The Kentucky Derby by the Numbers

Always Dreaming draped in roses following the running of the 143rd Kentucky Derby (photo by Jordan Sigmon).

Always Dreaming draped in roses following the running of the 143rd Kentucky Derby (photo by Jordan Sigmon).

Last spring we looked at the Preakness by the numbers. This year, we’ll take a look at some fun facts about the upcoming 145th running of the Kentucky Derby by the numbers:

0 – The number of times the Kentucky Derby has been cancelled due to weather.

1 – The number of horsemen to win as both a jockey and trainer. Johnny Longden won in 1943 as the jockey on Count Fleet and again as a trainer with Majestic Prince in 1969.

2 – The number of Kentucky Derbies won by apprentice jockeys (Ira Hanford 1936 and Bill Bolland 1950)

3 – The number of starters in the 1892 running of the Kentucky Derby which was won by Azra with Alonzo Clayton in the irons for trainer John H. Morris. Clayton would ride in three more Kentucky Derbies in 1893, 1895, and 1897, never finishing out of the money.

5 – Most wins by a jockey in the Kentucky Derby (Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack)

6 – Most wins by a trainer in the Kentucky Derby (Ben “Plain Ben” Jones – 1938, 1941, 1944, 1948, 1949, 1952). Bob Baffert currently has five winners and looks to tie Jones this year.

6 – The number of jockeys who have won back to back Kentucky Derbies (Isaac Murphy 1890/1891, Jimmy Winkfield 1901/1902, Ron Turcotte 1972/1973, Eddie Delahoussaye 1982/1983, Calvin Borel 2009/2010, Victor Espinoza 2014/2015)

8 – Most wins by an owner in the Kentucky Derby (Calumet Farms)

8 – Largest margin of victory in terms of lengths. (Old Rosebud 1914, Johnstown 1939, Whirlaway 1941, Assault 1946)

9 – The number of times a female jockey has ridden in the Kentucky Derby. (Diane Crump 1970; Patrica Cooksey 1984; Andrea Seefeldt 1991; Julie Krone 1992 and 1995; Rosemary Homeister Jr 2003; Rosie Napravnik 2011, 2013, and 2014). The best finish was by Rosie Napravnik in 2013 who finished fifth aboard Mylute.

12 – Original number of furlongs the Kentucky Derby was run at until 1896 when the race was changed to 10 furlongs. 12 furlongs is the same distance as the Epsom Derby.

15 – Youngest age of a Derby winning jockey – Alonzo Clayton (1892 – Azra) and James Perkins (1895 – Halma)

15 – The number of starters in the first Kentucky Derby in 1875. The race was won by Aristides.

19 – The number of Kentucky Derby winners with a name starting with the letter “S”. The last was Super Saver in 2010.

22 – The number of jockeys that won their first and only Kentucky Derby. The most recent was Ronnie Franklin with Spectacular Bid in 1979.

26 – Most mounts by any Kentucky Derby jockey- Bill Shoemaker who won four of them (Swaps 1955, Tomy Lee-GB 1959, Lucky Debonair 1965, Ferdinand 1986)

40 – Total number of fillies to run in the Kentucky Derby. The most recent filly was Devil May Care who finished tenth in 2010. Three have won (Regret 1915, Genuine Risk 1980, and Winning Colors 1988). However, with the advent of the new qualifying system it is unlikely that we’ll see many other fillies starting in future Kentucky Derbies.

47 – Lowest temperature on race day: twice (1935 and 1957).

Ray Wallin
Ray Wallin is a licensed civil engineer and part-time handicapper who has had a presence on the Web since 2000 for various sports and horse racing websites and through his personal blog. Introduced to the sport over the course of a misspent teenage summer at Monmouth Park by his Uncle Dutch, a professional gambler, he quickly fell in love with racing and has been handicapping for over 25 years.

Ray’s background in engineering, along with his meticulous nature and fascination with numbers, parlay into his ability to analyze data; keep records; notice emerging trends; and find new handicapping angles and figures. While specializing in thoroughbred racing, Ray also handicaps harness racing, Quarter Horse racing, baseball, football, hockey, and has been rumored to have calculated the speed and pace ratings on two squirrels running through his backyard.

Ray likes focusing on pace and angle plays while finding the middle ground between the art and science of handicapping. When he is not crunching numbers, Ray enjoys spending time with his family, cheering on his alma mater (Rutgers University), fishing, and playing golf.

Ray’s blog, which focuses on his quest to make it to the NHC Finals while trying to improve his handicapping abilities can be found at Ray can also be found on Twitter (@rayw76) and can be reached via email at