By Mint Julep

1948 Citation Kentucky Derby Winner

1948 citation kentucky derby winner

Join us on an exciting journey as we explore Citation’s epic win at the 1948 Kentucky Derby. Learn about his impressive bloodline from Calumet Farm and how expert trainer Ben A. Jones developed his incredible speed and endurance. Experience Citation’s thrilling victory at Churchill Downs, overcoming a muddy track with jockey Eddie Arcaro guiding him to success. See how this win secured Citation’s place in racing history as a legendary Triple Crown champion. Explore how Citation continues to impact future generations of racehorses and riders, solidifying his status as an American horse racing icon.

Early Life and Family Background

Citation was a chestnut Thoroughbred racehorse born in 1945 at Calumet Farm in Kentucky. He was known for his exceptional speed and stamina on the track. Bred by Calumet Farm, Citation’s father was Bull Lea and his mother was Hydroplane II. His lineage included champions in the racing world, sparking high hopes for his future success.

Growing up at Calumet Farm, Citation displayed promise from a young age with his strong build and energetic nature. Trainers and jockeys quickly noticed his natural talent for running fast. As he grew older, it became clear that he possessed a unique mix of speed, endurance, and intelligence that made him stand out among other horses of his time.

Although coming from prestigious bloodlines, Citation had to prove himself on the racetrack to earn recognition alongside legendary horses – which he did successfully! Every step leading up to the Kentucky Derby in 1948 showcased not only raw ability but also a determination felt in every thundering hoofbeat.

His victory at Churchill Downs wasn’t just any win; it marked the start of a legacy that would impact generations of racehorses yet to come. The excitement surrounding Citation’s triumph lasted long after he crossed the finish line first – inspiring dreams and ambitions among horse racing fans worldwide.

Training and Development

Trained by the legendary Ben A. Jones, Citation’s journey to the 1948 Kentucky Derby was truly remarkable. Under Jones’ expert guidance, Citation evolved from a promising young colt into a dominant force on the racetrack. The rigorous training program focused on not only enhancing his physical strength but also refining his racing instincts.

Jones understood that getting Citation ready for the Kentucky Derby required more than just physical conditioning; it called for mental toughness and unwavering focus. Every step, every sprint, and every lap around the track served as milestones toward greatness for this extraordinary racehorse. Through relentless dedication and careful planning, both trainer and horse forged an unbreakable bond based on trust and mutual respect.

As race day approached at Churchill Downs in 1948, excitement filled the air. Spectators marveled at Citation’s skill, sensing they were about to witness history being made before their eyes. The sunlit track waited eagerly for its champions with anticipation knowing that among them strode a horse destined for glory – one whose name would forever be remembered in American horse racing lore.

And when that decisive moment arrived on Derby day in 1948, Citation raced down the homestretch like a whirlwind unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. Each powerful stride carried him forward with elegance and determination as he crossed the finish line amid thunderous cheers from devoted fans who witnessed his sheer brilliance unfold right before them

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Future athletes find inspiration in the accomplishments of racing legends.

  2. Fans around the world feel thrilled and entertained by their performances.

  3. The impressive achievements of these icons enrich the history of sports.

  4. Racing legends frequently leverage their influence to support charitable causes.


  1. Feeling the weight of upholding a legendary reputation can be intense.

  2. Certain racing icons might encounter difficulties in balancing their fame and personal space.

  3. The health repercussions from injuries sustained during their careers could linger on for years.

  4. Controversies and disputes often arise due to the cutthroat nature of racing competition.

Road to the Kentucky Derby Victory

In the lead-up to the 74th Kentucky Derby on May 1, 1948, Citation displayed his strength in various races, showing he was better than other horses. With Eddie Arcaro as his jockey, Citation’s performances suggested he could win one of horse racing’s top events.

Citation wasn’t just any horse; he had an impressive mix of speed and endurance that made him stand out from the rest. His shiny chestnut coat gleamed in the sun as he raced down the track with elegance and power.

In horse racing, it takes more than just being fast to win – it also requires determination and spirit. And Citation had plenty of both. Every time he hit the track, his drive and energy were clear for everyone to see, sparking excitement among spectators and competitors alike.

Eddie Arcaro skillfully guided Citation with accuracy and finesse, creating a partnership that seemed almost magical. Their flawless teamwork on the racetrack left audiences amazed and solidified their place as legends in horse racing history.

Citation’s triumph at the 1948 Kentucky Derby not only established his own reputation but also motivated future generations of racehorses and riders to aim for greatness. He became known for excellence in equine sports, inspiring all those who dared to dream big in pursuit of victory on the racetrack.

