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Grade II race
American Derby
Flat racing clipart.svg
Location Arlington Park
Arlington Heights, Illinois, USA
Inaugurated 1884
Race type Thoroughbred - Flat racing
Race information
Distance 1 3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs)
Track Turf, left-handed
Qualification Three-year-olds
Weight Assigned
Purse $250,000

The American Derby is a Thoroughbred horse race in the United States run annually at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois. The inaugural American Derby was held at the city's old Washington Park race track and raced there until 1905 when the facility was closed and the track demolished. 1893's American Derby was the 2nd richest race in the U.S. during the 19th century.[1]

There was no racing in Chicago in 1895, 1896, 1897, 1899, and again in 1905 and 1906. The effects would be that the American Derby was not run from 1905 through 1925, except for 1916 when it was hosted by the Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney/Cicero, Illinois. Revived in 1926, it evolved to become one of the important events of the American racing season that drew some of the very best horses from all over the country. It was run at the new Washington Park Race Track in Homewood, Illinois in 1926 and 1927 and then was held at the Arlington Park course in 1928 before returning to the new Washington Park in 1929 where it remained through 1957. Since 1958, the race has been run at Arlington Park.

Since 1992 the American Derby has been run on turf at a distance of 1 3/16 miles. Previously, it had been raced on the turf course from 1955 through 1957 and from 1970 through 1976. Over the years, the distance has varied:

  • 1½ miles: 1884-1904, 1926, 1927
  • 1¼ miles: 1928-1951, 1962-1965, 1977-1991
  • 1 mile: 1952-1954, 1958-1961
  • 1⅛ miles: 1966-1974, 1976
  • 1 1/16 miles: 1975
  • 1 3/16 miles (on turf): 1955-1957, 1992 - present

Most wins by a jockey:

Hall of Fame jockey George Woolf won the race three years in a row from 1942 to 1944.

Most wins by a trainer:

Most wins by an owner:

