The Kentucky Derby, the Run for the Roses, has a long history that goes back to the first race in 1875. Here are five surprising facts you didn’t know about the Kentucky Derby:
1. Longest shot to win the Derby had odds of 91:1
Betting on the race has probably been around since it began in 1875. Favorites tend to win. But there have been some upsets. The all time champion long shot is Donerail who won the Kentucky Derby in 1913. The odds? 91:1. In second place is Mine the Bird who with odds of 50:1 won in 2009. He was so far behind that he was not even on the screen. He passed eighteen horses in the last quarter mile. Hollywood made a movie loosely based on Mine the Bird’s story called 50:1.
2. Rapper is most unlikely Kentucky Derby horse owner
M.C. Hammer! Making a name for himself in the 1990’s rapper M.C. Hammer made all the right moves and with his flamboyant dress and bad boy demeanor seems an unlikely owner/breeder. He has a passion for horses and racing. He established a farm and stable in Oakland, California. His horse won third place in 1992. The name of the horse? Very aptly, it’s Dance Floor.
3. Black Jockeys won fifteen of the first twenty-eight Derbys
Black Jockeys dominated the racing world in the late 19th century. In fact, when the first Derby was run in 1875, thirteen of the fifteen jockeys were black. The winning jockey and trainer were black and both were former slaves. This has changed dramatically and in the last ninety-three years, on two black jockeys have ridden in the Derby.
4. In 1970, Diane Crump was the first female jockey to ride in the Derby
No female jockey has ever won the Derby. The first to ride was Diane Crump, who was twenty-two when she rode in 1970. She finished fifteenth in a field of seventeen. In total, six female jockeys have ridden in the Run for the Roses.
5. The biggest payout in Kentucky Derby was $864,253
And that was for each $1 bet! That was a Superperfecta payout. To win the Superperfecta, a better has to predict the first four finishers in the exact order. The odds are astronomical. The second biggest payout came in the year that Mine the Bird (50:1 odds) won and paid out $278,503 for each $1 bet.