150 years of Kentucky Derby winners: 1975-2023

April 18th, 2024

Kentucky Derby 150 is just around the corner! Celebrate by exploring the rich history of Derby winners and Kentucky Derby Results. From legendary finishes to thrilling races, discover the excitement of betting on the Kentucky Derby. Whether you’re placing a bet on the Kentucky Derby for the first time or a seasoned bettor, drive into past race results and experience the thrill of predicting the next champion. Bet the Kentucky Derby and witness history in the making!


1975 - Foolish Pleasure

  • Time: 2:02.00
  • Jockey: Jacinto Vasquez
  • Trainer: LeRoy Jolley
  • History fun facts: UCLA wins its 10th NCAA mens basketball title in 12 years.

Foolish Pleasure would later "win" a match race against the ill-fated superstar filly Ruffian.


1976 - Bold Forbes

  • Time: 2:01.60
  • Jockey: Angel Cordero, Jr.
  • Trainer: Laz Barrera
  • History fun facts: The U.S. celebrates its bicentennial.

Bold Forbes began his career winning five races in Puerto Rico.


1977 - Seattle Slew

  • Time: 2:02.20
  • Jockey: Jean Cruguet
  • Trainer: William H. Turner, Jr.
  • History fun facts: The Stars Wars franchise begins with the May 25 release of the original film.

Seattle Slew would become the first undefeated horse to ever sweep the Triple Crown.


1978 - Affirmed 

  • Time: 2:01.20
  • Jockey: Steve Cauthen
  • Trainer: Laz Barrera
  • History fun facts: The U.S. Senate approves turning over control of the Panama Canal to Panama.

Affirmed's winning of margin of 1 1/2 lengths was his largest ever over arch-rival Alydar.


1979 - Spectacular Bird

  • Time: 2:02.40
  • Jockey: Ronnie Franklin
  • Trainer: Bud Delp
  • History fun facts: A peace treaty between Egypt and Israel is signed.

All-time great Spectacular Bid would be the last favorite to win the Derby for 21 years.


1980 - Genuine Risk

  • Time: 2:02.00
  • Jockey: Jacinto Vasquez
  • Trainer: LeRoy Jolley
  • History fun facts: The U.S. hockey team famously wins Olympic gold at Lake Placid.

Genuine Risk is the only filly ever to win or place in all three Triple Crown races.


1981 - Pleasant Colony 

  • Time: 2:02.00
  • Jockey: Jorge Velasquez
  • Trainer: John P. Campo
  • History fun facts: President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II both survive assassination attempts.

The Derby field size was capped at 20 after Pleasant Colony won this 21-starter edition.


1982 - Gato Del Sol

  • Time: 2:02.40
  • Jockey: Eddie Delahoussaye
  • Trainer: Edwin J. Gregson
  • History fun facts: Michael Jackson's all-time best selling album "Thriller" is released.

Gato Del Sol was the first Derby winner to break from the former auxiliary gate (post 18).


1983 - Sunny's Halo 

  • Time: 2:02.20
  • Jockey: Eddie Delahoussaye
  • Trainer: David C. Cross, Jr.
  • History fun facts: Bombings of Marine barracks in Beiruit, Lebanon, claim the lives of 241 U.S. servicemen.

Sunny's Halo was the most recent horse bred outside the U.S. to win the Derby. (Canada)


1984 - Swale

  • Time: 2:02.40
  • Jockey: Laffit Pincay, Jr.
  • Trainer: Woody Stephens
  • History fun facts: The Breeders' Cup is inaugurated at Hollywood Park.

Swale gave famed Claiborne Farm its first and only Derby winner to date.


1985 - Spend A Buck

  • Time: 2:00.20
  • Jockey: Angel Cordero, Jr.
  • Trainer: Cam Gambolati
  • History fun facts: Pete Rose becomes Major League Baseball's all-time hits leader

Spend a Buck led from start to finish in what was the third fastest Derby run to that time.


