on which letter of the alphabet will win, what would it be?


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Nick became instantly hooked on horse racing when his father first took him to the racetrack when he was 5-years old. As a racing fan, he's attended several Kentucky Derbys, Belmont Stakes and Breeders' Cups, and has visited several racetracks throughout the United States and Canada.

Back in the year 2000, Nick became a licensed owner and is currently still involved with the sport in that honored capacity. In 2010, Nick added another dimension when trying his hand at writing about horse racing for Horse Racing Nation, and thanks its readers for their support.

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