Only One Horse From Illinois Has Ever Won The Kentucky Derby
The 148th Run For The Roses will take place this Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
The odds on favorite, Zandon was foaled (that's the horse-term for "born") in Kentucky. Most horses in the Triple Crown races are. Only two horses in this year's field, Crown Pride (Canada) and Simplification (Florida), were foaled outside of the Bluegrass State.
For an event that mesmerizes the country for 2 minutes every May...
...the Kentucky Derby is a pretty hyper-local event.
Of the 147 previous Kentucky Derbys, 113 have been won by horses foaled in Kentucky.
The rest of the states totals look like this:
- Florida - 6
- Virginia - 4
- California - 4
- Tennessee - 3
- New Jersey - 2
- Pennsylvania - 2
- Texas - 2
- Illinois - 1
- Kansas - 1
- Maryland - 1
- Missouri - 1
- New York - 1
- Ohio - 1
- Canada - 2
- England - 2
The Land of Lincoln gets one winner in the history of the Kentucky Derby. That honestly surprised me, considering the number of horse tracks in the area and the history of horse betting in Illinois.
It just goes to show you how much of a lifestyle it is down in Kentucky
So when did Illinois get their moment in the sun at the Kentucky Derby?
AmericanClassicPedigree - Dust Commander was bred in Illinois by the Pullen Brothers. He was pruchased by Robert Lehmann for $6,500.
And yes. The Robert Lehmann in that story is the same Lehmann from the famous Lehmann Brothers banking firm. They had a little extra money laying around and liked to dabble in horse racing.
With no Illinois-born horses in this year's race, the number of Illinois-born Kentucky Derby winners will remain at 1. We'll have to try again next year.
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