By Mint Julep

1913 Kentucky Derby Winner Donerail

1913 kentucky derby winner donerail

Join us on an exciting journey back to the 1913 Kentucky Derby, where a little-known horse named Donerail shocked everyone by winning in record-breaking style. Learn about owner Thomas P. Hayes’ unwavering belief in his horse’s abilities, jockey Roscoe Goose’s skillful ride to victory, and how Donerail’s unexpected win at Churchill Downs made a lasting impact on the economy. Explore the legacy of this legendary racehorse whose story inspires with its themes of persistence and triumph against all odds in the world of horse racing history.

Early Life and Family Background

In the 1913 Kentucky Derby, Donerail emerged as an unexpected champion, stealing the spotlight and winning over racing fans worldwide with his incredible performance. Thomas P. Hayes owned and bred this dark horse, overseeing his training personally to lead him to victory in a way that inspired awe.

Donerail’s triumph at Churchill Downs was truly extraordinary, defying all odds and capturing imaginations everywhere. Initially underestimated, William J. Treacy stepped up by covering Donerail’s entry fee into the prestigious race – setting the stage for a historic moment in horse racing lore.

The decision to enter Donerail into the Kentucky Derby turned out to be a stroke of luck for Thomas P. Hayes as this unlikely contender exceeded all expectations by blazing across the finish line with remarkable speed. The determination shown by both horse and owner went beyond mere competition; it became a symbol of inspiration for dreamers around the globe.

This achievement marked only the second instance where one individual achieved such success in breeding, training, and owning a Kentucky Derby winner like Donerail – making waves not just within thoroughbred circles but captivating audiences from diverse backgrounds who were enthralled by this underdog tale unfolding on turf.

Despite initial doubts due to his pedigree or perceived limitations, Donerail galloped into history with unwavering spirit and exceptional athleticism on that memorable day in 1913 – solidifying himself as one of sports’ most unforgettable surprises witnessed firsthand at America’s premier horseracing event.

Racing Career

The 1913 Kentucky Derby was a legendary race where Donerail pulled off an incredible upset, showcasing true underdog resilience. Despite being a huge long shot at odds of 91-1, Donerail surprised everyone by beating the favorites like Ten Point and claiming a historic victory that stunned both spectators and bookmakers. The cheers of the crowd at Churchill Downs when he crossed the finish line in a record time of 2:04.80 not only marked his amazing win but also symbolized how determination and perseverance can triumph over seemingly impossible challenges.

Donerail’s unexpected triumph didn’t just impact horse racing – it sent shockwaves through the sports world, captivating audiences for years to come. Winning a purse of $5,475 might sound modest today, but back in 1913, it was quite substantial – especially for an underdog like Donerail who had been underestimated before he proved himself on that memorable Derby day. His victory served as a powerful reminder that greatness doesn’t always come from wealth or status; sometimes, it emerges from humble beginnings with unwavering spirit and passion.

Even now, more than a century later, Donerail’s legacy remains strong as a symbol of courage and defiance against all odds. Racing fans still speak his name with awe as they reflect on how this unlikely colt defied expectations and made history with every stride towards glory on that fateful track in 1913. The story of Donerail continues to inspire us all to chase our dreams fearlessly despite what others may say is impossible – much like this unsung hero did on that unforgettable Derby day so many years ago.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Fans are in awe and admire racing legends.

  2. Aspiring athletes find motivation and inspiration from their achievements.

  3. They add to the rich history and tradition of horse racing.

  4. The legacy left by racing legends often surpasses their time.


  1. Current athletes may feel overwhelmed by the pressure of living up to the legacy set by racing legends.

  2. Controversies about how they achieved greatness might stain their reputation.

  3. The strong emphasis on racing legends could overshadow other talented athletes and their achievements.

  4. Placing racing legends on a pedestal can set unrealistic expectations, leading to disappointment.

Jockey Roscoe Goose

In 1913, Roscoe Goose, a fearless jockey, led Donerail to an incredible victory at the Kentucky Derby. He came from respected pioneer families in Louisville and had unwavering faith in his horse’s abilities. Not only did he make waves on the racetrack, but he also left a lasting impact by guiding future legends like Eddie Arcaro. Goose was forward-thinking; he advocated for important safety measures in horse racing, such as requiring riders to wear helmets for their protection and improved performance.

