By Mint Julep

1946 Kentucky Derby Winner Assault

1946 kentucky derby winner assault

In 1946, the Kentucky Derby witnessed an unforgettable moment when the renowned racehorse Assault, ridden by jockey Warren Mehrtens and trained by Max Hirsch for owner King Ranch, clinched a historic victory. This triumphant feat included setting a remarkable time record that still stands as a testament to Assault’s speed and endurance. Dive into the story of this iconic event in American horse racing history which continues to captivate fans worldwide with tales of skill, speed, and ultimate triumph.

Victory at the 72nd Kentucky Derby

Assault, a spirited and determined chestnut Thoroughbred racehorse, captivated onlookers by surging ahead to claim victory at the 1946 Kentucky Derby. With skilled jockey Warren Mehrtens guiding him and trainer Max Hirsch overseeing his progress, Assault’s performance on that unforgettable day was nothing short of legendary. The powerful bond between horse and rider, combined with Hirsch’s expertise in preparing horses for top races, formed a winning combination that propelled Assault to triumph.

The historic win at the 1946 Kentucky Derby was a pivotal moment not only in Assault’s own journey but also in the broader history of American Thoroughbred racing. King Ranch, known for breeding exceptional racehorses like Assault through meticulous practices passed down over generations, played a crucial role in shaping this victory. Their dedication to selecting and breeding champions culminated in stars like Assault whose legacy remains influential even today.

As Assault thundered down the homestretch at Churchill Downs one May afternoon in 1946—setting an impressive time record despite challenging track conditions due to earlier rainfall—spectators were treated to sheer greatness unfolding before their eyes. The impact of Assault’s remarkable victory resonated throughout the world of horse racing, inspiring future riders, trainers, and breeders alike. His incredible speed and stamina stood as proof of years’ worth of hard work put forth by everyone involved in his training.

Reflecting on that historical moment when Victory rested upon Assult’s noble brow brings about feelings of admiration mingled with nostalgia—a reminder why many fell for horse racing: witnessing once-thought-impossible feats come alive amidst tracks filled with both grit and grace.

It wasn’t just another win—it was a tale woven into eternity’s threads where courage danced alongside destiny under skies painted gold & blue—a story forever etched within sport’s annals – where steeds galloped dreams into reality amidst cheers echoing across time itself!

Unforgettable Performance by Jockey Warren Mehrtens

In the 1946 Kentucky Derby, Warren Mehrtens rode Assault to victory with skill and strategic tactics. Their win has become a legend in horse racing history.

Mehrtens’ deep connection with Assault allowed him to maneuver the challenging track flawlessly. He could read Assault’s movements and adjust his strategy quickly, which was key to their success at Churchill Downs.

With steady nerves and intense focus, Mehrtens guided Assault through a crowded field, expertly navigating past rivals for the win. The bond between jockey and horse was strong as they raced towards the finish line.

Max Hirsch’s decision to pair Mehrtens with Assault played a crucial role in their triumph that day. His belief in both jockey and horse set the stage for an unforgettable performance that amazed spectators with their teamwork on the racetrack.

Warren Mehrtens’ remarkable ride aboard Assault showcases his horsemanship skills and dedication to his craft. Their historic victory is proof of what talent, teamwork, and determination can achieve at America’s most prestigious race event.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Unveils fascinating stories from the past of horse racing

  2. Captivates readers with exciting tales of famous races

  3. Highlights the talent and perseverance of horses and jockeys alike

  4. Provides a peek into the vibrant history and customs of this sport

  5. Sparks admiration for these incredible athletes


  1. Some people may glamorize a sport that has dealt with controversies regarding animal welfare

  2. It could reinforce stereotypes or misconceptions about specific horses or races

  3. People might ignore the industry's darker sides, like exploitation or doping scandals

  4. Sometimes it overshadows recent accomplishments in modern racing

  5. This type of content may not capture the attention of individuals uninterested in historical sports stories.

Trainer Max Hirsch’s Winning Strategies

Max Hirsch, a famous horse trainer, played a crucial role in getting Assault ready for the 1946 Kentucky Derby. His knowledge and training techniques helped shape Assault’s skills and ensured that he performed at his best during the race. Hirsch’s commitment to excellence greatly contributed to the horse’s victory.