1986 - Ferdinand

  • Time: 2:02.80
  • Jockey: Bill Shoemaker
  • Trainer: Charlie Whittingham
  • History fun facts: The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes shortly after liftoff, killing all aboard.

Ferdinand was the most recent Derby winner to break from post position 1.


1987 - Alysheba 

  • Time: 2:03.40
  • Jockey: Chris McCarron
  • Trainer: Jack Van Berg
  • History fun facts: The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops more than 22% on "Black Monday."

Alysheba retired at four with a then record of more than $6.6 million in earnings.


1988 - Winning Colors 

  • Time: 2:02.20
  • Jockey: Gary Stevens
  • Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
  • History fun facts: Churchill Downs hosts its first Breeders' Cup, one year after introducing grass racing.

The most recent filly to win the Derby, Winning Colors also beat males in the Santa Anita Derby.


1989 - Sunday Silence 

  • Time: 2:05.00
  • Jockey: Pat Valenzuela
  • Trainer: Charlie Whittingham
  • History fun facts: The fall of the Berlin Wall triggers the end of a Communist-dominated Eastern Europe.

Sunday Silence's win kicked off an acclaimed four-race rivalry with Easy Goer.


Unbridled, the 1990 Kentucky Derby winner, has furthered the classic influence of the Native Dancer/Mr. Prospector sire line (Churchill Downs Photo)

1990 - Unbridled

  • Time: 2:02.00
  • Jockey: Craig Perret
  • Trainer: Carl Nafzger
  • History fun facts: Iraq invades Kuwait, leading to the first Gulf War.

Unbridled's heartwarming Derby win was achieved for 92-year-old owner Frances Genter.


1991 - Strike the Gold

  • Time: 2:03.00
  • Jockey: Chris Antley
  • Trainer: Nick Zito
  • History fun facts: The Soviet Union is officially dissolved.

Strike the Gold was the most recent Derby winner to have also captured the Blue Grass.


1992 - Lil E. Tee

  • Time: 2:03.00
  • Jockey: Pat Day
  • Trainer: Lynn S. Whiting
  • History fun facts: Johnny Carson ends his 30-year run as host of the "The Tonight Show."

Lil E. Tee was the only Derby winner ridden by Pat Day, Churchill Downs' all-time winningest jockey.


1993 - Sea Hero 

  • Time: 2:02.40
  • Jockey: Jerry Bailey
  • Trainer: MacKenzie Miller
  • History fun facts: The landmark North American Free Trade Agreement is enacted.

Sea Hero would become the first horse since Whirlaway to win the Derby and the Travers.


Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Media)

1994 - Go for Gin

  • Time: 2:03.60
  • Jockey: Chris McCarron
  • Trainer: Nick Zito
  • History fun facts: Republicans reclaim the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years.

Go for Gin upset Preakness/Belmont hero Tabasco Cat and Horse of the Year Holy Bull.


1995 - Tunder Gulch 

  • Time: 2:01.20
  • Jockey: Gary Stevens
  • Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
  • History fun facts: Football Hall of Famer O. J. Simpson is acquitted on charges of double murder.

Thunder Gulch defeated two more highly fancied stablemates: Timber Country and Serena's Song.


 

1996 - Grindstone

  • Time: 2:01.00
  • Jockey: Jerry Bailey
  • Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
  • History fun facts: Tiger Woods makes his professional golf debut after winning his third U.S. Amateur.

Grindstone was retired within a week of winning a photo-finish thriller due to injury.


1997 - Silver Charm

  • Time: 2:02.40
  • Jockey: Gary Stevens
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • History fun facts: "Titanic" becomes the all-time grossing film after its December release.

Silver Charm was the first of three consecutive Derby/Preakness winners to fall short in the Belmont.


1998 - Real Quiet 

  • Time: 2:02.20
  • Jockey: Kent Desormeaux
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • History fun facts: Michael Jordan leads the Chicago Bulls to their sixth NBA title in eight years.

