Kentucky Historical Society
KHS to Dedicate Historical Marker Honoring Winner of the First Kentucky Derby
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 10, 2012) — The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) will dedicate a historical marker honoring Aristides, winner of the first Kentucky Derby, at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Coldstream Park Trailhead off McGrathiana Parkway at the University of Kentucky’s Coldstream Research Campus in Lexington.
In May 1875, an estimated 10,000 racing fans watched the first running of the Kentucky Derby. Among the field of 15 thoroughbreds, Aristides, the “little red horse,” won the 1.5-mile race. Oliver Lewis, a 19-year-old African-American jockey, rode Aristides to this unexpected victory. Aristides was born on Hal Price McGrath’s farm, McGrathiana, in Fayette County. The colt was trained by Ansel Williamson, also an African-American, who was inducted into the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1998. After several changes in ownership, McGrathiana is now part of the Coldstream Research Campus.
This marker is sponsored by the University of Kentucky’s Class of 2011.
The Kentucky Historical Marker Program, administered by KHS in cooperation with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, commemorates historical sites, events and personalities throughout the state. Through the program, the wealth of Kentucky history is made accessible to the public on markers along the state’s roadways. The markers are on-the-spot history lessons that add drama and interest to the countryside for Kentuckians as well as tourists. They are also available in an online database at www.history.ky.gov/markers.
For more information, contact Becky Riddle, Kentucky Historical Marker program coordinator, at 502-564-1792, ext. 4474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-30-An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, established in 1836, is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's history. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit www.history.ky.gov.