With his keen guidance and unshakable confidence, Goose laid the foundation for one of the most extraordinary underdog stories in racing history when Donerail triumphed against all odds at Churchill Downs. The bond between jockey and horse proved unbreakable as they raced towards victory against tough competitors. Their sheer determination and resilience captured hearts worldwide. This unexpected win wasn’t just about finishing first but symbolized hope, perseverance, and pursuing dreams with relentless passion – a tale that continues to inspire racers today.

Since that memorable day in 1913 when Roscoe Goose rode into immortality aboard Donerail at the Kentucky Derby – echoes of their success still resonate deeply within horse racing folklore as time passed by.

Their partnership went beyond mere sport; it became a symbol of possibility during uncertain times – showcasing what can be achieved through determination and belief when faced with challenges seemingly impossible to overcome.

In every beat echoing through history books lies a reminder: greatness has no limits – sometimes concealed beneath modest beginnings or overlooked talents waiting for their moment to shine brightly on destiny’s grand stage.”

Economic Impact of Victory

The 1913 Kentucky Derby was rocked by Donerail’s incredible win, which amazed the horse racing world. Despite being considered an underdog with odds as high as 91-1, he defied all expectations and made his mark in history with a burst of speed that astounded spectators and bookmakers alike. When he crossed the finish line, Donerail not only broke records but also captured hearts, leaving a lasting impression on those lucky enough to witness this extraordinary feat.

Donerail’s unlikely victory had far-reaching effects beyond just Churchill Downs. His surprising triumph didn’t just turn heads; it also showed dreamers and believers everywhere that anything is possible against all odds. In a sport where favorites typically dominate, Donerail’s success reminded everyone that there are no limits to what can be achieved. This unexpected win even impacted betting circles significantly, turning small bets into life-changing wins for those who dared to believe in this dark horse.

Even today, Donerail remains a legendary figure in horse racing history—a symbol of hope for outsiders chasing their own moments of glory. His legacy goes beyond mere numbers or prizes; it embodies the resilience and determination that true champions possess. Each time his epic race is recounted, Donerail inspires generations to strive for greatness despite facing daunting challenges—an enduring example of how self-belief can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Thrilling Horse Racing Results in Brief

Finished Post Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Time / behind
1st 5 Donerail Roscoe Goose Thomas P. Hayes Thomas P. Hayes 2:04.80
2nd 4 Ten Point Merritt C. Buxton Calvin Banks Anthony L. Aste 1/2
3rd 3 Gowell John McCabe John T. Weaver John T. Weaver 1+1/2
4th 8 Foundation Johnny Loftus William L. McDaniel C. W. McKenna Head
5th 6 Yankee Notions Buddy Glass William H. Karrick Harry K. Knapp Neck
6th 1 Lord Marshall T. Steele J. Oliver Keene J. Oliver & G. Hamilton Keene 5
7th 2 Jimmie Gill Charles Borel Shelby West L. P. Doerhoefer & Shelby West 8
8th 7 Leochares Charles Peak John F. Schorr John W. Schorr 15

Post-race Career

After making history with his surprising victory at the 1913 Kentucky Derby, Donerail continued racing until 1916 before retiring to Glen-Helen Farm. Although he didn’t consistently win races after the Derby, Donerail remained a significant figure in horse racing due to his remarkable triumph against all odds.

Donerail’s win at the Kentucky Derby was truly legendary; he astounded spectators by setting a record-breaking time that caught everyone off guard. His story of coming from behind captured hearts and minds everywhere, showing that sometimes unexpected heroes can emerge victorious when least expected.

In retirement, Donerail enjoyed some well-deserved relaxation at Glen-Helen Farm after years of thrilling races and intense competition on the track. Fans often visited him there, eager to see the famous horse whose name had become synonymous with determination and unexpected success.

While his career post-Derby did not reach the same heights as his iconic win, Donerail’s legacy lived on through generations as a symbol of hope for those striving to defy expectations and achieve greatness against all odds. His story continues to inspire countless dreamers within and beyond the world of horse racing.