Real Quiet missed sweeping the Triple Crown by a nose to Derby runner-up Victory Gallop.


 

1999 - Charismatic 

  • Time: 2:03.20
  • Jockey: Chris Antley
  • Trainer: D. Wayne Lukas
  • History fun facts: President Bill Clinton is acquitted by the U.S. Senate for "high crimes and misdemeanors."

Charismatic won twice against claiming company before scoring a 31-1 Derby upset.


2000 - Fusaichi Pegasus

  • Time: 2:01.00
  • Jockey: Kent Desormeaux
  • Trainer: Neil Drysdale
  • History fun facts: The final "Peanuts" cartoon strip is published following the death of creator Charles Schulz.

Fusaichi Pegasus broke a 21-year losing streak by post-time favorites in the Derby.


2001 - Monarchos

  • Time: 1:59.97
  • Jockey: Jorge F. Chavez
  • Trainer: John T. Ward, Jr.
  • History fun facts: Sept. 11 terrorist attacks at World Trade Center, Pentagon, and rural Pennsylvania kill nearly 3,000.

Monarchos was the second and most recent Derby winner to cover the 1 1/4 miles in under 2:00.


2002 - War Emblem

  • Time: 2:01.13
  • Jockey: Victor Espinoza
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • History fun facts: The Department of Homeland Security is established.

War Emblem was privately purchased following his final prep win in the Illinois Derby.


2003 - Funny Cide

  • Time: 2:01.19
  • Jockey: Jose Santos
  • Trainer: Barclay Tagg
  • History fun facts: Saddam Hussein is deposed as leader of Iraq.

Funny Cide was the first New York-bred Derby winner and the first gelding to score in 74 years.


2004 - Smarty Jones

  • Time: 2:04.06
  • Jockey: Stewart Elliott
  • Trainer: John Servis
  • History fun facts: The Boston Red Sox end their World Series drought after 86 years.

Smarty Jones' only career loss would be his heartbreaking loss in the Belmont Stakes.


Giacomo wins the 2005 Kentucky Derby

Giacomo wins the 2005 Kentucky Derby (Photo courtesy of the Kentucky Derby Museum/Churchill Downs)

2005 - Giacomo 

  • Time: 2:02.75
  • Jockey: Mike E. Smith
  • Trainer: John Shirreffs
  • History fun facts: Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans.

Giacomo topped a record Derby exacta that returned $9,814.80 for every $2 wagered.


2006 - Barbaro 

  • Time: 2:01.36
  • Jockey: Edgar Prado
  • Trainer: Michael R. Matz
  • History fun facts: Google acquires YouTube for $1.65 billion.

Barbaro was the first horse since Needles to have made his final prep more than four weeks before the Derby.


2007 - Street Sense 

  • Time: 2:02.17
  • Jockey: Calvin Borel
  • Trainer: Carl Nafzger
  • History fun facts: The iPhone is released for the first time in the United States.

Street Sense was the first juvenile champion to win the Derby since Spectacular Bid.


2008 - Big Brown 

  • Time: 2:01.82
  • Jockey: Kent Desormeaux
  • Trainer: Richard E. Dutrow, Jr.
  • History fun facts: Effects of the Global Financial Crisis deepen recessionary conditions worldwide.

Big Brown was the second of three Derby winners to date to break from post 20.


Mine That Bird wins the 2009 Kentucky Derby

Mine That Bird wins the 2009 Kentucky Derby (Photo courstey of the Kentucky Derby Museum/Churchill Downs)

2009 - Mine That Bird

  • Time: 2:02.66
  • Jockey: Calvin Borel
  • Trainer: Bennie L. Woolley, Jr.
  • History fun facts: Michael Jackson, the "King of Pop," dies at age 50.

Mine That Bird joined Sunny's Halo as the only Canadian champion juveniles to win the Derby.


2010 - Super Saver

  • Time: 2:04.45
  • Jockey: Calvin Borel
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher
  • History fun facts: A 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastates Haiti.