Triumph at the 1948 Kentucky Derby

In the 1948 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Citation met all expectations and emerged victorious on a sloppy track. Guided by jockey Eddie Arcaro, they raced to glory in a time of 2:05 2/5. This win cemented Citation’s legacy in horse racing history as they outpaced their strong rivals.

The spectators were captivated as Citation showcased their exceptional abilities, maneuvering through the muddy conditions with elegance and strength. With each powerful stride, it seemed like Citation defied gravity, moving closer to triumph with every moment. Jockey Eddie Arcaro skillfully directed them through the competition, demonstrating perfect coordination between horse and rider that day.

As Citation charged towards victory down the final stretch, their hooves sent wet earth flying behind them like confetti celebrating success. The crowd erupted in cheers and applause for this remarkable duo who not only clinched the Kentucky Derby title but also won hearts worldwide. It was an unforgettable moment where greatness met destiny on that historic racetrack – leaving a lasting impact on American horse racing for years to come.

74th Kentucky Derby: Exciting Finish Line Recap

Finished Post Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Time / behind
1st 1 Citation Eddie Arcaro Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm 2:05 2/5
2nd 1a Coaltown Newbold L. Pierson Ben A. Jones Calumet Farm
3rd 5 My Request Douglas Dodson James P. Conway Florence Whitaker
4th 4 Billings Melvin Peterson Howard Wells Walmac Stable
5th 3 Grand Pere John Gilbert E. H. J. Shaw Muriel Vanderbilt Adams
6th 2 Escadru Arnold Kirkland Edward A. Christmas William L. Brann

Post-derby Career Success

After winning the Kentucky Derby, Citation went on to have an impressive career with many victories. He won other big races besides the Triple Crown events and was named Horse of the Year several times. Even after retiring from racing, his reputation as a top horse lived on.

Citation didn’t just win one race – he kept dominating tracks long after that iconic victory. During his time post-Derby, he showed incredible speed, stamina, and drive that made him stand out from other horses of his era. Each win added to Citation’s status as one of America’s greatest racehorses.

His impact reached far beyond his own time on the track and inspired generations of riders and horses who admired him for being excellent in the sport. Citation’s lasting legacy in horse racing proves how talented and determined he was, continuing to motivate those who follow in his footsteps today.

Influence on Future Generations

Citation’s win at the 1948 Kentucky Derby changed American horse racing forever. His outstanding performance not only secured his place in history but also set a new standard that future champions aimed to surpass. The way he smoothly moved around the track, leaving competitors far behind, was truly captivating.

With every powerful stride, Citation displayed an exceptional mix of elegance and strength that fascinated audiences globally. His determination to push forward, even against tough rivals, showed what it means to be a true champion. This unwavering desire for success left a lasting impact on all who witnessed his remarkable victory.

Citation’s influence can still be felt today among generations of racehorses and riders who draw inspiration from his incredible achievements on the racetrack. He is synonymous with excellence in Thoroughbred racing, reminding everyone that hard work and dedication can turn dreams into reality. From young foals to experienced jockeys, they all strive to follow Citation’s lead and make their mark in equine history.

As time goes by and new challengers emerge, one thing remains clear: Citation’s legacy will never diminish. He serves as a symbol of hope for those pursuing their own ambitions in horse racing—a shining example that success is possible for those ready to break boundaries and chase greatness with boundless passion.

Legendary Tales of the 1948 Derby Champion

  1. The Incredible Story of the 1948 Derby Winner:

  2. Citation's Winning Streak: Back in 1948, Citation made history by dominating all nine races leading up to the Kentucky Derby. This established him as a powerhouse in horse racing that no one could beat.

  3. Triple Crown Victory: After clinching victory at the Kentucky Derby, Citation went on to conquer both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. He joined an elite group as only the eighth horse ever to win all three prestigious races – known as the Triple Crown.

  4. Breaking Records: During his time on the track, Citation shattered multiple records including setting a new record for being quickest over a mile and quarter on dirt at that time. His incredible performances cemented his status among the greatest racehorses of all time.

  5. Rivalry with Coaltown: One of Citation's most exciting rivalries was with another top-notch racehorse named Coaltown. The two fierce competitors faced off in many high-profile races throughout their careers, creating thrilling showdowns for fans everywhere.

  6. Lasting Influence: Citation's remarkable achievements and impact on horse racing have secured his place as a legendary figure in turf history. His legacy continues to inspire future generations of horses and fans alike, leaving an indelible mark on this beloved sport.

Legacy and Recognition

Citation made history as a Triple Crown winner and an exceptional performer in American horse racing, leaving a legacy that has endured through the years. He was honored with inductions into prestigious Halls of Fame like the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, ensuring that his name remains synonymous with greatness among thoroughbred enthusiasts worldwide.