Known for paying close attention to details and using smart strategies, Max Hirsch introduced new training methods that set Assault up for success. With Hirsch guiding him, Assault became a strong competitor with impressive speed and endurance. The trainer’s strong belief in the horse motivated jockey Warren Mehrtens as they aimed for Derby glory.

Hirsch’s successful tactics not only demonstrated his expertise in horsemanship but also showed his deep understanding of each horse he worked with. With an eye for talent and a great love for the sport, Hirsch transformed Assault into a champion racehorse whose legacy still inspires racing fans today.

King Ranch’s Ownership Triumph

The King Ranch, a renowned establishment famous for breeding high-quality horses, reached a remarkable milestone when Assault emerged victorious at the 1946 Kentucky Derby. This triumph marked another proud moment in the ranch’s long history of excellence in Thoroughbred racing.

Warren Mehrtens skillfully steered Assault to victory during that legendary Kentucky Derby. His strong connection and understanding with the spirited colt were crucial in securing their place among racing legends. Mehrtens’ expertise and finesse on the track played a significant role in ensuring Assault’s win against tough competitors.

Assault was brought to peak performance under trainer Max Hirsch’s expert guidance leading up to the prestigious Derby event. Hirsch’s meticulous training regimen transformed Assault into a champion contender, showcasing both his skills as a trainer and dedication to nurturing equine greatness. The unbeatable partnership between horse and trainer shone through when it mattered most.

Assault’s impressive win not only etched his name into horse racing history but also set an outstanding time record that remained unbroken for more than two decades—a testament to his exceptional speed and stamina at Churchill Downs on that historic day. This iconic victory solidified King Ranch’s reputation as a top breeder of elite Thoroughbreds while establishing Warren Mehrtens’ and Max Hirsch’s places among the greats who shaped this memorable moment in American sports history.

1946 Kentucky Derby Top Finishers Overview

Finished Post Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Time / behind
1st 3 Assault Warren Mehrtens Max Hirsch King Ranch 2:06 3/5
2nd 5 Spy Song Johnny Longden Jack C. Hodgins Dixiana Farm
3rd 11 Hampden Job Dean Jessop Richard E. Handlen Foxcatcher Farm
4th 1 Lord Boswell Eddie Arcaro James W. Smith Maine Chance Farm
5th 1C Knock Down Robert Permane James W. Smith Maine Chance Farm
6th 6 Alamond Arnold Kirkland John H. Skirvin Alwin C. Ernst
7th 14 Bob Murphy Albert Bodiou Charlie Sanborn David Ferguson
8th 7 Pellicle George F. Hettinger E. Leigh Cotton Hal Price Headley
9th 1A Perfect Bahram Ted Atkinson James W. Smith Maine Chance Farm
10th 2 Rippey Ferril Zufelt Edward L. Synder William Helis
11th 15 Jobar J. Raymond Layton Don Yates H. W. Fielding
12th 10 Dark Jungle Andy Loturco John M. Goode Lucas B. Combs
13th 13 Alworth Ovie Scurlock John B. Partridge Mrs. R. D. Patterson
14th 9 With Pleasure Charles Wahler E. G. Porter Brolite Farm
15th 4 Marine Victory Donnie Alvin Padgett Albert Dunne Bobanet Stable
16th 8 Wee Admiral William Watson Arthur Brent Col. R. S. McLaughlin
17th 12 Kendor Willie Lee Johnson R. S. Young Mrs. D. Hollingsworth

Impressive Time Record Set by Assault

Assault blazed across the finish line at the 1946 Kentucky Derby with an incredible time of 2:06 3/5 on the clock, showcasing unmatched speed and stamina. This impressive victory not only secured first place for Assault but also highlighted its exceptional skills as a racehorse.

