TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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May 3, 1775, Captain John Floyd arrived at Boonesborough from a camp on Dick’s River where he left 30 men.  He was a surveyor of Fincastle County under Colonel Preston, a rival jurisdiction.
History of Kentucky by Zachariah Frederick Smith

Thursday, May 3, 1900, Lieut. Gibson wins the 26th Kentucky Derby for Charles H. Smith with Jimmy Boland up for trainer Charles H. Hughes.  His winning time of 2:06​1⁄4 for a mile and quarter stood as the Derby record for 11 years, net to winner $4,850.

May 3, 1902, Alan-a-Dale won the 28th running of the Kentucky Derby for the owner and trainer Thomas Clay McDowell, the great-grandson of Henry Clay, who was born on the Ashland Estate.  Jimmy Winkfield was aboard, the last African American jockey to win the Derby.  By the end of 1902, Churchill Downs and the Derby were in danger of disappearing from the sport.  By some accounts, the track was suffering severe financial difficulties.  Even the Derby itself seemed to be losing some of its luster; only four horses turned out to contest this Derby and only five the year before.  Then Colonel Matt J. Winn and partners bought the track for $40,000.  The winning time of 2:08 ¾ earned $4,850.

Kentucky Trivia:  The 28th Derby in 1902 was the first Derby that ran on a Saturday; however it wasn’t consistently run on Saturdays till 1911.

Monday, May 3, 1909, Ohio bred Wintergreen wins the 35th Kentucky Derby for Jerome B. Respess with Vincent Powers in the reins.  Trained by Charles Mack, the colt finished 1 1/4 miles in 2:08 1/5 over a track rated slow from heavy morning rains.  The winning connections ear $4,850.  It would be Wintergreen’s only stakes victory.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Letcher County native Harry M. Caudill, born in 1922.

May 3, 1924, Deputy Sheriff John Lafayette Meeks, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed while attempting to detain a man who had been ruled incompetent and remanded to the custody of state hospital attendants.

May 3, 1941, Whirlaway wins the 67th Kentucky Derby for Warren Wright’s Calumet Farm with Eddie Arcaro up and Ben A. Jones trainer.  The winning time was 2:01 2/5 setting a track record to win $61,275.  It was Calumet’s first Derby out of eight.  It was Arcaro’s second Derby from five, and it was Ben’s second of six Derbies.  Whirlaway wins the fifth Triple Crown out of thirteen  This was Calumet’s first of two Triple Crowns.

May 3, 1947, Jet Pilot wins the 73rd Kentucky Derby for Maine Chance Farm with Eric Guerin up and R. Thomas Smith as the conditioner.  In a bizarre footnote, while Jet Pilot was at Churchill the prior year with Maine Chance’s Derby horses, most of the farm’s other 2-year-olds were killed in a barn fire at Arlington Park.

May 3, 1952, Hail Gail wins the 78th running of the Kentucky Derby for Mrs. Warren Wright’s Calumet Farm, jockey Eddie Arcaro and trainer Ben Jones.  The Derby was telecast nationwide for the first time.  Some feared that televising the race would reduce attendance, but it proved unfounded, with subsequent broadcasts drawing tens of millions of viewers, further solidifying its popularity.  The race went in 2:10 4/5 on a muddy track.  It was the first time the purse exceeded $100,000, with the winners earning $96,300.

May 3, 1954, Cliff Hagan (#6), Frank Ramsey (#30), Lou Tsioropoulos (#42), Billy Evans (#42), Gayle Rose (#20), Jerry Bird (#22) and Phil Grawemeyer (#44), all had their jerseys retired.

May 3, 1958, Mrs. Gene Markey’s Calumet Farm wins their 7th Kentucky Derby with Tim Tam, who didn’t place in his only start as a two-year-old.  As a three-year-old, Tim Tam won the Everglades Stakes, the Flamingo Stakes, the Fountain of Youth Stakes, the Florida Derby, the Forerunner Stakes and the Derby Trial en route to the Derby.  Tim Tam won in 2:05.00 to earn $116,400.