His extraordinary accomplishments on the race track cemented his status as one of the all-time greatest racehorses. Citation dazzled audiences with his incredible speed, stamina, and determination throughout his impressive career.

Even now, many decades after his thrilling victory at the 1948 Kentucky Derby, Citation continues to be a symbol of excellence in the realm of horse racing. His influence can be felt in later generations of racehorses who strive to match his success and impact on the track.

The significance of Citation’s contributions to American horse racing cannot be overstated. His dominance inspired both aspiring jockeys and trainers by setting a high standard for excellence that many still aim to achieve today.

With every powerful stride towards triumph, Citation left an unforgettable mark on the sport he cherished deeply. His enduring legacy serves as a shining example of true greatness within American horse racing.

Breeding Impact and Offspring

Citation made a huge impact as a sire, passing on his exceptional talent and speed to his offspring. His genes influenced bloodlines in breeding programs worldwide for generations after he retired from racing.

One of Citation’s famous descendants is Secretariat, who became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. This iconic colt inherited not only Citation’s incredible speed but also his competitive spirit and determination. The legacy of excellence handed down from Citation to Secretariat established their family line as synonymous with greatness on the racetrack.

Many champions can trace their lineage back to Citation, such as Bold Ruler and Seattle Slew, bringing honor by dominating races and breaking records. His influence echoes through time, reminding us of his unmatched skill and lasting legacy.

In breeding circles, having a descendant of Citation is like holding a winning hand in poker – rare and highly sought-after for success on the track. Breeders value these connections because they understand that behind every great racehorse lies a link back to when Citation made history at Churchill Downs.

Reflecting on how far-reaching Citation’s impact has been in American horse racing reveals that his legacy will endure for generations to come. His name brings back memories of past victories while inspiring dreams for future successes at tracks all over the world. Ultimately – he wasn’t just born great – he passed it on too!

Retirement and Later Years

After retiring from the fast-paced world of competitive racing, Citation smoothly transitioned into a life of relaxation at Calumet Farm. Surrounding him were sprawling green pastures and gentle breezes that allowed him to enjoy the admiration of fans who still marveled at his record-breaking achievements on the racetrack. With his golden coat shimmering in the sunlight, Citation exuded elegance and grace as he explored his new home.

As time went by, Citation’s legacy only continued to grow stronger, with each successive generation recognizing him as a true icon of American horse racing history. Those visiting Calumet Farm often gazed in awe at this majestic stallion who had once dominated the tracks with finesse and skill. His presence served as a reminder of an era when champions like himself captured hearts and inspired dreams across the nation.

Even during his later years, Citation remained a symbol of excellence and determination for aspiring jockeys and racehorses alike. The spirit of this remarkable athlete continued to inspire all those encountering his legendary legacy within the stables and fields of Calumet Farm. As night fell over the serene farm grounds, one could almost hear echoes of cheers from that historic day in 1948 when Citation raced into history books as one of America’s greatest horses ever known.


1. How did Citation's performance at the 1948 Kentucky Derby compare to other legendary racehorses of his time?

Citation's outstanding performance at the 1948 Kentucky Derby established him as one of the most legendary racehorses of his era. His incredible speed, endurance, and elegance made him stand out as a real champion in American horse racing history.

2. What were some key factors that contributed to Citation's dominance at the 1948 Kentucky Derby?

Citation ruled the 1948 Kentucky Derby thanks to his top-notch lineage, superb coaching by the renowned Ben Jones, and his unmatched speed and endurance while racing.

3. How did Citation's victory at the Kentucky Derby impact his legacy in American horse racing history?

Citation's win at the 1948 Kentucky Derby established him as one of America's top racehorses, paving the way for an iconic career that would motivate many riders and horses in the future.

4. What distinguished Citation from other competitors in the 1948 Kentucky Derby field?

In the 1948 Kentucky Derby, Citation stood out from his rivals with his remarkable speed, endurance, and flawless racing technique. This secured his position as a genuine champion of horse racing.

5. How did Citation's success at the Kentucky Derby influence future generations of racehorses and riders?

Citation's big win at the 1948 Kentucky Derby showed everyone what excellence looked like. It motivated later generations of racehorses and riders to aim for greatness, making him remembered as one of the best champions in American horse racing history.

6. What were some memorable moments or standout performances from Citation during his illustrious career beyond the Kentucky Derby?

Citation had some standout moments in his impressive career, not just limited to the Kentucky Derby. This includes when he clinched the Triple Crown in 1948, went on an unbeaten streak for 16 races, and showed his dominance in races like the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.