Deirdre Scaggs and Carl Nathe
The dedication ceremony for the Class of 2011 Historical Marker honoring Aristides, the first winner of the Kentucky Derby was held this past Wednesday, October 24 at Coldstream Research Park by the Legacy Trail. Associate Dean for Special Collections Deirdre Scaggs spoke at the dedication ceremony and described the famous race:
Aristides, McCreery, and Volcano got off in the first division. Passing the grandstand for the first time McCreery was in front with Aristides second and Volcano third. Before reaching the turn, McCreery retired, beaten. Aristides then took the lead with Ten Broeck, Volcano, Bob Miles and Verdigris in a close bunch behind him. Aristides ran the first mile in 1 minute 43 seconds—a very fast pace for those days. Lewis, on Aristides, gave his horse a breathing spell, expecting Chesapeake, his stable mate and half-brother to join him, but he was in the back ultimately finishing 8th.
With odds of 29 to 10, Aristides took the race in two minutes, 37 seconds. There were no roses for Aristides in 1875, but owner Hal Price McGrath, trainer Ansel Williamson, and jockey Oliver Lewis did have the satisfaction of winning the smallest Derby purse of about $2,850.00.