Winners of the American Derby

2009 Reb Julien Leparoux George Arnold II Ashbrook Farm 1:56.09
2008 Tizdejavu Rene Douglas Greg Fox Cooper/Ziebarth 1:59.88
2007 Lattice Robby Albarado William I. Mott Clairborne Farm 1:54.85
2006 Union Avenue Larry Melancon William I. Mott WinStar Farm 1:57.20
2005 Gun Salute Cornelio Velasquez William I. Mott Brant M. Laue 1:55.31
2004 Simple Exchange Pat Smullen Dermot K. Weld Moyglare Stud 1:54.93
2003 Evolving Tactics Pat Smullen Dermot K. Weld Moyglare Stud 1:59.04
2002 Mananan McLir Rene Douglas Wallace Dollase M. Jarvis/G. Margolis et al. 1:57.11
2001 Fan Club's Mister Randy Meier Rickey B. Harris P. Miessler & C. Raber 2:03.27
2000 Pine Dance Eddie Ahern Dermot K. Weld Highland Farms et al. 1:55.46
1998-99 no races
1997 Honor Glide Garrett Gomez Jim Day Robert Schaedle III 1:55.94
1996* Jaunatxo Juvenal Diaz Louis Roussel III Louis Roussel III 1:55.82
1995 Gold And Steel Aaron Gryder Jean-Claude Rouget Gary A. Tanaka 1:55.02
1994** Overbury Shane Sellers David Loder Sheikh Mohammed 1:55.29
1994** Vaudeville Aldaberto Lopez Fordell Fierce Ron Crockett 1:55.29
1993 Explosive Red Shane Sellers Daniel J. Vella Frank Stronach 1:59.92
1992 The Name's Jimmy Pat Day Charles R. Stutts Mount Joy Stables 1:59.41
1991 Olympio Eddie Delahoussaye Ron McAnally Verne Winchell 2:00.99
1990 Real Cash Pat Valenzuela D. Wayne Lukas Lukas & Overbrook 2:02.00
1989 Awe Inspiring Craig Perret C. R. McGaughey III Ogden Mills Phipps 2:02.40
1988 no race
1987 Fortunate Moment Earlie Fires Harvey L. Vanier Jerry Pinkley 2:03.80
1986 no race
1985 Creme Fraiche Eddie Maple Woody Stephens Brushwood Stable 2:01.60
1984** At The Threshold Pat Day Lynn S. Whiting W. Cal Partee 2:04.00
1984** High Alexander Gerland Gallitano Jim Levtich J. M. Levitch, Sr. 2:04.00
1983 Play Fellow Pat Day Harvey L. Vanier Vanier, Lauer, Victor 2:04.00
1982 Wolfie's Rascal Ruben Hernandez Howard M. Tesher Sidney L. Port et al. 2:05.60
1981 Pocket Zipper Ray Sibille Richard Hazelton Mr. & Mrs. R. Bensinger 2:03.80
1980 Hurry Up Blue Gerland Gallitano Joe Bollero Russell L. Reineman 2:04.40
1979 Smarten Sam Maple Woody Stephens Ryehill Farm 2:05.20
1978 Nasty And Bold Jean-Luc Samyn Phillip G. Johnson Meadowhill Farm 2:03.40
1977 Silver Series Larry Snyder Oscar Dishman, Jr. Archie R. Donaldson 2:02.40
1976 Fifth Marine Ron Turcotte Sidney Watters, Jr. Pamela H. Firman 1:49.20
1975 Honey Mark Garth Patterson Larry Robideaux, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. F. Roberts 1:44.40
1974 Determined King Daryl Montoya Eugene Jacobs Herbert A. Allen 1:47.80
1973 Bemo William Passmore John W. Murphy Hickory Tree Stable 1:49.60
1972 Dubassoff Jacinto Vasquez Thomas J. Kelly John M. Schiff 1:50.00
1971 Bold Reason Laffit Pincay, Jr. Angel Penna, Sr. William A. Levin 1:50.00
1970 The Pruner Braulio Baeza Edward A. Neloy Ogden Phipps 1:47.00
1969 Fast Hilarious Laffit Pincay, Jr. Joe Bollero D. Rigney 1:48.00
1968 Forward Pass Ismael Valenzuela Henry Forrest Calumet Farm 1:48.00
1967 Damascus Bill Shoemaker Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr. Edith Bancroft 1:46.80
1966 Buckpasser Braulio Baeza Edward A. Neloy Ogden Phipps 1:47.00
1965 Tom Rolfe Bill Shoemaker Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr. Powhatan Stables 2:00.60
1964 Roman Brother Fernando Alvarez Burley Parke Harbor View Farm 2:01.40
1963 Candy Spots Bill Shoemaker Mesh Tenney Rex C. Ellsworth 2:02.00
1962 Black Sheep Johnny Longden Charlie Whittingham C. R. Mac Stable 2:01.00
1961 Beau Prince Steve Brooks Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 1:51.00
1960 T. V. Lark Johnny Sellers Paul K. Parker Preston W. Madden 1:47.20
1959 Dunce Lois C. Cook Moody Jolley Claiborne Farm 1:49.00
1958 Nadir Manuel Ycaza Moody Jolley Claiborne Farm 1:51.00
