By Mint Julep

Kentucky Derby Winner 1903 Judge Himes

kentucky derby winner 1903 judge himes

In 1903, the Kentucky Derby was a thrilling event where Judge Himes, ridden by jockey Hal Booker and trained by John P. Mayberry, won in an exciting show of speed and determination. This victory at Churchill Downs solidified Judge Himes’ place among the legendary champions of American Thoroughbred racing history.

Kentucky Derby Winner 1903 Judge Himes

The 1903 Kentucky Derby was the 29th running of this famous horse race, held at Churchill Downs with a purse of $6,000. Horse racing fans gathered to watch top horses and jockeys compete for victory. Judge Himes won the race under Hal Booker’s skilled riding.

Judge Himes’ win made history in American Thoroughbred racing. With John P. Mayberry training him and Charles R. Ellison as his owner, Judge Himes raced towards success with determination.

As people reminisced about that exciting Derby day, Judge Himes became a symbol of excellence in equestrian sportsmanship. His victory wasn’t just a win but also left behind a legacy—a timeless tribute to grit and grace on the racetrack.

Looking back at each Kentucky Derby event shows how horse power and human skill combine to create an thrilling sporting spectacle unlike any other. Judge Himes’ triumph shines bright among these stories—a reminder that hard work and perseverance lead to greatness in equestrian history.

Let’s raise our imaginary hats to Judge Himes—his impressive performance forever remembered from those moments at Churchill Downs—and salute all who chase their dreams with unwavering determination like this legendary steed whose hooves thundered down victory lane on that unforgettable spring day in 1903!

Race Results and Performance

Judge Himes claimed victory at the 1903 Kentucky Derby with an impressive finishing time of 2:09.00, showcasing his exceptional skill and speed. Early, ridden by Jimmy Winkfield, secured second place while Bourbon, guided by Richard Crowhurst, finished third.

Johnson N. Camden Jr., a breeder from Kentucky, bred Judge Himes who emerged as the champion of the race.

The 1903 Kentucky Derby not only demonstrated Judge Himes’ talent but also highlighted the competitive field in American Thoroughbred racing during that period. With a strong lineup vying for success at Churchill Downs that day, it was Judge Himes who stood out with his remarkable performance and left a lasting mark on horse racing history through his stylish and graceful win.

The Pros & Cons of Derby Legends


  1. Discover the fascinating history

  2. Be inspired by incredible stories of overcoming challenges and never giving up

  3. Dive into exciting narratives about famous horses and skilled jockeys

  4. Experience a lasting impact that still mesmerizes crowds


  1. Modern-day fans have limited access

  2. Historical context prevents firsthand experiences

  3. Narratives may be romanticized or exaggerated

  4. Verifying the accuracy of historical accounts poses challenges

Prize Purse Distribution

After winning the Kentucky Derby in 1903, Judge Himes took home a big chunk of the prize money – $4,850 for his team. The second-place finisher got $700 and the third-place racer received $300. This shows how successful horse racing can bring in huge rewards at top events like the Derby. It’s not just about money but also about changing lives.

The way they split up the prize money proves that winning races like the Kentucky Derby can totally change things for both horses and people involved. Winning isn’t just important; it’s about getting respect, new chances, and making your mark on history. When Judge Himes won, it meant more than just being first across the finish line; it was a chance to make history within American Thoroughbred racing.

Back in 1903, when Judge Himes raced to victory at Churchill Downs during one of America’s most famous horse races, he didn’t only get some cash – he carved out a spot in sports history books forever. His win wasn’t all about money earned; it was about achieving greatness on an unforgettable spring day full of dreams coming true amid loud hooves and cheering fans. Whenever someone talks about Judge Himes’ historic win now is proof that what matters most in horse racing – as well as life itself – isn’t always who crosses first but how their story keeps going even after reaching that elusive finish line.

Historical Context and Legacy

In 1903, Judge Himes won the Kentucky Derby, a major victory for both the horse and his owner, Harry P. Whitney. This triumph catapulted Whitney into the spotlight of horse racing fame, cementing his reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the Thoroughbred world and paving the way for more successes in his career.