Even today, when you think about unforgettable moments in sports history or stories that resonate across time, it’s impossible not to remember that momentous day in 1913 when an unlikely contender named Donerail raced into immortality at Churchill Downs – truly embodying the spirit of triumph over adversity like no other.

Legacy of Thomas P. Hayes

Thomas P. Hayes left a lasting mark as both the breeder and owner of Donerail, forever linked to the surprising victory at the 1913 Kentucky Derby that shook up the horse racing world. Despite doubts from others, he made a bold choice to enter Donerail in the race – a decision that proved brilliant when this underdog horse raced its way into history at Churchill Downs.

Hayes’s unwavering belief in Donerail not only exceeded expectations but also showcased what it means to support an unlikely winner – quite literally in this case! His daring move to challenge conventional wisdom and stand by his horse paid off big time when Donerail crossed the finish line first with incredible odds of 91-1, solidifying their place in racing legend.

The impact of this unexpected triumph went beyond just one day at the races, sparking interest and investments within an industry where long shots rarely come out on top. As spectators gasped in awe and bookmakers scrambled to adjust their predictions, one man’s bold action had set off a ripple effect that would influence future generations of racers and fans alike.

With Hayes playing dual roles as breeder and owner, it added another layer of intrigue to an already extraordinary story – demonstrating not only his foresight but also highlighting how persistence can turn seemingly impossible dreams into reality on the track. With each thundering hoofbeat resonating through time, Donerail’s spirit lives on as inspiration for those who dare to dream big against all odds; reminding us all that greatness can emerge unexpectedly when belief takes center stage.

Uncover fascinating tales about Donerail's historic victory.

  1. Discover the captivating tales behind Donerail's historic win:

  2. Shocking Victory: In 1913, Donerail, a massive underdog at odds of 91-1, stunned everyone by winning the Kentucky Derby in one of the biggest upsets ever seen.

  3. Setting a New Record: During that iconic race, Donerail blazed through the track and set a new record time for the Kentucky Derby, finishing the25-mile distance in just 2 minutes and 4 seconds.

  4. Daring Move on Track: Jockey Roscoe Goose displayed incredible bravery as he skillfully maneuvered Donerail from last place to first during an exhilarating stretch run that had spectators on their feet.

  5. Unwavering Confidence: Despite being considered an outsider, trainer Thomas P. Hayes never wavered in his belief in Donerail's potential leading up to the race day.

  6. Enduring Legacy: The unexpected triumph secured by Donerail etched its mark in horse racing history forevermore, serving as an inspiration for future generations with its awe-inspiring victory against all odds.

Historical Context of Household Income

In 1913, the typical household income in America was about $3,000. This reflects a time when farming communities were prevalent and economic struggles were common. It was during this period that Donerail made history by winning at Churchill Downs in an impressive manner. His unexpected victory symbolized hope and determination during uncertain times.

Donerail’s remarkable triumph at the 1913 Kentucky Derby defied expectations and left a lasting impact on horse racing history. With his surprising burst of speed, he not only broke records but also won over hearts across the nation with his underdog story. The news of Donerail’s win spread rapidly, sparking discussions about resilience and witnessing greatness emerge from unlikely places.

The ripple effect of Donerail’s victory extended beyond sports to inspire dreams and passions during a challenging economic era. This tale of overcoming adversity became a source of encouragement for many—serving as a reminder that miracles can happen when belief meets opportunity against all odds. Donerail’s legacy endures as proof of courage, tenacity, and the enduring pursuit of one’s dreams until they are achieved triumphantly.

Betting Odds Comparison

Donerail made history by winning the Kentucky Derby with incredible odds of 91-1, defying all expectations. Even over a hundred years later, Donerail remains unmatched as the longest shot winner in this prestigious race. His victory became an inspirational story of triumph against adversity that captured hearts worldwide and went beyond just horse racing.

The surprising win not only amazed spectators but also had a lasting impact on the horse racing industry’s economy. It created excitement among both bettors and fans, showing that sometimes it’s not about choosing the favorite; it’s about believing in greatness even when faced with challenges.

Donerail’s outstanding performance didn’t just stop at Churchill Downs; it reshaped the entire sport. His legacy stands as a symbol of resilience and determination, proving that dreams can come true even when they seem unlikely at first.

