Derby Trial Stakes

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For the similarly named races in Britain, see Investec Derby Trial and Lingfield Derby Trial.
Derby Trial Stakes
Grade III race
Location Churchill Downs
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Inaugurated 1924
Race type Thoroughbred - Flat racing
Website www.churchilldowns.com
Race information
Distance 1 mile
Track Dirt, left-handed
Qualification three-year-olds
Weight Assigned
Purse US$150,000 (2014)

The Derby Trial Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at the end of April at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Held one week before the Kentucky Derby, it was first run in 1924 and every year since, with the exception of 1928. A Grade III stakes with a current purse of $150,000, it's open to three-year-olds willing to race one mile on the dirt, however its distance from 2007 to 2009 was 7.5 furlongs. The Derby Trial Stakes was an ungraded event from 2006 to 2008.[1]

Several Kentucky Derby winners failed to win the Trial, but bounced back to win the “Run for the Roses.” Most notable of those were Calumet Farm’s Iron Liege, who finished fifth in the Trial and returned to defeat a Kentucky Derby field that included champions Gallant Man, Round Table and Bold Ruler and is generally considered to be the greatest field in Derby history. King Ranch’s Assault finished fourth in the Trial, but returned to win the Derby and sweep the Triple Crown. In 1941, Triple Crown winner Whirlaway finished second in the Derby Trial, but returned to sweep the Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Winners of the Trial and Derby[edit]

Four trainers have won the Derby Trial and the Kentucky Derby with the same horse. The feat was accomplished by Hanley Webb in 1924 with Black Gold and by Ben A. Jones who did it twice, first with the great Citation in 1948 and then with Hill Gail in 1952. Eddie Hayward won both in 1953 with Dark Star and in 1958 Jimmy Jones, son of Ben, became the fourth and last to do it when he won the two races with Tim Tam.[2] Since Tim Tam, the gradual trend in training has been toward giving Derby contenders fewer prep races and more time between them. This practice has all but eliminated the Trial as a legitimate Derby prep race. Even the 1982 decision to move it from the Tuesday before the Derby to the Saturday before didn't help.

However, the three weeks between the Trial and the 1 3/16ths-mile Preakness in Baltimore is perfect. In recent years, the Trial has sent the Preakness such horses as Key to the Mint (1972), No More Flowers (1987), Houston (1989), Honor Grades (1991), Alydeed (1992), Cherokee Run (1993), Numerous (1994), Our Gatsby (1995), Black Cash (1998), Patience Game (1999), Sir Shackleton (2004), Flying First Class (2007), Macho Again (2008), and Pleasant Prince (2010).

Although none of those Trial horses won the Preakness, Alydeed, Cherokee Run and Macho Again finished second at Pimlico Race Course and Key to the Mint finished third. And two of trainer Woody Stephens' Trial winners Caveat in 1983 and Creme Fraiche in '85 went on to win the Belmont Stakes (GI). Additionally, the 2008 Belmont Stakes was won by Da'Tara, trained by Nick Zito, who finished in fifth place in the 2008 Derby Trial Stakes.

Calumet Farm had three horses that finished second in the Trial. In 1941, Whirlaway finished second to Blue Pair in the Trial, but then roared back to win the Triple Crown. In 1949, Ponder was second to Olympia in the Trial, but came back five days later to take the Derby by three lengths over Capot.

And then there was the ill-fated Gen. Duke in 1957. He came to Churchill Downs touted as a potential superstar, but finished second to Federal Hill in the Trial. Then, the morning of the Derby, Gen. Duke was scratched because of a foot injury suffered in the Trial.

In 1967, Barb's Delight became the last Trial horse to have a significant impact on the Derby, finishing second by a length to longshot Proud Clarion. Don't Get Mad finished fourth in the Derby in 2005.

The last horse to win the Saturday before the Derby and then win the roses was Cannonade in 1974. But the race he won was the now-defunct 7f Stepping Stone Purse, not the Derby Trial.

