TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

HAPPY DERBY DAY

May 7, 1775, Daniel Boone traveled into the woods trying to find a stray horse.  He camped all night and upon his return he found Captain Harrod and Colonel Slaughter from Harrodstown on the Salt River.  The men were of great mood.
History of Kentucky by Zachariah Frederick Smith

May 7, 1840, a small steamboat capsized and nine people drown in the Green River.

May 7, 1861, Maysville native William “Bull” Nelson visited Louisville native Joshua Fry Speed for a secret mission to supply arms for the Union cause in Kentucky.  President Lincoln organized the meeting.  

May 7, 1867, W.L. Grinnan and D.B. Ridgly both of Harrison County met on the field of honor near Cynthiana, at 6:30 a.m. “one round fired and nobody hurt.”
Famous Kentucky Duels by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 146

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Albert and Emma Fall, who wed in 1883.  Albert, a Frankfort native became the 28th U.S. Secretary of the Interior.  The couple had four children, two of which died days apart during the Spanish Flu. 

May 7, 1910, Layminister won the 35th Preakness Stakes going one mile.  The 36th Derby ran three days later.

May 7, 1911, Night Policeman John Austin Robey, Lebanon Police Department, died after being stabbed 19 times by two men.  One held him while the other stabbed.

May 7, 1921, Behave Yourself won the 47th Kentucky Derby in 2:02.40 for $38,450.  The duo of owner Colonel Edward R. Bradley and trainer Herbert J. Thompson win and place for their first of four Derbies together.  Jockey Charles Thompson wins by a head over the favorite and stablemate Black Servant.

May 7, 1931, Harland Sanders put two bullets in Matt Stewart, a service station manager in Corbin while Matt was painting his station’s company sign.  A Shell Oil executive lay dead nearby.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Loyall native Jerry Donald Chesnut, born in 1931 in Harlan County.  His hits include “Good Year for the Roses” (recorded by Alan Jackson, George Jones, and Elvis Costello) and “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” (recorded by Elvis Presley in 1975, and Travis Tritt in 1992.)

May 7, 1932, Burgoo King won the 58th Kentucky Derby for Col. E.R. Bradley’s Idle Hour Stock Farm, leader for all-time Derby starters at 28.  Col. Bradley and trainer, Herbert Thompson, won their 3rd Derby as a team.  Bradley’s 1926 Derby winner Bubbling Over sired Burgoo King.  Bradley named Burgoo King for James T. Looney, who popularized the Kentucky-created stew known as burgoo.  The winning time of 2:05.20 earned $52,350.

May 7, 1938, Lawrin won the 64th Kentucky Derby for Herbert M. Woolf, who bred the colt in Kansas.  Mr. Woolf’s Woolford Farm is the official owner.  The colt went in 2:04 4/5 to win $47,050.  The team of Ben Jones and Eddie Arcaro hooked up for the 1st of four times Derby wins.

May 7, 1949, Ponder won the 75th Kentucky Derby for Warren Wright’s Calumet Farm.  Mr. Wright’s homebred won $91,600 and gave the farm their 4th Derby victory.  The U.S. Racing Hall of Fame jockey, Steve Brooks, gets his only Derby win in a time of 2:04 1/5.  Ben A. Jones won for the 5th time; he would get one more in 1952.

May 7, 1951, Air Force 1LT John S. Collins from Louisville died in the Korean War.

May 7, 1955, Swaps won the 81st Kentucky Derby for owner Rex C. Ellsworth, trainer Mesh Tenney, and Bill Shoemaker, who got his first Derby win of four.  The winning time earned $108,400.  Rex was the leading breeder in the U.S. twice but would have a remarkable fall from grace when authorities found more than 100 horses near-starvation, along with five dead ones, on his California farm.

May 7, 1960, Venetian Way, with Bill Hartack up, won the 86th Kentucky Derby in 2:02 2/5 on a good track to win $114,850.  Bill earned his 2nd Derby win out of five.  Owner Isaac Blumberg named Venetian Way for a street in Miami.  Victor J. Sovinski trained his one Kentucky Derby winner.

May 7, 1963, the citizens of Lynch in Harlan County, incorporated their community.