May 3, 1969, Majestic Prince wins the 95th Kentucky Derby while President Nixon watches from the stands, the only sitting president to do so.  Owner Frank McMahon, a Canadian oilman who made the cover of Time magazine for his business savvy, wins the Derby and Preakness with this colt.  Hall of Famer Johnny Longden wins his only Derby and jockey Bill Hartack wins a record 5th time.  The time of 2:01 4/5 earns $113,200.

May 3, 1973, the Louisville Colonels win game three against the Indiana Pacers 92-88 in the ABA finals best of seven game series.  They would lose the series in seven games.

May 3, 1974, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, and Lord Snowdon visited Lexington and stayed with friends, the C.V. Whitney family.  The royal couple later attends the Derby.

May 3, 1975, Foolish Pleasure wins the 101st Kentucky Derby for John L. Greer, trainer LeRoy Jolley and jockey Jacinto Vásquez, in 2:02.00 to win $209,600.  Bombay Duck, who set the pace until the second turn, stopped badly and wound up last after a beer can from the infield hit him.  His camp reported a lump the size of a tennis ball on his hip.  The following year, Churchill Downs moved the infield fence to keep the public farther from the horses.

May 3, 1976, the Reverend Jesse R. Zeigler residence, a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Frankfort, is added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

May 3 Wright House
Picture by Sydney and Russell Poore

May 3, 1980, the second of three fillies, Genuine Risk, wins the 106th Kentucky Derby for Diana Firestone.  LeRoy Jolley and Jacinto Vásquez team up again for their second and last Derby victory.  2:02.00 wins $250,550.

May 3, 1985, Glasgow native Harry Leon Collins dies.  Harry was also known as the “The Frito-Lay Magician” who traveled the globe promoting the brand.

May 3, 1986, Ferdinand wins the 112th Kentucky Derby for Mrs. Elizabeth A. Keck.  William Shoemaker wins his fourth and last Derby at 54 years, eight months and 54 days to become the oldest jockey to win the roses.  Charles E. Whittingham wins his first of two at age 72 years, 11 months and 21 days.  The winning connections take home $609,400, winning in 2:02.4/5.

May 3, 1997, Silver Charm wins the 123rd Kentucky Derby for Bob & Beverly Lewis, Bob Baffert, and Gary Stevens in 2:02.44 for $700,000.  Alex Solis became the first jockey to wear a mini TV camera during a Triple Crown race. The camera, located on the helmet, weighed 19 ounces.

May 3, 2003, New York-bred Funny Cide wins the 129th Kentucky Derby in 2:01.19 for a group of six friends from upper New York State named Sackatoga Stable.  Trainer Barclay Tagg and jockey José A. Santos round out the winning connections to take home $800,200.

May 3, 2008, Big Brown wins the 134th Kentucky Derby for IEAH Stables & Paul Pompa Jr., trainer Richard E. Dutrow Jr. and jockey Kent Desormeaux.  Eight Belles, the second-place finisher and the first filly to run the Derby in nine years, was euthanized following the end of the race, possibly the first fatality in Kentucky Derby history.  The winning time was 2:02.82 to win $1,451,800.

May 3, 2014, California Chrome wins the 140th Kentucky Derby for Dumbass Ass Partners (DAP) Racing consisting of Perry Martin, Steve Coburn and their spouses.  Art Sherman becomes the oldest individual to train at Kentucky Derby winner at 77 years, two months and 17 days.  Victor Espinoza guides the colt home in 2:03.66.  The team wins $1,417,800.

May 3, 2020, Governor A. Beshear criticized lawmakers and speakers at a Frankfort rally of 1,000 people calling for lifting coronavirus restrictions, saying the statements were reckless and irresponsible.