Countdown to the Kentucky Derby - 113 days to go!

Countdown to the Kentucky Derby - 113 days to go!

113 Days!!! 1906 Sir Huon was the third Kentucky Derby winner sired by Falsetto, the other two being Chant and His Eminence. He was bred and foaled in Louisville at Bashford Manor by his owner and breeder, George Long.

Named after a knight in Charlemagne's court, Long loved the idea of naming his horses that year after romantic stories. A filly that was born there that spring as well was named Rezia, who was the wife of Sir Huon. This was the third winner of the Kentucky Derby that was bred at Bashford Manor by Long, in addition to Azra and Manuel. Prior to the Kentucky Derby, Sir Huon only won races that were no longer than 5 ½ furlongs, while the Derby distance is 10 furlongs. He would win the Kentucky Derby in his first start at three, something that was now not as common as it once had been.

Regardless, he was the hometown favorite, having been bred in the city that the race was contested. From the time that the Pete Coyne trainee reached the paddock until jockey Roscoe Troxler guided him under the finish line, the crowd cheered for their local hero. He would take on the nice filly, Lady Navarre, that many thought had a chance of winning. She had won the Tennessee Oaks and Derby, and her owner wanted to add the Kentucky Derby to her list. Unfortunately the best she could do was second, two lengths behind Sir Huon.

The two horses finished nicely in front of the field, her stablemate, James Reddick, managed to get third. Sir Huon stopped the clock in a time of 2:08 4/5, despite having been turned sideways at the start of the race. He was crowned with a garland of carnations for his winning effort. After winning the Kentucky Derby, Sir Huon also won the Latonia Derby and the Queen City Handicap.

Apparently one of the reasons that Sir Huon was being bet had to do with the Courier-Journal. In their magazine section that was published the Sunday before the Derby, there was a color photo of a grandstand with horses in it. The only number that was plainly visible in the picture was the number five, which happened to be the number that Sir Huon carried in the Derby. It was also the number on three other winners that day.

The Thoroughbred Record: “Sir Huon, carrying the colors of George J. Long, one of the most popular breeders of Kentucky, won the thirty-second Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs on May 2, before one of the most representative gatherings that ever witnessed this classic event.   Guided by Roscoe Troxler, he crossed the finishing line two lengths in front of the gallant little filly, Lady Navarre, which beat her stable companion, James Reddick, by three lengths. Five lengths behind came Hyperion II, which had set a heart-breaking pace, and a dozen lengths behind the latter was Debar, which carried the 'hopes and money of the Lexington contingent, and last of all. Practically beaten off, came Velours, from Sunny Tennessee.   Sir Huon did not win easily, for he was a very tired horse at the finish, and it required great skill on the part of his jockey to nurse him through the final furlong; at the same time, it might be said that those behind him were more tired.”

Rickelle  Nelson

Rickelle Nelson

Reservations Manager for the Kentucky Derby Museum