Reflections: Derby Rich in Colorful Facts since 1875 from 10,000 to 100,000 Attend Annually Never Missed Renewal despite World Wars Bold Venture Only Winner to Sire Two More, Daily Racing Form, 1951-05-05


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— — _____ REFLECTIONS *y NELS0N wnstan CHURCHILL DOWNS, Louisville, Ky., May 4. — From a humble beginning, the Kentucky Derby grew so in appeal that many years ago, the late Damon Runyon called it "Americas most colorful sports spectacle." When asked to describe the Derby, Irvin S. Cobb replied, "If I could do that, Id have have a a larynx larynx of of spun spun silver silver and and the the have have a a larynx larynx of of spun spun silver silver and and the the tongue of an annointed angel." In recent years, books have been written which completely cover this great event, but in this column we will endeavor to recite some of the highlights since the event was inaugurated in 1875. That first year, some 10,000 spectators were present when Aristides the little red horse won and earned ,850. The event took on greater proportions when Regret was the winner in 1915 and it passed the 0,000 mark in 1923 with Earl Sande atop Zev, who earned 3,600. In 1946, the Derby had an added value of 00,000 and Assault defeated Spy Song to earn 6,400, the greatest return to any Derby winner. Assault was owned by the King Ranch of Robert Kleberg, Jr., and last year Middle-ground duplicated for King Ranch, earning 2,650. In late years, the throngs on hand have numbered from 85,000 to 100,000, and with the ever growing popularity of this number 1 event in the "Triple Crown" series, the throng probably will be close to 100,000 again this season. AAA Three Dot Shorts: From 1875 to 1895, the Derby was run at one and one -half miles and the fastest time recorded in that period was when Spokane won in 2:34y5 in 1889. . .The slowest time at one and one-half miles was the 2:52% registered by Kingman in 1891 . . The distance was reduced to one and one-quarter miles in 1896 when Ben Brush was the winner in 2:07% ..Twenty Grand created a new record of 2:01% in 1931 and that mark remained until 1941 when Whirlaway was clocked in Derby Rich in Colorful Facts Since 1875 From 10,000 to 100,000 Attend Annually Never Missed Renewal Despite World Wars Bold Venture Only Winner to Sire Two More 2:01%, which was both a Derby and track record... In the past ten renewals, only one winner has run the one and one-quarter miles under 2:04 and that was last year when Middleground defeated Hill Prince by one and one-quarter lengths in 2:01% . Only one filly has ever defeated the colts and that was Regret in 19 15... Seven geldings have visited the winners circle, Vagrant, 1876; Apollo, 1882; Joe Cotton, 1885; and since the distance was reduced to one and one-quarter miles, Old Rosebud, 1914; Exterminator, 1918; Paul Jones, 1920, and Clyde Van Dusen, 1929 . .Through the years, many winners have scored by a neck or a head, but in 1939 Johnstown won by eight lengths, as did Whirlaway in 1941 and Assault in 1946. AAA Only three starters went to the post in 1892, 1899 and 1905. . .Twenty -one started in 1923, and a record field was recorded when 22 went to the post in 1928, with Reigh Count the winner . . During the past two years, 14 answered the bugle for each renewal . . . Since the inaugural in 1875 the Derby has never missed a renewal and has never had a disqualification. . .For its 76 runnings to date, a total of 8,151 three-year-olds were nominated and of that number, 779 went to the post . Only two payments are necessary to start a horse, the nominating and starting fees. It costs 0 to name a horse for the Derby, by February 15, and the second payment of ,000 must be paid before the field leaves the paddock for the starting point. Owners and trainers have until 10 a. m. the day before the race to decide whether they will enter a horse. . .In 1878, before the largest throng up to that time, Day Star stunned the spectators by defeating Himyar, who, at 1 to 4, was the shortest-priced favorite in 75 years Alard Scheck, the odds-on favorite in 1901, finished last in a five-horse field, and the following year the odds-on favorite, Abe Frank, finished last in a four-horse field . Count Fleet, 1943, and Citation coupled with Coaltown, 1948, paid .80 for , the shortest price since pari-mutuels were introduced at the Derby . . . Donerail, winner in 1913, still holds the pay-off record, paying 84.90 for . AAA For many years, Isaac Murphy, the famous Negro jockey, held the record of riding three Derby winners. He was later tied by Earl Sande, who piloted Zev, Flying Ebony and Gallant Fox, the latter in 1930 . Eddie Arcaro topped both by creating a new record of four winners with Lawrin, 1938; Whirlaway, 1941; Hoop, Jr., 1945, and Citation, 1948 . Murphy and Jimmy Winkf ield were the only two jockeys to ride successive winners . .The roughest renewal since 1875 was in 1933, when Don Meade, on Brokers Tip, and Herb Fisher, on Head Play, used their whips against each other instead of the speed of their horses in the stretch run . .There never has been a disqualification . . The late Charles Kurtsinger rode two of the best Derby winners when he scored with Twenty Grand in 1931 and War Admiral in 1937... Only two owners had four Derby winners, Col. E. R. Bradley and the Calumet Farm of Warren Wright. . Ben Jones holds the trainers record, having saddled five winners, Lawrin, 1938; Whirlaway, 1941; Pensive, 1944; Citation, 1948, and Ponder, 1949 . .The late "Derby Dick" Thompson saddled four winners for the Idle Hour Farm of Colonel Bradley and the veterans "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons and Max Hirsch saddled three each . . Clyde Van Dusen, one of the smallest of all Derby winners, led from start to Continued on Page Thirty-Seven I | ! ; , , , ! , I . ! REFLECTIONS By NELSON DUNSTAN Continued from Page Sixty-Four finish in 1929, and, since that time, War Admiral, Johnstown, Count Fleet and Hoop Jr. repeated the feat. * A A All modern day horses stem back in the top line of their pedigrees to Matchem, Herod and Eclipse . . . The Eclipse line has produced 58 of the 76 Derby winners; 11 trace to Herod and seven to Matchem . . . Halma, winner in 1895, was the first to sire a son who duplicated his feat, Alan-a-Dale winning in 1902 . Bubbling Over, winner in 1926, sired Burgoo King; Reigh Count, 1928, was the daddy of Count Fleet, 1943; Gallant Fox, 1930, sent his son, Omaha, to the winners circle in 1935; Pensive, 1944, sired Ponder, 1949. . A new page of Derby history was written when Bold Venture, the winner in 1936, became the first to sire two winners, Assault, 1946, and Middleground, 1950 . Sixty-two of the 76 winners were foaled in Kentucky, three in Tennessee, two in Texas, two in New Jersey and one each in Montana, Missouri, Ohio, California, Virginia and Kansas. Omar Khayyam, the only foreign winner, was bred in England . . . Only three sires have sent three sons to the winners circle in the Derby. They were Falsetto, second in the renewal of 1879, Virgil and Sir Gal-lahad III. . . . The latter, one of the most successful stallions ever brought to these shores, sired Gallant Fox, Gallahadion and Hoop Jr. . . . Never has the race been won by brothers or half-brothers . . . Bay horses won 34 renewals; chestnuts, 27; browns, 11, and blacks, four ... A. J. Alexander and John E. Madden bred five winners, while E. R. Bradley and the Calumet Farm of the late Warren Wright, bred four each.

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