By Mint Julep


Charles T. Patterson Trainer: One Kentucky Derby Winner

omar khayyam 1917 kentucky derby winner

Join us on an exciting journey through the incredible career of Charles T. Patterson, a skilled trainer who left a lasting impression on Thoroughbred racing history. Starting out in harness racing and then moving on to train renowned champions like Hamburg, Ornament, and the Kentucky Derby victor Omar Khayyam, Patterson’s expertise and unwavering commitment propelled him to legendary status in the world of horse racing. Although his life was cut short at Belmont Park in 1918, his extraordinary accomplishments and enduring influence continue to shape the sport today.

Early Life and Family Background

Charles T. Patterson was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 4, 1869. His dad owned Standardbred horses, sparking Charles’s interest in horse racing from a young age. He started with harness racing but later switched to Thoroughbred racing and found success.

His deep love for horses and natural understanding of them made him stand out among other trainers of his time. With a strong family background in the industry, he gained valuable knowledge that he skillfully applied to his training techniques.

Moving from harness to Thoroughbreds highlighted Charles’ ability to adapt and excel as a trainer across different areas of horse racing. This versatility became one of his key strengths throughout his career.

Despite starting small, Charles T. Patterson built an impressive legacy through hard work and dedication to his passion for training horses. His early experiences with these animals laid the foundation for him becoming one of the most celebrated trainers in horse racing history.

Introduction to Thoroughbred Racing

In 1891, Charles Patterson made a switch from harness racing to Thoroughbred racing. This move marked the start of an exciting journey that transformed the world of horse racing forever. With guidance from renowned Kentucky owner John Madden, Patterson refined his skills and showcased his exceptional talent in training horses. His dedication and expertise quickly grabbed the attention of people in the racing community, propelling him towards success.

Patterson’s outstanding abilities as a trainer shone through in his remarkable achievements with champions like Hamburg, Ornament, and Omar Khayyam. These impressive thoroughbreds not only dominated racetracks but also captured the hearts of fans worldwide. Through precise training techniques and a deep understanding of horse behavior, Patterson unlocked their full potential, leading them to victory after victory.

Despite passing away at just 44 years old, Charles T. Patterson left an unforgettable legacy in Thoroughbred racing that still resonates today. His impact on this beloved sport is deeply ingrained—his name revered by enthusiasts who acknowledge his unmatched contributions. Every stride taken by a racehorse under his care keeps alive Patterson’s spirit—a source of inspiration for all those striving for excellence in the thrilling world of horse racing.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Racing legends’ exceptional talent and accomplishments are on full display
  2. Motivates upcoming jockeys, trainers, and horse lovers
  3. Shines a light on the fascinating past and customs of horse racing
  4. Offers entertainment to millions of fans across the globe
  5. Honors the special connection between humans and horses
  6. Encourages dedication, hard work, and good sportsmanship


  1. Horses and riders face a risk of getting hurt during races
  2. People worry about how well animals are taken care of in the racing industry
  3. Horses feel pressured to perform at high levels, which can cause health problems
  4. Some people exploit horses for money
  5. Gambling on horse racing can lead some individuals to become addicted and have financial troubles
  6. Some breeding practices used to create champion racehorses are criticized for ethical reasons

Major Racing Wins

Charles T. Patterson was a widely respected figure in the horse racing world, known for his incredible successes on the track. His skill and passion were evident as he led horses like Hamburg, Ornament, and Omar Khayyam to victory.

Patterson didn’t only win local races; he also triumphed in prestigious events such as the Double Event Stakes in 1896 and the Clark Handicap in 1897. These victories demonstrated his ability to train horses for various race distances, from short sprints to longer runs.

The highlight of Patterson’s career came when he won the Kentucky Derby in 1917 with Omar Khayyam. This achievement propelled him into an elite group of trainers and solidified his reputation as one of the best in the field.

Despite facing challenges along his journey, Patterson remained determined. He had a sharp eye for talent and a deep understanding of each horse under his care, enabling him to maximize their potential on race day.

Though Charles T. Patterson passed away early, his legacy lives on through his innovative training techniques and unforgettable wins. His influence on Thoroughbred racing continues today, inspiring future generations of trainers while captivating fans with stories like Hamburg’s lightning speed or Ornament’s thrilling finishes at races.

Notable Horses Trained

Charles T. Patterson’s amazing skills in training really stood out when he worked with Hamburg, Ornament, and Omar Khayyam. These horses weren’t just any ordinary animals; they were becoming legendary stars under Patterson’s careful guidance. The way he turned them into champions was truly remarkable.

Hamburg kept winning race after race all thanks to Patterson’s expert coaching. It seemed like every time Hamburg took a stride, it was because of the secrets of speed that Patterson had shared directly with him. Their teamwork was like a perfectly played song of talent and determination that everyone in the racing world could hear.