May 7, 1966, Kauai King won the 92nd Kentucky Derby for Ford Stable in 2:02.  It would be Nicholasville native, Hall of Fame jockey, Don Brumfield’s only Derby win.  Trainer Henry Forrest enjoyed his first of two Derby wins.  The winning connections divide $120,500.

May 7, 1968, Army SGT Roger D. Cauley from Owensboro died in the Vietnam War.

May 7, 1969, Marine Corps PFC Donald R. Haywood from Blue River in Floyd County died in the Vietnam War.

May 7, 1970, the National Guard broke up a student demonstration on UK’s campus protesting the Vietnam War.  Many students taking classes outside got caught in the line of fire.

May 7, 1977, Seattle Slew won the 103rd Kentucky Derby for Karen L. Taylor, jockey Jean Cruguet, and trainer William H. Turner Jr.  Seattle Slew was America’s 10th Triple Crown winner.

On May 7, 1983, ex-presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter watched Sunny’s Halo win the 109th Kentucky Derby.  President Ford attended 13 times, more than any other President, while President Carter enjoyed his only visit.  Canadian trainer David C. Cross Jr. and owner D.J. Foster Racing Stable captured their only Derby.  Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye won his 1st of two in a row.  The winning time of 2:02 1/5 earned the Canadian bred $426,000.

May 7, 1988, Detective Alton P. Embry, Jr., Louisville Police Department, died when the unmarked police vehicle he was a passenger in crashed on Interstate I-64.

May 7, 1988, the filly Winning Colors won the 114th Kentucky Derby for Eugene V. Klein.  Trainer D. Wayne Lukas won his 1st of four Derbies.  Jockey Gary Stevens won his 1st of three.  The winning time of 2:02.20 earned $611,200.

May 7, 1994, Go for Gin won the 120th Kentucky Derby in 2:02.73 on a sloppy track for W.J. Condren & J.M. Cornacchia.  Jockey Chris McCarron and trainer Nick Zito each won their 2nd and last Derbies.  The winning connections earned $628,800.

May 7, 1998, fans of the television show Seinfeld showed up in full force for Lexington’s look-alike contest at Fayette Mall.  Seventy-five people entered the contest celebrating the popular show’s finale, which aired a week later.  Only one George showed up.

May 7, 2005, Navy Hospital Corpsman Jeffery L. Wiener 32, of Louisville died fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

May 7, 2005, Giacomo won the 131st Kentucky Derby at odds of 50-1 for owners Jerry and Ann Moss.  Jockey Mike E. Smith won his 1st of two Derbies and trainer John A. Shirreffs won his only one to date.  The winning time of 2:02.75 earned $1,639,600.

Kentucky Derby Trivia:  Jerry and Ann named Giacomo after the singer Sting’s youngest son.

May 7, 2008, Army CPL Jeremy R. Gullett, 22, of Greenup, died in Afghanistan from a bomb fighting in Operation Enduring Freedom.

May 7, 2011, Animal Kingdom won the 137th Kentucky Derby for Team Valor Stable in 2:02.04 to win $1,411,800.  John Velazquez and H. Graham Motion completed the winning connections.  It was only his 5th race, the last horse to win the Derby after racing just four times was Exterminator in 1918.

Kentucky Trivia:  On Derby Day the infield could around 80,000 revelers, making it Kentucky’s 3rd-largest “city,” behind Louisville (615,000), Lexington (325,000), and Bowling Green (77,000).

May 7, 2012, Army PFC Dustin D. Gross, 19, of Jeffersonville, died in Afghanistan while fighting in Operation Enduring Freedom.

May 7, 2016, Nyquist won the 142nd Kentucky Derby in 2:01.31 and earned $1,631,400.  This was the 2nd Derby win for the connections of owner J. Paul Reddam, trainer Doug O’Neill, and jockey Mario Gutierrez.  The team’s first win came with I’ll Have Another in 2012.

May 7, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced that Kentucky restaurants could open back up with 33% capacity on May 22.  Movie theaters and fitness centers could reopen on June 1, campgrounds on June 11, child care services, and outdoor youth sports on June 15.

May 7, 2021, as Kentucky’s economy picked up steam, the state announced that citizens collecting unemployment benefits must look for work.  The U.S., including Kentucky, would soon face a worker shortage.  Lexington became the 3rd Kentucky city to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy.  Meanwhile, federal authorities indicted four Minnesota police officers for violating George Floyd’s constitutional rights.