Great Southern Derby Winners

This Saturday marks the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby, the longest continually held sporting event in the United States. In that nearly century and a half of history, the Bluegrass State itself has produced a whopping 109 of the Derby’s winning Thoroughbreds. No surprise, a number of this year’s current favorites, including Justify and Mendelssohn, were Kentucky born and bred. But from Texas to Florida to Virginia, other Southern states have certainly had their moments to shine in the Winner’s Circle.

In celebration of the big day, we’re taking a look back at some storied Southern Derby-winning horses with a collection of photos shared by Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum. From the first-ever Derby winner in 1875, Aristides, to 2015 Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah, they’ve all earned a prestigious place in racing history.

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