Discover the incredible journey of Donerail – an underdog whose victory echoes through history, demonstrating that miracles can happen unexpectedly. Celebrate this iconic tale that continues to inspire generations with its powerful message: never underestimate what belief can achieve in making the impossible possible.

Record-setting Time

In the 1913 Kentucky Derby, Donerail made history by setting a new record with a winning time of 2:04.80 that stood unbroken for years after his victory. This underdog’s remarkable performance on race day left spectators and experts amazed, solidifying his status as an icon of determination and perseverance in horse racing.

Donerail’s stunning win not only broke records but also defied all expectations, as he was considered a long shot at odds of 91-1. Despite facing tough competition, he surged ahead to claim the coveted title in a spectacular manner. His triumph serves as a timeless reminder that true greatness can emerge from unexpected places – even from those least expected to succeed.

The impact of Donerail’s historic victory extended far beyond the racetrack, sparking widespread interest and enthusiasm among fans worldwide. Spectators were captivated by this extraordinary story of an unlikely champion rising to glory against formidable rivals, resonating with themes of hope and possibility that went beyond just sports. Donerail’s legacy endures as proof of how dreams can be achieved through sheer determination and unwavering self-belief despite challenging circumstances.

Unprecedented Achievement

In 1913, Donerail made history by winning the Kentucky Derby against all expectations. With jockey Roscoe Goose guiding him, Donerail raced with determination that amazed everyone watching. Despite starting from post five out of eight horses, he surpassed favorites like Ten Point and set a new record for the fastest time in Derby history.

Donerail’s surprising victory had a big impact beyond just Churchill Downs. Bettors were shocked by this underdog’s incredible performance, leading to both celebrations and losses in betting circles. The upset win sparked renewed interest in horse racing as crowds flocked to witness more unexpected victories on the racetrack. Businesses boomed as fans sought memorabilia to commemorate Donerail’s historic achievement.

Against doubts and skepticism, Donerail achieved immortality through sheer determination. This unassuming colt exceeded expectations, proving that true greatness comes from talent and unwavering resolve rather than pedigree or assumptions about potential success. From humble beginnings rose an icon whose legacy still inspires dreamers pursuing their own challenging goals.

As stories of Donerails’ legendary race spread rapidly through newspapers and word-of-mouth accounts, it became clear that his tale went beyond sport – it represented hope reborn amidst adversity; evidence that miracles can happen when least expected but most needed. Every stride towards glory taught us never to underestimate what an underdog can achieve with passion and self-belief.

Let’s raise our glasses (or horseshoes) high to honor Donerail – a symbol of resilience, strength, and pure heart who left his mark not only on horse racing history but also within each one of us who dares to dream big despite overwhelming odds!


1. How did Donerail's win at the 1913 Kentucky Derby defy all expectations?

Donerail pulled off a surprising victory at the 1913 Kentucky Derby, breaking records as the biggest underdog in the race with odds of 91-1. His unexpected win amazed fans and shook up the racing world.

2. What factors contributed to Donerail being considered an underdog in the race?

Donerail had not been doing well in races before, and with his odds at 91-1 for the 1913 Kentucky Derby, people saw him as a real underdog.

3. How did Donerail's victory impact the world of horse racing at that time?

Donerail made history by winning the 1913 Kentucky Derby in a stunning upset that broke records, exceeded expectations, and reignited passion for horse racing. This incredible underdog story captured the attention of audiences all around the globe.

4. What was the economic significance of Donerail's historic win at the Kentucky Derby?

Donerail made history by winning the 1913 Kentucky Derby, breaking records and surprising everyone. This victory boosted the horse racing industry's economy, capturing global attention and cementing his legacy as a remarkable underdog champion.

5. How did Donerail's record-breaking performance set him apart from other horses in history?

Donerail made history by winning the 1913 Kentucky Derby as a 91-1 long shot, defying all expectations. His incredible victory set him apart from other horses and cemented his legacy as the ultimate underdog champion.

6. What lasting legacy did Donerail leave on the sport of horse racing following his unexpected triumph?

In 1913, Donerail made history by winning the Kentucky Derby as a huge underdog. His incredible victory not only broke records but also secured his place in horse racing history as a symbol of determination. This inspiring story continues to encourage people to push beyond their limits and achieve greatness against all odds.