Do not copy any of my artwork, poetry or photography without my permission.

Do not copy any of my artwork, poetry or photography without my permission.
....carpe diem. The Daylily. "Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun." Khalil Gibran. She gives her all for just one day then bows her head to God and fades away to nourish the next generation. God I pray I may give my all each day to honor you and bow my head at the end to nourish the next generation. Peggy Jones. NOTE............ Please folks do not copy any of my art or photos on my blog without my permission. Thank you for your good manners.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Sepia Saturday #73- First Kentucky Derby Winner

Sepia Saturday

Aristrides    May 17 1875
Owner H.P. McGrath rests on the rail as Aristides and jockey Oliver Lewis go to the post.
The original grandstand is in the background with the clubhouse at the far left.
The first Kentucky Derby drew 42 nominations and 15 entries. The stakes were $50.00 from each entry with $1000.00 added by the Louisville Racing Association, as it was then called. The trophy was a magnificent 300-ounce silver punch bowl valued at $1,000.00.

Ten thousand racing fans streamed out to Churchil Downs on this warm spring day. Many headed for the infield in horse-drawn wagons, buggies, carts and carriages. The clubhouse was a different scene. Ladies were dressed fashionably in long organdy gowns, ten-button gloves and large, elaborate hats. Betters favored the traditional auctions pools over the newly introduced pari-mutual system from
France and bookies took bets as low as a nickel.Under the stands elderly black women fried fish and chicken, while on the track 14 of the 15 jockeys going to the post were black.

The flag fell, the drum rolled, and they were off. Volcano took the lead, then eased back. McGrath's second horse, Chesapeake, broke last. At the half-mile pole McCreery led but soon fell behind Aristides and Ten Broeck. Aristides held the lead at the mile and McGrath, seeing his Chesapeake out of the money, signaled jockey Oliver Lewis to take Aristides in for the win.

Aristides won with Volcano second and late charger Verdigris third. The time of 2:373/4 set an American record for three-year0olds, with 100 pounds up, over one-and-a-half miles. The "Little Red Horse," as McGrath referred to his 15-hands-high colt, had won $2,850.00 for him,a rich purse for the day.
Price McGrath was a noted horse breeder and had earned for himself a colorful reputation. He had heeded the call to "go west young man," then settled in New York where he operated a gambling house. Returning to Kentucky, he established McGrathiana Stud. His white mansion became famous for burgoo feasts (a local stew, still made around here) and he frequently opened his doors to the public.

Courtsy of the Web 
Horse racing and photos.

For years the Kentucky Colonels of Kentucky held a huge feast in Bardstown at Wickland Home of three govenors on the Sunday after the Derby with burgoo as the main draw.
Just about three years ago that festival was discontinued as it had become a political mess and the crowds had began to diminish.

Go here for more Sepia Saturday.

Folks every where will be gathered tomorrow for the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby.
I went to the derby one time when I was about 19 to the infield. 
What a mess.
I have never been again.
But I love the hoopla of the entire Derby week.
Most folks around here go on Friday for the


Bob Scotney said...

I've never beento a horse race but I can appreciate the animals trying their best. Good photo and an interesting story. I'll look out for the result of tomorrow's race.

art2cee2 said...

Wonderful post. You know I had never been to a horse race until a few months ago even though I have been involved in the horse industry all my life. I didn't gamble but in my head I chose the best horses, and wouldn't you know three out of the four I chose were in the top 5. :-)

(Queenmothermamaw) Peggy said...

Love your avatar art2cee2. I have never been one to bet on the horses either. I usually always have a horse to root for. I like to draw a name and put 1 or 2 dollars on it. It is all just a matter of chance anyway. My son breeds Tenn Walkers and knows horses inside and out, but even he is not right on the money all the time.Thanks for visiting.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

This is totally awesome! Thanks so much for the history lesson and your hard work on this post.

Take care,

Kathy M.

barbara and nancy said...

Wow. Such a thrilling post I felt like I was right there. How times have changed - especially with the amount of money paid out. I've never heard of burgoo. I'll have to check out the recipe on google.
Ladies of the grove

Pat transplanted to MN said...

We always watch the Derby and attending is on my Bucket list. Once years ago while living in the CA fog, I booked tickets to las Vegas for May where we watched the Derby betting in grand style, though not near as at Churchill downs with the wonderful hats ana attire. I absolutely enjoyed this wonderful history of the Derby. Love the new look of your blog, you sure do spend time changing it.

Little Nell said...

Great description - it felt almost as if we were there!

Rosie said...

They showed a movie on the train to Ottawa, ONtario a couple of weeks ago. It was of the horse "Secretiat" who won the US Triple Crown in 1973. The jockey was a fellow New Brunswicker, Ron Turcott from Drummond, NB.

Rosie said...

They showed a movie on the train a couple of weeks ago on way to Ottawa, Ontario, it was about a horse called "Secretariat". He won the US Triple Crown, jockey was a fellow New Brunswicker, Ron Turcott.

barbara and nancy said...

O.K. my curiosity got the better of me. I looked up Burgoo and this is what I found. If you want to whip up a batch before the derby starts, just go to google and there are tons are recipes.

Burgoo! Just word itself sounds like there should be a song about it (and there is). If you are unfamiliar with the concept of burgoo, it's Kentucky’s most famous stew, usually made for big gatherings (such as Derby Day) in huge kettles. Burgoo dates to before the Civil War and as legend has it, was invented by a French chef. Like a mulligan stew, it's sort of a empty-the-fridge recipe. Burgoos typically have at least three different meats, and plenty of vegetables such as corn, okra, and lima beans. Burgoo lovers differ on whether the stew ought to be cooked into a brown, undifferentiated mass, or whether you can still see individual ingredients. Some say burgoo is just a stew if you can’t stand a spoon in it.

Ladies of the Grove

Anvilcloud said...

I just read a mystery, set in England, but dating to that era -- or close enough. I was surprised to learn that doping was considered fair game back then -- at least in England. I guess the kinks still had to be worked out.

Postcardy said...

I watched the Kentucky Derby today. I turned on what I though would be the news and the Derby was about to start. It was great to watch the winner come from behind.

Christine H. said...

I have a friend who won $8,000 last year, so she is a pretty big fan of the Kentucky Derby. I love all of the traditions. Mint juleps go with that too, don't they. I've never had one, but might like to try it...and Burgoo too!

Alan Burnett said...

Fascinating post - especially as I happen to be a Kentucky Colonel - the certificate hangs on my wall just above where I am sitting now.

MuseSwings said...

Wonderful and very exciting description of the very first Kentucky Derby! Burgoo sounds a lot like Brunswick Stew. I'v had one - think I'll try the other.

Meri said...

Fascinating -- especially the ladies in organdy gowns and 10 button gloves. Imagine having to remove them to eat the fried chicken (or answer Nature's Call).