In 2011, it will be in its 87th year of running.

Records[edit]

Speed record:

  • 1:28.45 - Macho Again (2008) (at distance of 7.5 furlongs)
  • 1:34.40 - Ack Ack (1969) (at distance of one mile)

Most wins by a jockey:

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:

  • 7 - Calumet Farm (1943, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1958)

Winners of the Derby Trial Stakes[edit]

Year
Winner
Jockey
Trainer
Owner
Distance
Time
Purse
Grade
2014 Embellishing Bob Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr. Steve Margolis Martin L. Cherry 1-mile 1:36.73 $150,000 III
2013 Forty Tales Joel Rosario Todd A. Pletcher Perretti Racing Stable 1-mile 1:35.77 $231,400 III
2012 Hierro Julien Leparoux Steve Asmussen Stonestreet Stables 1-mile 1:35.27 $231,400 III
2011 Machen Edgar Prado Neil Howard Courtlandt Farm 1-mile 1:35.47 $231,400 III
2010 Hurricane Ike Calvin Borel John W. Sadler Ike & Dawn Thrash 1-mile 1:36.35 $200,000 III
2009 Hull Miguel Mena Dale L. Romans Heiligbrodt Racing Stable 7.5-fur. 1:30.21 $112,000 III
2008 Macho Again Julien Leparoux Dallas Stewart West Point Thoroughbreds 7.5F 1:28.45 $115,200
2007 Flying First Class Mark Guidry D. Wayne Lukas Ellwood W. Johnston 7.5F 1:29.28 $117,800
2006 Record Rafael Bejarano Bob Baffert Sunset Stables 1-mile 1:36.32 $114,939
2005 Don't Get Mad Gary L. Stevens Ronald W. Ellis B. Wayne Hughes 1-mile 1:36.00 $113,100
2004 Sir Shackleton Rafael Bejarano Nick Zito Tracy Farmer 1-mile 1:37.61 $110,800 III
2003 Midas Eyes Jerry Bailey Robert J. Frankel Edmund A. Gann 1-mile 1:36.22 $167,400 III
2002 Sky Terrace Craig Perret Vickie Foley Vickie Foley/T. Thieneman 1-mile 1:36.87 $112,800 III
2001 Meetyouathebrig Robby Albarado W. Elliott Walden Mansell Stable & James Stone 1-mile 1:36.22 $117,000 III
2000 Performing Magic Pat Day Alex Hassinger, Jr. The Thoroughbred Corp. 1-mile 1:35.99 $114,000 III
1999 Patience Game Corey Nakatani Alex Hassinger, Jr. The Thoroughbred Corp. 1-mile 1:37.86 $118,626 III
1998 Souvenir Copy David Flores Bob Baffert John & Betty Mabee 1-mile 1:37.80 $113,300 III
1997 Richter Scale Shane Sellers Patrick B. Byrne Richard Kaster 1-mile 1:36.00 $116,870 III
1996 Valid Expectations Don Pettinger Steve Asmussen Robert & Leland Ackerley 1-mile 1:36.81 $128,375 III
1995 Peaks and Valleys Julie Krone James E. Day Pin Oak Stable 1-mile 1:36.53 $113,100 III
1994 Numerous Chris McCarron Charlie Whittingham Howard B. Keck 1-mile 1:37.34 $111,600 III
1993 Cherokee Run Pat Day Frank A. Alexander Jill E. Robinson 1-mile 1:37.40 $100,000 III
1992 Alydeed Craig Perret Roger Attfield Kinghaven Farms 1-mile 1:36.20 $86,550 III
1991 Alydavid Pat Day Philip M. Hauswald David's Farm 1-mile 1:36.40 $75,000 III
1990 Housebuster Craig Perret Warren A. Croll, Jr. Robert P. Levy 1-mile 1:37.60 $75,000 III