The intense competition at Churchill Downs that day showcased sportsmanship and camaraderie inherent in horse racing. Judge Himes’ stellar performance highlighted how this beloved sport is full of surprises where determination, skill, and grit come together to create thrilling moments on the racetrack.

As fans cheered enthusiastically from their seats, captivated by the thunderous hooves pounding towards glory in a neck-to-neck race, Judge Himes emerged victorious with elegance and composure. His graceful stride represented not just an instant win but also a lasting legacy etched into racing history—a testament to hard work,persistence,and unwavering drive for excellence.

Looking back at Judge Himes’ triumph at age 19-20 during their Sophomore Year stands as a timeless reminder of how unexpected events shape our stories across generations. Each hoofbeat echoing through time carries echoes of past champions who have made indelible marks on this iconic event—a continuous thread weaving tales of courage,determination,and passion within American Thoroughbred racing’s esteemed tradition.

The legacy stemming from Judge Himes’ victory goes beyond numbers or awards; it embodies a celebrationof heritage,bonding,and genuine admiration for exceptional horses that has endured over decades.It serves as a poignant reminder that amid all its glitzand charm,the very essenceof horse racing liesin these cherished momentswhen history is createdand legends are bornon tracks like ChurchillDowns—the heartof Americanracinghistory.

Thrilling Finishes: Unforgettable Moments on the Track

Finished Post Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Time / behind
1st Judge Himes Harold Booker John P. Mayberry Charles R. Ellison 2:09.00
2nd Early Jimmy Winkfield Patrick Dunne Myron H. Tichenor & Co. 3/4
3rd Bourbon Richard Crowhurst Thomas Clay McDowell Thomas Clay McDowell 6
4th Bad News Willie Davis French Brooks J. H. Woodford & Buckner 1/2
5th Woodlake George Helgeson Thomas Clay McDowell Thomas Clay McDowell 3
6th Treacy Frank Landry M. J. Powers T. H. Stevens 5

Impact on Stakeholders

Judge Himes’ victory in the Derby wasn’t just about winning awards. It meant a lot to the people who played major roles in his journey to success. Breeder Johnson N. Camden Jr., an experienced horse expert known for producing top-notch Thoroughbreds, felt proud that he had bred a champion like Judge Himes. Trainer John P. Mayberry’s smart strategies and careful training routine were crucial in getting the colt ready for the tough Kentucky Derby race, showing off his skills and commitment to excellence with horses.

Owner Charles R. Ellison believed strongly in Judge Himes as a talented racehorse, which led him to not only invest money but also emotions into helping the colt grow and succeed on the track. The teamwork among these passionate individuals formed a strong partnership that pushed Judge Himes towards his historic win at Churchill Downs, highlighting how working together is key to achieving greatness in horse racing.

The 1903 Kentucky Derby was a turning point not just for Judge Himes himself but also for those who had supported him from humble beginnings to becoming a celebrated champion on one of horse racing’s biggest stages. The happiness and pride shared by breeder, trainer, and owner spread throughout the racing world, showing how their combined efforts made this remarkable achievement possible.

Judge Hime’s legacy goes beyond numbers or prizes; it represents persistence, collaboration, and unwavering dedication towards their shared love for Thoroughbred racing among its devoted supporters. His win proves what can happen when people unite with one goal—to witness greatness unfold right before them under Churchill Down’s famous twin spires—a story deeply rooted in American horseracing history that continues inspiring fans worldwide across generations.

Enduring Significance

Judge Himes’ incredible victory at the 1903 Kentucky Derby isn’t just a moment frozen in time—it represents an enduring example of sporting excellence and horseback riding skill that continues to fascinate fans around the world, even years later. Inspirational figures like Judge Himes motivate future generations who dream of leaving their mark on the racetrack.

Judge Himes didn’t just win; he embodied determination, talent, and pure elegance that left a lasting impression on Thoroughbred history. His triumph wasn’t solely about crossing the finish line first but symbolized the result of hard work from trainers, jockeys, and owners who dedicated themselves to shaping this exceptional colt.

The impact of Judge Himes’ victory resonates through history as a reminder that greatness endures across generations and inspires all those who love horse racing. His success highlights why events like the Kentucky Derby are so captivating—where dreams come true amid thunderous hooves and cheering crowds—a show blending tradition, passion, and unbridled excitement crafted by legendary individuals such as him.

