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Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Munfordville native Simon Bolivar Buckner, born in 1823.  Our 30th governor fought in the Mexican-American War and the Civil War as a Confederate.  He spent most of his term trying to curb violence in Eastern Kentucky.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Thompsonville native James Thomas Cotton Noe, born in 1864 in Washington County.  In 1926; he became Kentucky’s Poet Laureate.

May 2, 1882, Louisville native Pete Browning made his MLB debut with the Louisville Eclipse.

May 2, 1903, Judge Himes won the 29th Kentucky Derby for Charles R. Ellison, jockey Harold Booker, and trainer John P. Mayberry in 2:09.00 for 1 ¼.  The winning connections earned $4,850.  Churchill Downs used a web barrier to start the race, an elastic tape four inches wide that stretched across the track.  The starter pressed a button to release two iron arms holding the tape in place.  In 1930 the track implemented a starting gate.

By Chicago Daily News

Monday, May 2, 1904, Elwood won the 30th Kentucky Derby for Mrs. Lasca Durnell, jockey Frank Prior, and trainer Charles E. Durnell.  The Missouri bred ran in 2:08.50 and earned $4,850.  Ms. Durnell became the 1st woman to breed and own a Derby winner.  In 1904, the red rose became the official flower of the Kentucky Derby; however, Churchill began using roses in 1896.

Elwood-Public Domain

Wednesday, May 2, 1906, Sir Huon won the 32nd Kentucky Derby for Bashford Manor Stable with jockey Roscoe Troxler, and trainer Peter Coyne.  In 1887, George Long purchased Bashford Manor in Louisville and developed it into a leading Thoroughbred horse farm where they bred three Derby winners.  The winning time of 2:08 4/5 earned $4,850.

Sir Huon-Public Domain

On May 2, 1929, representatives of garden clubs and garden departments throughout the state assembled on UK’s campus for the annual garden day sponsored by the Kentucky Botanical Garden.  The meeting concluded with tea at Maxwell Place with UK’s President Dr. McVey and his wife.

May 2, 1936, Bold Venture won the 62nd Kentucky Derby for Morton L. Schwartz, jockey Ira Hanford, and trainer Max Hirsch.  Max won his 1st of three Derbies in 2:03.60.  Witnesses described the start as the roughest in Derby history.

On May 2, 1937, a Gypsy conned a 77-year-old Covington woman out of $3,015. The advisor promised to cure an ailment if she withdrew the money, put it in a belt, and tied it around her waist.  The next day the Gypsy woman told her it didn’t work and to place the money under her pillow.  Unfortunately, the money went missing that day.

May 2, 1942, Shut Out won the 68th Kentucky Derby for Greentree Stable, jockey Wayne D. Wright, and trainer John M. Gaver Sr. in 2:04. 4/5.  Eddie Arcaro, a two-time Derby winner at the time no doubt would have won a record six Derbies, instead of five, had he not chosen Devil Diver, Shut Out’s stablemate.

May 2, 1953, Dark Star won the 79th Kentucky Derby for Cain Hoy Stable with jockey Henry Moreno and trainer Eddie Hayward.  Native Dancer ruled this Derby until he didn’t.  Dark Star handed “The Grey Ghost” his only defeat in 22 starts.  The winning time of 2:02 earned $90,050.

On May 2, 1956, President D. Eisenhower and scores of plain people paid a final tribute to Senator and ex-V.P. Alben W. Barkley.  The front pews of the Foundry Methodist Church contained cabinet members, supreme court justices, senators, and diplomats.  The body returned to Paducah on a special train the same day.

May 2, 1959, Tomy Lee won the 85th Kentucky Derby for Mr. & Mrs. Fred Turner Jr., Bill Shoemaker, and trainer Frank E. Childs, the winning time of 2:02 1/5 earned $119,650.  Tomy Lee survived jockey Bill Boland’s foul claim that Shoemaker repeatedly bumped Sword Dancer rounding for home.  The stewards deliberated 17 minutes before the order of finish stood.  From London, Tomy Lee became the 2nd and last foreign-born Derby winner.

May 2, 1960, UK suspended five Delta Tau Delta members for hazing.  The University found out about the incident after the pledge ended up in the hospital after they made him eat and smoke several cigarettes.

May 2, 1964, Blue Grass Stakes winner Northern Dancer won the 90th Kentucky Derby for Winfields Farms.  Jockey Bill Hartack won his 4th of five Derbies.  The great trainer Horatio Luro won his 2nd Derby in three tries.  The 2:00 winning time set a new Churchill Downs record.  The Canadian bred received $114,300 for the win.

May 2, 1967, Army PFC Roy A. Robertson from Danville in Boyle County died in the Vietnam War.

May 2, 1968, Marine Corps PVT Jerry Fields from Lexington died in the Vietnam War.

May 2, 1969, Marine Corps 1LT Gary E. Holtzclaw from Corbin County, Army SGT Jerry R. Meadows from Regina in Pike County, Marine Corps LCPL Troy E. Powell from Newport in Campbell County, and Army 1LT Edward C. Powers from Knox, all died in the Vietnam War.