1989 Houston Laffit Pincay, Jr. D. Wayne Lukas B. Beal / L.R. French / Lukas 1-mile 1:36.20 $85,000 III
1988 Jim's Orbit Shane Romero Clarence Picou James Cottrell 1-mile 1:38.60 $60,000 III
1987 On The Line Pat Day D. Wayne Lukas Eugene V. Klein 1-mile 1:36.60 $65,000 III
1986 Savings Patrick Johnson Gary Hartlage Diana & Keith Wiseman 1-mile 1:35.60 $65,000 III
1985 Creme Fraiche Randy Romero Woody Stephens Brushwood Stable 1-mile 1:37.60 $65,000 III
1984 Devil's Bag Eddie Maple Woody Stephens Hickory Tree Stable 1-mile 1:35.60 $60,000
1983 Caveat Laffit Pincay, Jr. Woody Stephens August Belmont IV 1-mile 1:37.80 $60,000
1982 Listcapade Darrell Haire Dewey Smith Dorothy Dorsett Brown 1-mile 1:36.20 $50,000
1981 What It Is Julio Espinoza Mark E. Casse Norman E. Casse 7F 1:24.60 $30,000
1980 Royal Sporan Don Brumfield Don Jeffries Dan Logan 7F 1:25.60 $25,000
1979 Dreamy Prospect Richard DePass Lyle Whiting Edwin Whittaker 7F 1:24.40 $28,166
1978 Braze and Bold Jim McKnight Lyle Whiting not found 7F 1:25.40 $20,000
1977 Kodiack Rudy L. Turcotte Harvey L. Vanier Louis F. Aitken 7F 1:25.20 $20,000
1976 Justa Bad Boy Bill Gavidia Tony Basile E. A. Dust 1M 1:38.00 $20,000
1975 Round Stake Michael Hole H. Allen Jerkens Hobeau Farm 1M 1:36.40 $20,000
1974 Ga Hai Mike Manganello Gene Cleveland Laguna Seca Ranch 1M 1:38.00 $20,000
1973 Settecento Larry Adams Lefty Nickerson Martin J. Wygod 1M 1:37.00 $15,000
1972 Key to the Mint Braulio Baeza J. Elliott Burch Rokeby Stables 1M 1:36.20 $15,000
1971 Vegas Vic Howard Grant Randy Sechrest Sechrest & Fritz 1M 1:37.00 $20,000
1970 Admiral's Shield Jimmy Nichols Harvey L. Vanier William C. Robinson, Jr. 1M 1:37.20 $15,000
1969 Ack Ack Manuel Ycaza Frank A. Bonsal Cain Hoy Stable 1M 1:34.40 $15,000
1968 Proper Proof Johnny Sellers Jim Mosbacher Mrs. Montgomery Fisher 1M 1:36.00 $15,000
1967 Barbs Delight Bill Hartack Hal Steele Huguelet, Jr. et al. 1M 1:35.40 $15,000
1966 Exhibitionist Eddie Belmonte Hirsch Jacobs Ethel D. Jacobs 1M 1:36.00 $25,000
1965 Bold Lad Bill Hartack William C. Winfrey Wheatley Stable 1M 1:35.20 $17,500
1964 Hill Rise Bill Shoemaker William B. Finnegan El Peco Ranch 1M 1:35.20 $15,000
1963 Bonjour Bill Shoemaker Hirsch Jacobs Patrice Jacobs 1M 1:36.40 $15,000
1962 Roman Line James Combest Vester R. Wright T. Alie Grissom 1M 1:37.20 $15,000
1961 Crozier Braulio Baeza Charles R. Parke Fred W. Hooper 1M 1:34.60 $15,000
1960 Beau Purple Eric Guerin George P. Odom Jack Dreyfus, Jr. 1M 1:35.60 $15,000
1959 Open View (1st) Karl Korte Ray Metcalf Elkcam Stable 1M 1:35.60 $15,000
1959 First Landing (2nd) Eddie Arcaro Casey Hayes Meadow Stable 1M 1:36.20 $15,000
1958 Tim Tam Ismael Valenzuela Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1M 1:39.20 $15,000
