They say every Derby has its story. It could be a remarkable trainer, a last-place finish for a first-place horse, or a newfound overseas interest in the race. Whatever the subject, the legends and history of each year’s run create the enthusiasm and drive that bring thousands back time and time again. And just like its counterparts—the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the Indy 500—there are legends and stories to be told that exemplify the fervor that begins in Louisville nearly a whole month before the race.
Kentucky Derby Stories captures that spirit with fifteen stories, both old and new, that feature the best moments in the Derby’s history. Author Jim Bolus spotlights the men and women who began and maintained the race, from legendary jockey Issac Burns Murphy, three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby, to “Mr. Derby” Col. Matt Winn to Ben Jones, the Derby’s most-remembered trainer.
This collection also focuses an eye on the runners, some whose greatness was a surprise to all. Some have been geldings, others competitors in famed rivalries, and there are those who came from nowhere to win the race. No matter what the circumstances in the victory, Bolus takes note of the most memorable horses decorating the winner’s circle.
Finally, this compilation looks at the unique elements of the Derby as seen over more than a century. Who are the celebrities who attend and have their stake in the race? What overseas nation is taking a winner’s interest in the Derby? These are just a few of the unpredictable sides of the run that Bolus and his stories introduce.
Sportswriter and Derby historian Jim Bolus recounts some of the crowning moments at Churchill Downs. From the first official race in 1875 to today’s Derby, these stories present the beginnings of the traditions that continue to make up the Derby’s history.
Amusing, and inspiring, Kentucky Derby Stories is a reminiscent look back for aficionados and a glimpse at a piece of Americana for newcomers.