The record-breaking time achieved by Assault in the Kentucky Derby demonstrated his extraordinary talent and unwavering determination. It proved that he could surpass boundaries and perform exceptionally well under pressure, cementing his reputation as one of the greatest Thoroughbreds ever to compete in horse racing history.

During that memorable race, Assault’s lightning-fast pace left spectators stunned and solidified his status among legendary horses in the sport. His remarkable performance didn’t just captivate audiences at Churchill Downs; it also served as inspiration for aspiring jockeys, trainers, and racing fans around the world.

This historic milestone reached by Assault underscored the invaluable teamwork between Warren Mehrtens, Max Hirsch, and King Ranch. Their commitment to excellence played a crucial role in securing Assault’s triumph at the prestigious Kentucky Derby – a momentous occasion that left an enduring mark on horse racing history.

In conclusion, Assault’s groundbreaking achievement continues to be remembered as a shining example of success attained through hard work, expert training, and sheer passion for horse racing. His legacy serves as motivation for us all to aim higher, overcome challenges fearlessly, and strive towards our own personal victories against all odds.

Breeding Success for King Ranch

King Ranch showed their incredible breeding skills by owning Assault, a horse bred at this renowned Texas establishment. King Ranch’s reputation as a top breeder was confirmed when they produced winning Thoroughbreds capable of competing on big stages like the Kentucky Derby.

Assault came from a long line of exceptional horses carefully chosen and nurtured at King Ranch, showing their dedication to breeding high-quality horses. Each foal born there had the potential for greatness on the track thanks to this meticulous selection process.

King Ranch’s smart mating choices and close attention to detail paid off with Assault, who won the 1946 Kentucky Derby and secured his place in racing history. Assault’s victory not only showcased his own talents but also highlighted King Ranch’s expertise in raising champion racehorses that captured audiences worldwide.

Looking back on horse racing history, we see how Assault’s win is an inspiration for breeders and fans alike. His legacy lives on through generations, reminding us what can be accomplished with passion, skill, and unwavering determination in the world of horse racing.

Legendary Tales of Derby Champion Assault

  1. Fascinating Stories of Derby Winner Assault:

  2. The 1946 Kentucky Derby victor, Assault, captured hearts with his incredible journey to success. Despite a barn fire injury at age two, he defied the odds and rose as a triumphant racehorse.

  3. Assualt stands alone in horse racing history for clinching the Triple Crown despite a missing hoof. Thanks to a specially crafted brace, he overcame his injury from the fire and triumphed on the racetrack.

  4. Overcoming physical hurdles, Assault boasted an impressive career record – winning 18 races out of 42 starts and amassing $675,000 in prize money during his time competing.

  5. What made Assault's win at the 1946 Kentucky Derby stand out was his epic comeback victory from behind – showcasing true grit and determination that defined him as a champion.

  6. Today, Assault's remarkable legacy endures in horse racing lore as one of the most admired and inspiring horses ever seen on tracks like Churchill Downs and beyond.

Legacy of Assault and Its Impact on Horse Racing History

After winning the 1946 Kentucky Derby, Assault became a legendary figure in horse racing, known for his exceptional performance on the track. The victory was a major milestone in both Assault’s career and American Thoroughbred racing at that time. Warren Mehrtens, who rode Assault to victory, showed remarkable skill and understanding of the horse’s abilities.

Trainer Max Hirsch played a key role in developing Assault’s talent and ensuring he performed at his best during races. With careful training techniques and dedication to his horses’ well-being, Hirsch turned Assault into a respected competitor loved by fans and rivals alike. King Ranch’s breeding program also played a significant part in Assualt’s success by producing top-quality Thoroughbreds capable of excelling at events like the Kentucky Derby.

Assault’s impressive win not only secured his place in history but also set new standards for speed and endurance on the track. His record-breaking performance at the 1946 Kentucky Derby amazed spectators, establishing him as one of the era’s most dominant champions. The impact of this triumph continues to be felt among horse racing enthusiasts worldwide who admire Assault’s exceptional skills and determination under pressure.