1957 Federal Hill Willie Carstens Milton Rieser Clifford Lussky 1M 1:36.20 $15,000
1956 Fabius Bill Hartack Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1M 1:36.60 $15,000
1955 Flying Fury Conn McCreary Loyd Gentry, Jr. Cain Hoy Stable 1M 1:38.00 $15,000
1954 Hasty Road John H. Adams Harry Trotsek Hasty House Farm 1M 1:35.00 $15,000
1953 Dark Star Henry Moreno Eddie Hayward Cain Hoy Stable 1M 1:36.00 $15,000
1952 Hill Gail Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1M 1:35.40 $15,000
1951 Fanfare Douglas Dodson Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1M 1:36.60 $15,000
1950 Black George Eric Nelson Raymond Barnett William Veeneman 1M 1:38.00 $10,000
1949 Olympia Eddie Arcaro Ivan H. Parke Fred W. Hooper 1M 1:37.40 $12,500
1948 Citation Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1M 1:37.40 $10,000
1947 Faultless Douglas Dodson Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1M 1:37.60 $10,000
1946 Rippey Ferrill Zufelt Edward L. Snyder William G. Helis 1M 1:40.20 $10,000
1945 Burning Dream Douglas Dodson James W. Smith Edward R. Bradley 1M 1:38.20 $5,000
1944 Broadcloth Ferrill Zufelt Charles T. Leavitt Mrs. George Poulsen 1M 1:37.20 $4,500
1943 Ocean Wave Wendell Eads Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1M 1:38.20 $2,500
1942 Valdina Orphan Carroll Bierman Frank Catrone Valdina Farms 1M 1:36.80 $2,500
1941 Blue Pair Harry Richards Willie Crump Vera S. Bragg 1M 1:36.60 $2,500
1940 Bimelech Fred A. Smith William A. Hurley Edward R. Bradley 1M 1:38.00 $2,500
1939 Viscounty Carroll Bierman John J. Flanigan Valdina Farms 1M 1:38.40 $2,500
1938 The Chief George Woolf Earl Sande Col. Maxwell Howard 1M 1:35.80 $2,500
1937 Dellor Basil James John Milton Goode James W. Parrish 1M 1:38.20 $1,500
1936 He Did Charley Kurtsinger J. Thomas Taylor Mrs. Silas B. Mason 1M 1:37.40 $1,100
1935 Whiskolo Willie Garner Robert McGarvey Milky Way Farms 1M 1:37.80 $1,100
1934 Peace Chance Wayne Wright Pete Coyne Joseph E. Widener 1M 1:35.80 $800
1933 Head Play Herb W. Fisher Willie Crump Mrs. Willie Crump 1M 1:39.40 $800
1932 Adobe Post Charles Landolt C. E. Gross Knebelkamp & Morris 1M 1:38.80 $1,200
1931 Boys Howdy Gilbert Riley Loyd Gentry, Sr. Harry C. Hatch 1M 1:38.20 $2,000
1930 Uncle Luther Robert Creese Robert L. Stivers Luther Stivers 1M 1:41.80 $1,500
1929 Windy City E. Pool Mose Lowenstein Fred Grabner 1M 1:42.20 $1,500
1928 No Race No Race No Race No Race no race 0:00.00
1927 Rolled Stocking Willie Pool Charles C. Van Meter James W. Parrish 1M 1:38.60 $1,500
1926 Rhinock Mack Garner William D. Covington Mrs. George B. Cox 1M 1:39.00 $2,000
1925 Kentucky Cardinal Mack Garner Mose F. Shapoff G. Frank Croissant 1M 1:38.80 $2,000
1924 Black Gold J. D. Mooney Hanley Webb Rosa L. Hoots 1M 1:37.80 $2,000

See also[edit]

References[edit]