Countdown to the Kentucky Derby - 112 days to go!

Countdown to the Kentucky Derby - 112 days to go!

112 Days!!! 1907 Pink Star won the 33rd running of the Kentucky Derby, a grandson of 1883 Derby winner, Leonatus, he was the 10th winner to trace back to sire *Leamington, the sire of Aristides, the 1875 victor. Pink Star was bred in Bourbon County, Kentucky, by owner J. Hal Woodford, a well-known farmer and horse breeder. His sire, Pink Coat, was a nice race horse, having set a track record for seven furlongs at the Louisville track.

Derby day was warm; however the track was muddy, leading to the scratches of several horses from the field, leaving six to face the starter. Admission was raised to $1.50, in hopes of being able to raise purses to compete with tracks like Washington Park. The price increase didn’t stop the masses from coming to witness the Kentucky Derby.

In attendance for the 33rd Derby was the daughter of President Teddy Roosevelt, “Princess Alice” as she was known. Alice, then 23, and her husband showed up to the admiration of those in attendance. When she was 93, during a phone interview, she was asked about her trip to the Derby and what she recalled of it. She replied that she didn’t “remember a god#@n thing about the 1907 Kentucky Derby, except that it was a good party”.

Trainer W.H. Fizer, who had convinced Woodford to enter the race, was confident in Pink Star’s chances in the race, although there were few others that agreed, making him the longest shot in the field at 15-1. He gave his instructions to jockey Andy Minder in the crowded paddock, and sent them off. The field spent little time at the start before being let go to the shouts of “They’re off!” Pink Star was trailing the field for most of the race, per his instructions. Minder had his hands full in holding his mount in check, but once he was given his head, took the lead in a rush, winning easily by two lengths in a time of 2:12 3/5, due to the heavy track condition.

When they returned to the judge’s stand after the race, Pink Star was adorned with his floral collar, Minder was given a bouquet of flowers, and the band played, “He Was Bred in Old Kentucky”. Minder would take his bouquet of roses up into the grandstand and give them to the wife of trainer W.H. Fizer.

From The Thoroughbred Record: “Redgauntlet was made favorite. Pink Star's victory was not a popular one. The public had no confidence in the flashy grandson of the great Leonatus, which won the same event in 1883, and neither did his owner Hal Woodford of Paris, KY. But his trainer, W. H. Fizer, fairly bubbled with enthusiasm over the chances of his colt. "So these are the Derby horses?" said the trainer. “Well, if they are Derby colts, Pink Star will walk in." So he did. “

Rickelle  Nelson

Rickelle Nelson

Reservations Manager for the Kentucky Derby Museum