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Kentucky Derby Tidbits & Trivia (Thru 2011)
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JOCKEYS: Calvin Borel became the fifth jockey to win back-to-back Kentucky Derbys (2009-2010), aboard Mine That Bird and Super Saver. The other four were, Eddie Delahoussaye, Isaac Murphy, Ron Turcotte and Jimmy Winkfield.

FAVORITES: The Derby favorite has finished last five times: Alard Scheck (1901); Abe Frank (1902); Proceeds (1904); Total Departure (1983) (part of a three-horse D. Wayne Lukas entry); and Demons Begone (1987). There have been 50 favorites who have won, including 2008 Champion Big Brown. Over the last five years, the favorite or second-choice has won four times.

UNDEFEATED GOING IN: 17 horses in modern times have been undefeated entering the Derby with only seven emerging unblemished after the race (Regret, 1915; Morvich 1922; Majestic Prince, 1969; Seattle Slew, 1977; Smarty Jones, 2004, Barbaro, 2006; Big Brown, 2008).

LONGSHOTS: Looking for a big payoff? There have been 26 horses that went off at odds of 100-1 or greater - none has finished in the money. The closest to glory was King Celebrity, who ran fourth in a field of 10 in 1979 at odds of 112.40-1, missing third money by 1 3/4 lengths. The highest-priced winner was Donerail, who paid $184.90 in 1913. The last 100-1 shot was Fighting Fantasy who finished 15th and last in 1990 at 111.30-1. In the 2006 Kentucky Derby, 50-1 Giacomo upset the field of 20, while 71-1 Closing Argument finished second. Giacomo paid $102.60, while the exacta paid, $9814.80, while the $1 Superfecta paid a healthy $864,253.50. 2009 Champion Mine that Bird, a 50-1 shot, cruised to an easy 6 3/4 length victory.

WHO'S THAT HORSE?: There was one unnamed horse nominated for the 1998 Derby but in 1882, one actually ran, finishing ninth in a field of 14. He is listed in the official chart as "Pat Malloy colt," after his sire, and later raced under the name "Bassett." Pat Malloy, incidentally, sired the winner of the 1879 Derby, Lord Murphy (who had originally been named Patmus.) The winner of the 1890 Derby, Riley, started out as Shortfellow.

WINNING COLORS: There have been 63 bay, 40 chestnut, 21 dark bay or brown, 9 gray or roan horses and 4 black horses to win the Derby.

NO RAIN TODAY: Go for Gin's 2:03 3/5 over a sloppy track in 1994 was the first time since 1989 that the track has been anything other than fast or good. In 2004, Smarty Jones ran 2:04 over a sloppy track en route to a 3-length victory. In 2009 and 2010, Mine that Bird and Super Saver each won over sloppy-sealed track. In 1989, Sunday Silence ran the 1 1/4 miles in 2:05 on a muddy track, the same time that Tim Tam ran in 1958, which had been the last time the track had been labeled muddy until 2004. There have been 25 Derbys run on off-tracks in the 136 previous runnings of the race.

TIME: The fastest start in the Derby was run by Top Avenger, who zoomed out to a :21 4/5 opening quarter en route to a 19th-place finish in 1981. Songandaprayer (13th in 2001) ran the quickest opening half-miles (44 4/5). Later in the same race, Songandaprayer posted the fastest time for three- quarters at 1:09 1/5. Spend a Buck, winner of the 1985 Derby, posted the quickest time for the mile at 1:34 4/5. Secretariat set the track record of 1:59 2/5 for 1 1/4 miles in winning the 1973 Derby. The slowest Derby was the 2:52 1/4 run by Kingman in 1891, when race was run at 1 1/2 miles.

LETTERS: There have been 19 triumphs by horses whose names started with S, making it the most popular letter among Derby winners. Next is B (13), C (11) and A (9). There has never been a Derby winner whose name started with a Q, X or Y. No horse whose name has started with an X has ever run in the Derby.

SIRES: Four sires share the lead with three Derby winners: Bull Lea, Falsetto, Sir Gallahad III and Virgil. Eleven Derby winners have sired Derby winners, Bold Venture, Bubbling Over, Count Fleet, Determine, Gallant Fox, Grindstone, Halama, Pensive, Ponder, Reigh Count, Seattle Slew and Swaps.

MARGINS: The widest margin of victory was eight lengths, by Old Rosebud (1914), Johnstown (1939), Whirlaway (1941) and Assault (1946). The narrowest margin of victory was a nose, by Spokane (1889), Azra (1892), Ben Brush (1896), Alan-a-Dale (1902), Brokers Tip (1933), Iron Liege (1957), Tomy Lee (1959) and Grindstone (1996).

SHARES: The largest share of the purse taken home by a winner was $1,639,600 by Giacomo in 2006. The smallest was $2,850 by Aristides in the first Derby in 1875.

NOMINATIONS AND STARTERS: The most nominations were 460 in 2007, the least was 32 in 1913. The largest field was 23 in 1974, the smallest was three in 1892 and 1905. The last time fewer than 10 horses started was in 1976, when nine went to the gate.

FILLIES: Thirty-nine fillies have started in the Kentucky Derby with three winning: Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980) and Winning Colors (1988). In 2010, Devil May Care finished 10th at 10-1, while Winning Colors Genuine Risk are the only two fillies to race in all three Triple Crown races. In 2008, Eight Belles finished second to Big Brown, but was tragically euthanized after she broke both her front ankles seconds after crossing the finish line.


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