Thursday, May 17, 2012

This Day in History May 17, 1875

Slightly happy note for today's feature.  It was on this date in 1875 that the horse pictured above (Aristides) won the first Kentucky Derby.  This horse was named after the Greek general of the same name, and Oliver Lewis (African American) was his rider on that date. Ten thousand people were in attendance, and there were fifteen horses in that first race.  Thirteen of the horses were ridden by African American jockeys.  Aristides was not supposed to win--he was supposed to help another horse win.  But the unexpected often happens in races, as we well know.  Aristides dies on June 21, 1893 and was honored by a statue in Churchill Downs in 1988.

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