1875 Kentucky Derby

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1st Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby
Grade I stakes race
LocationChurchill Downs
DateMay 17, 1875
Winning horseAristides
JockeyOliver Lewis
TrainerAnsel Williamson
OwnerH. Price McGrath
1876 →

The 1875 Kentucky Derby was the first running of the Kentucky Derby.[1] The race took place on May 17, 1875.[2] The first Kentucky Derby was a 1.5-mile race, and the traditional distance of 1.25 miles was not established until the 1896 Derby.[3] Thirteen of the fifteen jockeys in the race, including winner Oliver Lewis, were African-American.[4] Attendance was estimated at 10,000.[5]

The winner was Aristides, by two lengths. His jockey was Oliver Lewis, his trainer was Ansel Williamson, and his owner was H.P. McGrath. Aristides' half-brother and stablemate Chesapeake also ran in the race. Both Aristides' jockey and trainer were black. Aristides's time of 2 minutes and 37.75 seconds was at the time a world record for the distance.

Full results[edit]

Finished Post Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Time / behind
1st 1 Aristides Oliver Lewis Ansel Williamson H. Price McGrath 2:37.75
2nd Volcano H. Williams George H. Rice
3rd Verdigris W. Chambers C. A. Lewis
4th Bob Woolley William Walker Robinson, Morgan & Co.
5th Ten Broeck M. Kelso Harry Colston Frank B. Harper
6th Grenoble J. Carter Allen Bashford
7th Bill Bruce M. Jones S. J. Salyer
8th Chesapeake W. Henry H. Price McGrath
9th Searcher Raleigh Colston Sr. J. B. Rodes
10th Ascension William Lakeland William Cottrill
11th Enlister Cyrus Holloway Stringfield & Clay
12th McCreery D. Jones Gen. Abe Buford
13th Warsaw Masterson Stringfield & Clay
14th Vagabond J. Houston A.B. Lewis & Co.
15th Gold Mine Stradford James A. Grinstead


The winner received a purse of $2,850. The second-place finisher received $200.[6]


  1. ^ "Kentucky Digital Library".
  2. ^ Kentucky Derby History, 1875
  3. ^ Jessica Elliot, "Kentucky Derby Facts and History". About.com
  4. ^ "The First Kentucky Derby". America's Library.
  5. ^ "What Happened in 1870–1879?" The People History.
  6. ^ "1875 Kentucky Derby Results Tables" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2010-07-08.