Super Saver is one of only five Derby winners to have won the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at two.


2011 - Animal Kingdom

  • Time: 2:02.04
  • Jockey: John Velazquez
  • Trainer: H. Graham Motion
  • History fun facts: Osama bin Laden is killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan.

Animal Kingdom is one of three Derby winners to have also captured the Dubai World Cup.


2012 - I'll Have Another 

  • Time: 2:01.83
  • Jockey: Mario Gutierrez
  • Trainer: Doug O'Neill
  • History fun facts: Hurricane Sandy causes significant destruction in New York and New Jersey.

I'll Have Another was the frist Santa Anita Derby winner in 23 years to wear the roses.


2013 - Orb

  • Time: 2:02.89
  • Jockey: Joel Rosario
  • Trainer: Claude McGaughey III
  • History fun facts: Two explosives leave three dead and hundreds injured during the Boston Marathon.

Orb was the first Derby winner owned by the Phipps family, prominent turf patrons since the 1920s.


2014 - California Chrome

  • Time: 2:03.66
  • Jockey: Victor Espinoza
  • Trainer: Art Sherman
  • History fun facts: Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba are briefly resumed.

California Chrome was the first Derby winner since Affirmed to win two Horse of the Year titles.


2015 - American Pharoah 

  • Time: 2:03.02
  • Jockey: Victor Espinoza
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • History fun facts:The inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship is held.

American Pharoah would become the first horse in 37 years to sweep the Triple Crown.


2016 - Nyquist 

  • Time: 2:01.31
  • Jockey: Mario Gutierrez
  • Trainer: Doug O'Neill
  • History fun facts: Boxing legend and Louisville native Muhammad Ali dies at age 74.

Nyquist is the most recent two-year-old champion to have worn the roses.


2017 - Always Dreaming

  • Time: 2:03.59
  • Jockey: John Velazquez
  • Trainer: Todd Pletcher
  • History fun facts: Houston, Texas, is hit hardest by Category 4 Hurricane Harvey.

Always Dreaming is the second highest-priced favorite to capture the Derby.


2018 - Justify 

  • Time: 2:04:20
  • Jockey: Mike Smith
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • History fun facts: The first summit between leaders of the U.S. and North Korea is held.

Triple Crown winner Justify was the sixth consecutive Derby favorite to wear the roses.


2019 - Country House

  • Time: 2:03.93
  • Jockey: Flavien Prat
  • Trainer: Bill Mott
  • History fun facts: Protests and demonstrations in Hong Kong are the largest since its 1997 handover to China.

Country House was elevated to first via the raceday disqualification of Maximum Security.


2020 - Authentic

  • Time: 2:00.61
  • Jockey: John Velazquez
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • History fun facts: Worldwide pandemic lockdowns bring much of the global economy to a halt.

Authentic captured the Derby postponed to September due to the coronavirus pandemic.


2021 - Mandaloun

  • Time: 2:01.36
  • Jockey: Florent Geroux
  • Trainer: Brad Cox
  • History fun facts: The Summer Olympics, postponed from the previous year, are held in Tokyo.

Mandaloun was elevated to first following the disqualification of Medina Spirit.


Rich Strike wins the 2022 Kentucky Derby

Rich Strike wins the 2022 Kentucky Derby (Photo by Coady Media/Churchill Downs)

2022 - Rich Strike

  • Time: 2:02.61
  • Jockey: Sonny Leon
  • Trainer: Eric R. Reed
  • History fun facts: Queen Elizabeth II dies after 70 years on the British throne.

Rich Strike drew in off the also-eligible list to record the biggest Derby upset in modern times.


2023 - Mage

  • Time: 2:01.57
  • Jockey: Javier Castellano
  • Trainer: Gustavo Delgado
  • History fun facts: Wildfires devastate the western side of Maui in Hawaii.

Mage was the second Derby winner in six years to have won without having raced at age two.


Continue traveling through history!

1875-1924    |     1925-1974