Over time, tales of Assualt’s historic victory continue to captivate audiences globally, showcasing how moments of greatness can become timeless legends etched into sporting history. The partnership between Assualt and Warren Mehrtens stands as proof of perseverance, teamwork, and unparalleled talent coming together perfectly that day at Churchill Downs. Each hoofbeat tells a story of bravery against challenges; every stride symbolizes unwavering determination breaking through limits once considered insurmountable – an inspiration for those dreaming big within or beyond horseracing circles.

Enduring Reverence for the 72nd Running of the Kentucky Derby

In 1946, the Kentucky Derby saw an incredible show of skill and determination. Assault raced to victory with jockey Warren Mehrtens guiding him expertly. Trainer Max Hirsch’s careful planning and smart strategies were crucial in turning Assault into a champion that day. King Ranch’s involvement added even more prestige to Assault’s win, highlighting their expertise in breeding top-notch Thoroughbreds.

Assault’s triumph at the 72nd Running of the Kentucky Derby is a significant moment in horse racing history where pure talent and unwavering dedication met at Churchill Downs. This iconic victory continues to capture fans globally, showcasing the timeless charm and magic within the sport. With each thundering hoofbeat echoing through time, Assault’s exceptional feat shines as inspiration for aspiring riders, trainers, and breeders aiming for greatness in Thoroughbred racing.

Assault’s groundbreaking performance during that memorable race not only cemented his name in Derby folklore but also showcased King Ranch as a breeding powerhouse for champions. This historic event represents more than just winning; it embodies perseverance against all odds while showing how teamwork between humans and horses can break barriers to achieve greatness on one unforgettable spring day at Churchill Downs. Looking back on this legendary race today reminds us that sometimes miracles do occur when passion meets precision on the racetrack.

Historical Context Surrounding Churchill Downs’ Race Track Conditions

During the 1946 Kentucky Derby, the track conditions were rated as slow. This added a challenging and unpredictable element to the race dynamics. Competitors like Assault had to adjust their strategies to navigate effectively through adverse footing conditions while showing their competitive spirit against tough opponents.

The 72nd running of the Kentucky Derby didn’t just stay at Churchill Downs; it captivated fans worldwide. People marveled at witnessing sporting excellence unfold before them. Events like this continue to attract audiences globally, inspiring future generations in equestrian sports.

Assault’s victory in the 1946 Kentucky Derby not only cemented his place in horse racing history but also showcased King Ranch’s remarkable breeding success. It set a standard for excellence that lasted for years afterward. Jockey Warren Mehrtens’ skillful guidance and trainer Max Hirsch’s expert training played crucial roles in shaping Assault into a champion whose legacy still resonates within the sport today.


1. Who was the jockey who rode Assault to victory in the 1946 Kentucky Derby?

In 1946, Warren Mehrtens rode Assault to win the Kentucky Derby.

2. What role did trainer Max Hirsch play in shaping Assault's success?

Trainer Max Hirsch played a crucial part in helping Assault achieve success by carefully getting the horse ready and in top shape for the 1946 Kentucky Derby.

3. How did King Ranch contribute to Assault's triumph at the Kentucky Derby?

King Ranch carefully bred Assault, whose outstanding pedigree and genetic abilities were key factors in his impressive win at the 1946 Kentucky Derby.

4. What was significant about Assault's victory in the 1946 Kentucky Derby in horse racing history?

Assault made history in the 1946 Kentucky Derby by setting a record time that remained unbeaten for more than six decades. It was the first time a horse achieved such a feat in the race, making it a significant moment in horse racing history.

5. What time record did Assault set during his legendary win at the Kentucky Derby?

Assault made history at the 1946 Kentucky Derby by setting a new track record of 2:06.60 for the 1 1/4 mile distance during his incredible victory.

6. How did Assault's breeding success impact future generations of racehorses?

Assault's ability to produce top racehorses at King Ranch made a huge impact on the world of Thoroughbred racing. His exceptional genes influenced many future generations and left behind a lasting legacy in the sport.