Ornament wowed spectators with her elegance and strength on the racetrack, earning titles such as American Horse of the Year and Champion Three-Year-Old Male Horse back in 1897. With Patterson teaching her every step of the way, she went from being a promising young horse to an unstoppable force—truly an extraordinary animal for her time.

Omar Khayyam wasn’t just another one of Patterson’s horses; he represented overcoming challenges against all odds. Through sheer determination and unwavering commitment, this incredible horse made his mark alongside his mentor Charles T. Patterson—a testament to their strong bond formed on dusty racetracks under the blazing sun.

The impact left by Charles T. Patterson continues to motivate trainers and fans across generations—the influence he had on Thoroughbred racing is deeply rooted within its history filled with champions both past and present.

Legendary Racehorse Trainer: Charles T. Patterson

Attribute Information
Name Charles T. Patterson
Occupation Racehorse Trainer / owner
Born February 4, 1869
Place of Birth Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died March 27, 1918
Age at Death 49 years
Major Racing Wins Double Event Stakes (part 1) (1896)
Double Event Stakes (part 2) (1896)
Flatbush Stakes (1896)
Clark Handicap (1897)
Fall Handicap (1897)
Latonia Derby (1897)
St. Louis Derby (1897)
Himyar Stakes (1897)
International Derby (1897)
Oakley Derby (1897)
Twin City Handicap (1897)
Brighton Handicap (1898)
Brooklyn Handicap (1898)
Laureate Stakes (1899)
Connaught Cup Stakes (1912)
Windsor Hotel Cup Handicap (1912)
Tarrytown Stakes (1915)
Lawrence Realization Stakes (1917)
American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1917)
Significant Horses Hamburg, Omar Khayyam, Ornament

Death and Legacy

When Charles T. Patterson died in 1918, the horse racing world lost a true master. His skill in training horses like Hamburg, Ornament, and Omar Khayyam set him apart as an expert in his field. Despite facing challenges, he always brought out the best in his horses and led them to victory many times.

One of Patterson’s biggest career highlights was winning the Kentucky Derby with Omar Khayyam. This victory showcased not only his training skills but also his deep understanding of each horse’s unique needs and potential. It solidified Patterson’s reputation as one of the most respected trainers at that time, earning admiration from fans and peers.

Even after Patterson passed away suddenly, his legacy lived on through the horses he trained and the impact he had on future trainers who followed him. His methods were shared through stories and teachings so that upcoming champions could benefit from his wisdom for years to come.

Charles Tillinghast Patterson made an indelible mark on Thoroughbred racing – a testament to his passion for these magnificent creatures and dedication to excellence in their care and training. Today, we still feel his influence in horse racing history where champions like Hamburg, Ornament, and Omar Khayyam serve as reminders of a man who truly knew how to bring greatness out of every stride on the track.


1. How did Charles T. Patterson become known as a maestro of training Thoroughbred champions?

Charles T. Patterson became known as a master in developing champion Thoroughbred horses due to his remarkable talent, hard work, and special gift for bringing out the best in horses such as Hamburg, Ornament, and Omar Khayyam. Even though he left us too soon, his legacy remains strong in the world of horse racing.

2. What notable horses did Charles T. Patterson train, and what were their achievements in the racing world?

Charles T. Patterson coached famous champions such as Hamburg, Ornament, and Omar Khayyam to incredible success in the world of horse racing. His skillful training left a lasting mark on Thoroughbred racing, establishing him as an exceptional trainer with unmatched influence.

3. How did Charles T. Patterson’s training methods differ from his contemporaries, leading to his success with horses like Hamburg, Ornament, and Omar Khayyam?

Charles T. Patterson stood out from his peers thanks to his unique and thorough training techniques, which showed a profound grasp of each horse’s specific requirements and capabilities. These methods not only distinguished him but also led to his impressive achievements with champions such as Hamburg, Ornament, and Omar Khayyam.

4. What impact did Charles T. Patterson have on the history of the Kentucky Derby and Thoroughbred racing as a whole?

Charles T. Patterson made a lasting impact on the history of the Kentucky Derby and Thoroughbred racing with his effective training techniques that led champions like Hamburg, Ornament, and Omar Khayyam to success. Despite his sudden death, he remains a respected figure in the sport for his remarkable legacy.

5. Despite his premature passing, how has Charles T. Patterson’s legacy continued to influence modern horse training techniques and the sport of horse racing?

Charles T. Patterson’s work still shapes how we train horses today and impacts the sport of horse racing. He was known for his skill in developing champion horses like Hamburg, Ornament, and Omar Khayyam. Even though he passed away too soon, his influence on the racing world remains strong.