Aristides wins the very first Kentucky Derby.
The 1875 Kentucky Derby was the first running of the Kentucky Derby. The race took place on May 17, 1875. The first Kentucky Derby was a 1.5-mile race, and the traditional distance of 1.25 miles was not established until the 1896 Derby. Thirteen of the fifteen jockeys in the race, including winner Oliver Lewis, were African-American. Attendance was estimated at 10,000.
The winner was Aristides, by two lengths. His jockey was Oliver Lewis, his trainer was Ansel Williamson, and his owner was H.P. McGrath. Aristides’ half-brother and stablemate Chesapeake also ran in the race. Both Aristides’ jockey and trainer were black. Aristides’s time of 2 minutes and 37.75 seconds was at the time a world record for the distance.