Run for the Roses: 8 Most Famous Winners of the Kentucky Derby

For just two minutes of the year, a one and one-quarter mile track becomes the center of high-stakes American horse racing in Louisville, Kentucky.

9 photos
1/9
AP
Secretariat, famous for being the first to crack the two-minute time in the Kentucky Derby, won the 99th Derby in just one minute, 59 seconds. He would repeat his record breaking streaks at the Belmont, winning the one and a half mile race in two minutes, 24 seconds, 31 lengths ahead of the second place finisher and being the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years.
2/9
AP
Richard A. McGrath, Jr., great nephew of the late J. Price McGrath, poses with an authentic painting of Aristides. Aristides is easily known as the winner of the first Kentucky Derby on May 17th, 1875, crossing the wire in just two minutes and 37 seconds.
3/9
AP
Iron Liege, right, edges out Gallant Man at the finish line to win the Kentucky Derby horse race in this May 4, 1957 photo at Churchill Downs. According to Derby historians, Iron Leige won by just a nose after Gallant Man's jockey, Bill Shoemaker, misjudged the finish line and stood up to celebrate his "victory" just a moment too soon.
4/9
AP
Secretariat, famous for being the first to crack the two-minute time in the Kentucky Derby, won the 99th Derby in just one minute, 59 seconds. He would repeat his record breaking streaks at the Belmont, winning the one and a half mile race in two minutes, 24 seconds, 31 lengths ahead of the second place finisher and being the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years.
5/9
AP
Jockey Jean Cruguet, aboard Seattle Slew, rises in the saddle looking back as he drives his mount across the finish line at Churchill Downs to win the 103rd Kentucky Derby May 7, 1977. Seattle Slew followed Secretariat as the second Triple Crown winner of the 70s after a quarter century.
6/9
AP
Affirmed, with jockey Steve Cauthen up, crosses the finish line to win the 104th running of the Kentucky Derby, May 6, 1978. Affirmed, the third yearling to win the Triple Crown during the 70s, would also be the last for the next 37 years.
7/9
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Barbaro, ridden by jockey Edgar Prado, crosses the finish line to win the 132nd Kentucky Derby on May 6, 2006. Despite his five-week break from racing before the Derby, Barbaro was still the second-favorite to win among fans. He finished six and a half lengths ahead of the second place finisher.
8/9
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Mine That Bird crosses the finish line with his jockey, Calvin Borel, to win the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2009, at Churchill Downs. The three-year-old gelding, far from the favorite to win the Derby that year, only caught up from the back at the last turn of the race, managing to squeeze ahead of the group to win 6 lengths ahead of the second place finisher.
9/9
Invision for Longines via AP
Jockey Victor Espinoza, on American Pharaoh, celebrates his third Kentucky Derby victory at the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby, Saturday, May 2, 2015. American Pharaoh would go on to break a four-decades long drought in Triple Crown wins, adding a blanket of black-eyed Susans from Preakness and a blanket of white carnations from Belmont to his Kentucky Derby roses.
Contact Us