1957 Round Table Bill Shoemaker William Molter Kerr Stable 1:55.00
1956 Swoon's Son Eddie Arcaro Lex Wilson E. Gay Drake 1:59.00
1955 Swaps Bill Shoemaker Mesh Tenney Rex C. Ellsworth 1:54.60
1954 Errard King Sam Boulmetis, Sr. Thomas J. Barry Joseph Gavegnano 1:49.00
1953 Native Dancer Eddie Arcaro William C. Winfrey Alfred G. Vanderbilt II 1:48.40
1952 Mark-Ye-Well Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 1:49.00
1951 Hall of Fame Ted Atkinson John M. Gaver, Sr. Greentree Stable 2:01.00
1950 Hill Prince Eddie Arcaro Casey Hayes Christopher Chenery 2:01.20
1949 Ponder Steve Brooks Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:00.00
1948 Citation Eddie Arcaro Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:01.60
1947 Fervent Douglas Dodson Horace A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:00.00
1946 Eternal Reward R. Campbell C. J. Hall Augustus & Nahm 2:02.00
1945 Fighting Step G. South C. C. Norman Murlogg Farm 2:02.00
1944 By Jimminy George Woolf James W. Smith A. P. Parker 2:03.00
1943 Askmenow George Woolf Kenneth Osborne Hal Price Headley 2:07.00
1942 Alsab George Woolf Sarge Swenke Albert Sabath 2:06.60
1941 Whirlaway Alfred Robertson Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:04.00
1940 Mioland John H. Adams Tom Smith Charles S. Howard 2:05.00
1938-39 no races
1937 Dawn Play Lester Balaski Max Hirsch King Ranch 2:05.00
1936 no race
1935 Black Helen Don Meade Bill Hurley Edward R. Bradley 2:01.40
1934 Cavalcade Mack Garner Robert A. Smith Brookmeade Stable 2:04.00
1933 Mr. Khayyam Pete Walls Matthew Peter Brady Catawba Farm Stable 2:04.00
1932 Gusto Silvio Coucci Max Hirsch Morton L. Schwartz 2:10.00
1931 Mate George Ellis James W. Healy Albert C. Bostwick 2:04.00
1930 Reveille Boy Willie Fronk J. L. Paul J. A. Best 2:04.00
1929 Windy City Lawrence McDermott J. Lowenstein F. M. Grabner 2:10.00
1928 Toro Eddie Ambrose John F. Schorr Edward B. McLean 2:05.00
1927 Hydromel Lawrence McDermott Daniel E. Stewart Johnson N. Camden, Jr. 2:29.00
1926 Boot to Boot Albert Johnson Bill Hurley Idle Hour Stock Farm 2:30.00
1917-25 no races
1916 Dodge Frank Murphy John S. Ward Weber & Ward 2:04.00
1905-15 no races
1904 Highball G. C. Fuller J. W. May W. M. Scheftel 2:33.00
1903 The Picket E. Helgesen C. B. Reid Middleton & Jungbluth 2:33.00
1902 Wyeth Lucien Lyne Enoch Wishard John A. Drake 2:40.00
1901 Robert Waddell John Bullman T. F. Coles Mrs. R. Bradley 2:33.00
1900 Sidney Lucas John Bullman R. S. Thompson Thompson Bros. 2:40.25
1899 no race
1898 Pink Coat W. Martin P. Dunne Woodford & Buckner 2:42.00
1895-97 no races
1894 Rey el Santa Anita E. Van Kuren Henry McDaniels Lucky Baldwin 2:36.00
1893 Boundless Edward R. Garrison William McDaniel J. E. Cushing 2:36.00
1892 Carlsbad R. Williams C. Porter R. A. Swigert 3:04.25
1891 Strathmeath Covington Green B. Morris Green B. Morris 2:49.25
1890 Uncle Bob Thomas Kiley B. J. Johnson Chicago Stable 2:55.75
1889 Spokane Thomas Kiley John Rodegap Noah Armstrong 2:41.25
1888 Emperor of Norfolk Isaac Burns Murphy Robert W. Thomas Lucky Baldwin 2:40.50
1887 C. H. Todd Anthony Hamilton James B. A. Haggin James B. A. Haggin 2:36.50
1886 Silver Cloud Isaac Burns Murphy A. Cooper Lucky Baldwin 2:37.25
1885 Volante Isaac Burns Murphy A. Cooper Lucky Baldwin 2:49.50
1884 Modesty Isaac Burns Murphy Edward Corrigan John W. Rogers 2:42.00
  • Trail City finished first in 1996 but was disqualified and set back to second.
    • Dead Heat for first place.


  1. ^ Reiss, Steven A., Horse Racing, Eds. Grossman, James R., Keating, Ann Durkin, and Reiff, Janice L., 2004 The Encyclopedia of Chicago, pp. 390-1. The University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-31015-9


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