ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The First of the Triple Crown - The Kentucky Derby

Updated on May 2, 2014

Every May

Every year a great tradition is carried out in Kentucky. Even those that do not follow horse racing on a weekly or monthly basis, still tune into watching this event unfold each year. This event each year gives us triumphs, failures, tragedy and moments that bring a smile on your face years later when thinking about this race. What got me hooked on watching the Kentucky Derby and would inspire me to closely follow the next two races to see who would be the next Triple Crown Winner was Big Red. Others will remember him as Secretariat the horse that would break records that still stand today. So for me my love affair with the Kentucky Derby started then and has continued. Like others that recall the year 1973, we are waiting for another Secretariat, which I know will never happen. There have been some great stories along the way, those that were inspiring and some with sadness. Each year we tune in or even better; to be there in the stands every year in May. Sip on your Mint Julep and Welcome to the Kentucky Derby!

Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.
Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby.

The Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is one of the oldest Thoroughbred horse races in the US. The first Kentucky Derby was run in 1875 and at that time the course was 1.5 miles long. In 1876 the length was shortened to 1.25 and this distance has been run since by three year old Thoroughbreds. It wasn’t until the 1900’s that winners of the Derby would enter their horses in the Preakness and the Belmont. It would soon be titled the “Triple Crown” and the few that would go on to win all three races would be called a Triple Crown winner. Each year the Kentucky Derby draws about 100,000 spectators to Churchill Downs to watch the famed race and countless others will watch it on TV. The history of Churchill Downs goes back to the late 1800’s and was started by Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark.

With great triumphs there are tragedies and the Kentucky Derby has had it's share. Winning moments that are over shadowed by events that linger well after the race. One just has to go back to 2008 as runner up Eight Belles, the filly that almost won, broke down after the race. As we watched the jockey jump off and the ambulance, along with other vehicles blocked our view we all knew it wasn't good. Controversy will always surround horse racing and what is done to achieve greatness.

Triple Crown Winners

War Admiral
War Admiral
Citation
Citation
Secretariat
Secretariat
Affirmed, the last Triple Crown Winner.
Affirmed, the last Triple Crown Winner.

Derby to Triple Crown

The elusive Triple Crown has been won by only 11 horses and Sir Barton was foaled in 1916 and won the frist Triple Crown Winner in 1919. 45 horses would win two out of the three races with 21 winning the first two but failing to capture the third.

Triple Crown Winners

Sir Barton 1919

Gallant Fox 1930

Omaha 1935

War Admiral 1937*

Whirlaway 1941

Count Fleet 1943

Assault 1946

Citation 1948

Secretariat 1973

Seattle Slew 1977

Affirmed 1978

One would have to say that we are due for another Triple Crown winner and each year we watch. For me this will be another year of watching and hoping one horse will emerge as victorious. Maybe some 12 year old girl will watch and she will be forever hooked waiting for it to happen again. I have seen it happen three times since first watching Secretariat take the crown in 1973 and it is a moment in time that will always stick with me. He is the epitome of what a great race horse should be, big, beautiful, proud, graceful and powerful. The Kentucky Derby is held the first weekend in May.

Read about Secretariat and watch the clip of his great win at the Belmont.

*Note: War Admiral would loose a match race to Seabiscuit in 1938.

If you watch the YouTube clip of Secretariat's Kentucky Derby win, make note of where he is in the first part of the race. It is one of the greatest finishes in racing history.


Official Churchill Downs Website

Location

A
Churchill Downs:
700 Central Avenue, Louisville, KY 40208, USA

get directions

The location of Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.

Affirmed in 1978 the last Triple Crown winner.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      CrAzY4HoRsErAcInG!! 

      6 years ago

      I'm not trying to be rude in anyway but i just wanted to say that Sir Barton won the Triple Crown in 1919. He was foaled in 1916. Common Error. Its hard to remember all the numbers and years. I got into horse racing this year and was thrilled to watch the Derby! I was going for Dialed In but as everyone saw, he slumped, big time! I did a lot better in the Preakness pikcing the top six finishers (I LOVE Shackleford! He's my favorite current racehorse!) I think next year Overdriven is going to be a huge factor in the Derby if he's entered. Currency Swap, Union Rags, and Drill are also good conforming two-year-olds this year. Can't wait for Derby 138!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)