On May 2, 1970, Diane Crump became the 1st woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby; she finished 15th aboard Fathom. Illinois bred Dust Commander won the 96th edition in 2:03.40 for owner Robert E. Lehmann, trainer Don Combs, and jockey Mike Manganello.  The winning connections earned $127,800.

May 2, 1980, Anita Madden, right, was joined by Las Vegas designer Suzy Creamcheese during the Madden’s Derby Eve party.  Suzy Creamcheese designed many of Madden’s elaborate gowns over the years.

May 2, 1981, Pleasant Colony won the 107th Kentucky Derby for Thomas Mellon Evans’s Buckland Farm.  Trainer John P. Campo and jockey Jorge Velásquez got the colt across the finish line in 2:02.00 to earn $317,200.  Mr. Evan was an original corporate raider.

May 2, 1982, Louisville native Greg Page retained the USBA belt with a unanimous decision over Jimmy Young.

May 2, 1987, Alysheba won his 1st stakes race in the 113th Kentucky Derby for Dorothy & Pamela Scharbauer, trainer Jack Van Berg, and jockey Chris McCarron in 2:03.40.  The winning connections earned $618,600.  He won the Blue Grass Stakes, but the stewards took him down for interference in the stretch.  The 5th Kentucky Derby winner bred by Preston Madden’s Hamburg Stud, Alysheba captured the Preakness but finished 4th in the Belmont.

May 2, 1990, former Ashland Oil Chairman Orin E. Atkins told a federal grand jury how he stole 100s of confidential documents before leaving his job, with help from a current V.P.  He wanted to sell the records to an Iranian oil company that had sued Ashland Oil.  Atkins wanted Iran to have the upper hand in exchange for cash.

On May 2, 1992, Pat Day won his 1st and only Kentucky Derby on Lil E. Tee.  The 118th Derby hosted Arzi, who, at 4-5, had captured the hearts of racing fans worldwide.  He finished 8th, the worst finish in Derby history by a favorite who was odds-on or less.  M.C. Hammer’s horse Dance Floor finished 3rd.  The time of 2:03.04 earned $724,800.  Russian citizens watched the Derby for the 1st time on television; and overall, an estimated 200 million people watched.

On May 2, 1995, Governor W. Wilkinson played a governor’s aide, and Dave Thomas played the Kentucky governor in a Hollywood movie filmed at Churchill DownsDerby told the story of a woman who reluctantly returned to take over the Kentucky family horse farm.  In 2004, Wallace declared bankruptcy after stealing $35 million from Dave and other high-profile friends.

May 2, 1998, Real Quiet won the 124th Kentucky Derby for McDonald franchise owner Mike Pegram, his friend Bob Baffert, and their friend jockey Kent Desormeaux.  The winning time of 2:02.38 received $738,800.  Real Quiet, a true rags-to-riches story, sold for $17,000 at the 1996 Keeneland September yearling sale.

May 2, 1999, Cigar, the two-time Horse of the Year winner whose 16-race winning streak was among the top feats in racing history, kicked up his heels after arriving at his new home at the Kentucky Horse Park.

On May 2, 2002, a judge told Martha Wilkinson, 60, she would be responsible for $115 million of her husband’s debts, 15 months after Wallace declared bankruptcy. Her lawyers claimed she faced “utter financial ruin.”

May 2, 2009, Mine That Bird, paid $103.20 when he won the 135th Kentucky Derby in 2:02.66 to earn his connections $1,417,200.  A masterful ride on the rail by Calvin Borel gave Double Eagle Ranch et al. and trainer “Chip” Woolley Jr., the time of their lives.

On May 2, 2011, President Barack Obama, the Central Intelligence Agency with the Navy SEALs Team of Six, killed Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden in Pakistan.  It took the most powerful military in the world ten years to find enemy #1.  Many say it took so long because it justified the war.

On May 2, 2015, American Pharoah won the 141st Kentucky Derby for Zayat Stable’s homebred.  Bob Baffert “earned” his 5th out of six Derbies.  Victor Espinoza guided the Lexington-bred colt home in 2:03.02 for $1,418,800.  He won the 1st TC 36 years, nine months, and 27 days after Affirmed won his.

May 2, 2016, UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment planted the 1st plot of hemp on Ashland, the historic Henry Clay Estate since the late 19th Century.

May 2, 2020, was a day for the history books when no horses turned for home to win the Kentucky Derby.  For the 1st time in 75 years, the Derby did not occur on the 1st Saturday in May.  Meanwhile, about 1,000 people gathered in Frankfort at the Capitol to protest the governor’s restrictions and shutdowns to slow down the virus.  Most did not wear masks and ignored the 6 feet distancing.

Sunday, May 2, 2021, the day after the 147th Kentucky Derby, a reporter asked Bob Baffert if Medina Spirit could win the TC, Bob Baffert replied, “I don’t know, but he’s the Derby winner and that’s all that matters.  Obviously, integrity didn’t matter to Bob, so Churchill took this Derby win away.