Horse racing is always evolving, and there's no better proof than to look at the increase in speed over time at the Kentucky Derby®. Thoroughbred horses have gotten stronger and faster over time, leading to more impressive sprint times as we've moved throughout the years. However, track conditions have also improved drastically over the last century.
We've already looked at the fastest Kentucky Derby® winner times, but what about the slowest? What about the horses who won the Derby, but didn't go down in the history books? They deserve a spotlight, too, so we're giving it to them.
This list only accounts for winners since the track permanently moved to 1 1/4 miles.
Here are the 10 Slowest Kentucky Derby Winners of All-Time:
10. Worth, 1912
Worth took first place in the 38th running of the Kentucky Derby® by beating out six other horses with a time of 2:09.40. In part due to his success at Churchill Downs®, Worth was named the American Champion of three-year-olds in 1912.
9. Sir Barton, 1919
This is where my "didn't go down in the history books" comment really comes back to bite me. Sir Barton is paramount in the horse racing world for being the first steed to complete the Triple Crown™ by winning the Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes back-to-back-to-back. He was justifiably named the 1919 Horse of the Year, and is one of the most recognizable names in the sport.
8. Reigh Count, 1928
Reigh Count is as well known for his racing career as he is for his time at stud. After winning the Kentucky Derby® as a three-year old, Reigh Count wrapped up his racing effort at four-years-old and went on to sire 22 stakes winners.
7. Agile, 1905
In a field of three, Agile came out on top. That's right — only three horses entered the 1905 Kentucky Derby® after two were scratched from the race, and Agile outraced Ram's Horn and Layson to take home the $4,850 purse. For 1905, that's a pretty good haul.
T5. Clyde Van Dusen, 1929
Clyde Van Dusen is the most recent winner on our list, and his victory took place almost a century ago. I hope that tells you something. This steed conquered terrible weather in his triumph at the Kentucky Derby®, beating out the rest of the field by two full lengths.
T5. Exterminator, 1918
It's ironic that Clyde Van Dusen and Exterminator ran the exact same time at the Derby because both had to deal with difficult weather conditions to cross the finish line. Exterminator came in at 30-1 odds in the pouring rain but was able to usurp the competition and win the sprint by a length.
4. Manuel, 1899
Talk about bad luck. Manuel won the 1899 Derby after just being sold for $15,000, but then injured his leg badly after stepping in a hole on the track, forcing him to not race for the rest of the year.
3. Typhoon II, 1897
Like for most horses, Typhoon II's Kentucky Derby® victory was the peak of his career. But it's not normal to see the complete drop off in quality that Typhoon II did after winning at Churchill Downs®. Typhoon II feel off the map competitively in his four-year-old season and promptly retired.
2. Pink Star, 1907
The grandson of Leonatus, the 1983 Kentucky Derby® winner, Pink Star always had Derby success in his blood. The 1907 Derby was run in poor weather (a trend in this list), and saw Pink Star win the Race for the Roses as a heavy longshot.
1. Stone Street, 1908
And finally, we've arrived at the slowest Kentucky Derby winner of all time at the current distance. This victory was Stone Street's only stakes win during his entire racing career, an anomaly for a steed that wins at Churchill Downs. Stone Street's victory came thanks to a rainy day that left the other seven contenders stuck in the mud as Stone Street completed his only stakes conquest.
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