Enthralling Tales of the Historic Derby Champion

  1. Captivating Stories of the Legendary Derby Winner: Kentucky Derby Champion 1903 Judge Himes

  2. Tale: In the 1903 Kentucky Derby, Judge Himes defied expectations and emerged victorious, surprising everyone with his remarkable speed and determination. Despite being underestimated compared to other favored horses, Judge Himes made a lasting mark on racing history.

  3. Fact: Owned by William Gerst, a well-known brewery owner and horse enthusiast, Judge Himes became a sensation on the racetrack due to Gerst's passion for horse racing and breeding. This investment in Judge Himes brought Gerst fame and success in the world of horseracing.

  4. Legend: It is said that there was a special bond between Judge Himes and his jockey Hal Booker during their victory at the Kentucky Derby inSome believe that Booker and Judge Himes communicated effortlessly due to an unspoken connection they shared.

  5. Fact: The unexpected win of Judge Himes at the 1903 Kentucky Derby transformed his racing career dramatically, propelling him into stardom within the horse racing community as fans were captivated by this historic triumph which solidified his legacy as a champion.

  6. Mythical Trait: Rumors suggest that during races, Judge Himes had an extraordinary knack for sensing the energy of spectators in the crowd using their cheers as motivation to drive himself towards victory at every finish line – endearing him to race enthusiasts while making him a beloved figure within the sport's community.

Cultural Reception and Media Coverage

The 1903 Kentucky Derby was abuzz with excitement when Judge Himes emerged victorious, winning the hearts of racing fans nationwide. The media frenzy surrounding his historic triumph spread like a wildfire, igniting passion and curiosity among avid followers of the sport.

As word of Judge Himes’ win rippled through the horse racing world, journalists rushed to capture every thrilling moment for their eager readers. Their vivid descriptions transported audiences straight to Churchill Downs, where they could almost feel the dust flying from thundering hooves and sense the electric atmosphere pulsating through the crowd.

Back in those days before live TV or social media updates were around, newspapers played a crucial role in keeping fans connected to their favorite sport. Headlines blared with excitement over Judge Himes’ unexpected victory, ensuring that his name would be remembered for years to come.

Judge Himes’ win wasn’t just about sporting success; it became a beacon of hope and resilience in an ever-evolving world. His story struck a chord with audiences seeking inspiration amid life’s challenges, reminding us all that even dark horses can surge into glory when given a chance.


1. How did Judge Himes' victory at the 1903 Kentucky Derby contribute to the history and legacy of American Thoroughbred racing?

Judge Himes' win at the 1903 Kentucky Derby firmly secured his spot in American Thoroughbred racing history, highlighting the lasting impact of his victory and how it shaped the sport's story.

2. What were some of the key factors that led to Judge Himes' success in the 1903 Kentucky Derby?

Judge Himes won the 1903 Kentucky Derby because he came from a great family of racehorses, had a talented jockey, trained hard, and made all the right moves on race day.

3. How did Judge Himes' triumph impact the perception of his jockey, trainer, and owner within the horse racing community?

Judge Himes' win at the 1903 Kentucky Derby made his jockey, trainer, and owner more popular in the horse racing world. This victory boosted their reputations as talented and respected individuals in the sport.

4. In what ways did Judge Himes' win at the 1903 Kentucky Derby influence future generations of Thoroughbred horses and their connections?

Judge Himes' win at the 1903 Kentucky Derby firmly established his legacy in horse racing. This victory motivated upcoming generations of Thoroughbred horses and their owners to aim for greatness and make a mark in the history of the sport.

5. What distinguished Judge Himes from other notable winners of the Kentucky Derby during that era, and how does his victory stand out in the annals of racing history?

In 1903, Judge Himes won the Kentucky Derby as an underdog horse, demonstrating resilience and determination. This victory left a lasting mark on racing history, showcasing the unpredictable and captivating nature of the sport.

6. How has Judge Himes' name and story been preserved and celebrated within the broader context of American horse racing folklore?

Judge Himes has left a lasting mark on American horse racing history, showcasing the power of unexpected triumphs and the thrilling excitement that characterizes the Kentucky Derby.