Kentucky Derby Early Winners: 1800s

Kentucky Derby history stretches back to 1875, when the first Derby was run at Churchill Downs. In the inaugural Kentucky Derby, about 10,000 fans watched as jockey Oliver Lewis rode Aristides to victory. In the same year, Lewis rode Aristides to a second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes.

Until 1896, the Kentucky Derby was run over a distance of 1.5 miles – the same distance as the Epsom Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris. Since 1896, the length of the race has been set at 1.25 miles.

For details of the winning horses, jockeys, and trainers of the Kentucky Derby since 1980, visit our Kentucky Derby winners page.

Kentucky Derby Early Winners: 1875 to 1900







1900 Lieut. Gibson Jimmy Boland Charles Hughes Charles H. Smith 2:06.25
1899 Manuel Fred Taral Robert J. Walden A. H. & D. H. Morris 2:12.00
1898 Plaudit Willie Simms John E. Madden John E. Madden 2:09.00
1897 Typhoon II Buttons Garner J. C. Cahn J. C. Cahn 2:12.50
1896 Ben Brush Willie Simms Hardy Campbell Mike F. Dwyer 2:07.75
1895 Halma Soup Perkins Byron McClelland Byron McClelland 2:37.50
1894 Chant Frank Goodale H. Eugene Leigh Leigh & Rose 2:41.00
1893 Lookout Eddie Kunze William McDaniel Cushing & Orth 2:39.25
1892 Azra Lonnie Clayton John Morris Bashford Manor Stable 2:41.50
1891 Kingman Isaac Murphy Dud Allen Jacobin Stable 2:52.25
1890 Riley Isaac Murphy Edward Corrigan Edward Corrigan 2:45.00
1889 Spokane Thomas Kiley John Rodegap Noah Armstrong 2:34.50
1888 Macbeth II George Covington John Campbell Chicago Stable 2:38.00
1887 Montrose Isaac Lewis John McGinty Labold Brothers 2:39.25
1886 Ben Ali Paul Duffy Jim Murphy J. B. A. Haggin 2:36.50
1885 Joe Cotton Babe Henderson Alex Perry J. T. Williams 2:37.25
1884 Buchanan Isaac Murphy William Bird William Cottrill 2:40.25
1883 Leonatus Billy Donohue Raleigh Colston Chinn & Morgan 2:43.00
1882 Apollo Babe Hurd Green B. Morris Morris & Patton 2:40.00
1881 Hindoo Jim McLaughlin James G. Rowe, Sr. Dwyer Bros. Stable 2:40.00
1880 Fonso George Lewis Tice Hutsell J. Snell Shawhan 2:37.50
1879 Lord Murphy Charlie Shauer George Rice Darden & Co 2:37.00
1878 Day Star Jimmy Carter Lee Paul T. J. Nichols 2:37.25
1877 Baden-Baden Billy Walker Edward D. Brown Daniel Swigert 2:38.00
1876 Vagrant Bobby Swim James Williams William Astor, Jr. 2:38.25
1875 Aristides Oliver Lewis Ansel Williamson Hal P. McGrath 2:37.75