By Mint Julep

Kentucky Derby Winner Ben Brush 1896

kentucky derby winner ben brush 1896

Step back in time to the 1896 Kentucky Derby and witness Ben Brush’s amazing victory. Bred by Runnymede Farm, this legendary racehorse made history at Churchill Downs with jockey Willie Simms and trainer Hardy Campbell Jr. guiding him to a record-setting win that secured his place in horse racing lore. Dive into the competitive world of horse racing, explore the prize money rewards, and discover the lasting impact left behind by this incredible champion on the racetrack.

Background and Early Life of Ben Brush

Ben Brush was a stunning bay colt with a bold spirit, destined for greatness the moment he stepped onto the racetrack. Bred by Runnymede Farm in Kentucky’s bluegrass country, his bloodline included champions and fast horses. But nobody expected this unassuming colt to make history.

In 1896 at Churchill Downs, Ben Brush raced down the homestretch like a powerful force of nature. Spectators held their breath as he crossed the finish line in an incredible time of 2:07.75, breaking records and astounding his competitors. His jockey skillfully guided him, urging every bit of strength from his muscles as they charged towards victory.

After Ben Brush’s win, excitement spread through the racing world like ripples on water after throwing a stone. Money poured into pockets faster than horses circled around the track; bettors celebrated or cursed their luck amidst clouds of dust kicked up by galloping hooves. Through all the chaos and thrill, one thing remained clear – Ben Brush had secured his spot among legends, forever remembered as an icon of speed and elegance on the turf.

Victory at the Kentucky Derby

Guided by jockey Willie Simms and trainer Hardy Campbell Jr., Ben Brush emerged victorious at the 1896 Kentucky Derby. This race was a sight to behold, as it marked the first time in history that the Derby covered a distance of 1+1/4 miles, putting both horses and riders to the test on that memorable day.

Ben Brush’s triumph wasn’t just about winning; it sent a powerful message to his rivals that he was a formidable contender. His victory reverberated throughout the racing world, cementing his status as one of the greatest Thoroughbreds of his era.

During Ben Brush’s time, competition among top contenders was fierce across racetracks. In this challenging arena, Ben Brush shone not only for his speed but also for his unwavering determination and spirit when facing tough opponents.

As Ben Brush raced towards victory at Churchill Downs, spectators held their breath with excitement. The electrifying atmosphere surrounding such raw athleticism and skill left an unforgettable impression on all lucky enough to witness this historic moment firsthand.

Ben Brush’s legacy lives on in horse racing history as a symbol of excellence and perseverance. His name stands proudly alongside other legendary champions, inspiring future generations of equine athletes striving to achieve similar greatness on tracks worldwide.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Motivates upcoming racers to pursue their passion

  2. Demonstrates the impressive athleticism of horses and jockeys

  3. Builds up excitement and anticipation in viewers

  4. Sheds light on the deep-rooted history and customs of horse racing

  5. Opens up chances for economic development in nearby areas


  1. Both horses and riders face a high risk of injuries

  2. The industry may continue to exploit animals

  3. The drive to win might push people to use unethical practices like doping

  4. Resource-intensive events can harm the environment

  5. High costs make it difficult for some groups to participate

Race Results and Competitors

The 1896 Kentucky Derby was a race to remember, especially with Ben Brush’s legendary victory. Spectators were on the edge of their seats as top contenders like Ben Eder and Semper Ego battled it out, but it was Ben Brush who charged across the finish line first, etching his name in horse racing history.

That year’s Derby attracted an impressive lineup of talented horses all competing for the coveted title. Ben Brush’s win wasn’t just about coming out on top; it represented grit, skill, and pure determination when faced with tough competitors.

As hooves thundered through Churchill Downs, each stride brought these incredible racers closer to glory. The intense competition tested both horse agility and jockey finesse to their limits. In this fast-paced environment where every moment mattered, Ben Brush showed remarkable composure under pressure.

With prize money up for grabs as a reward for excellence on the track, tensions soared among participants eager not only to win but also to secure financial rewards. The combination of success and monetary incentives added an extra layer of excitement to an already thrilling event – a true showcase of talent and strategy for everyone involved.

Ben Brush’s legacy from that historic victory echoed throughout horse racing history as a shining example of dedication and unwavering spirit amidst fierce competition. His triumph against adversity became synonymous with inspiration—a guiding light for future generations within the electrifying world of equestrian sports.

Payouts and Prize Money

Ben Brush won the 1896 Kentucky Derby and earned his owner, Mike F. Dwyer, a hefty $4,850 prize. This victory not only made Ben Brush famous in racing circles but also highlighted his talent on the track.

In the late 1800s, horse racing was fiercely competitive as skilled jockeys and top-tier horses raced across America for glory and cash prizes. The Kentucky Derby was already known as one of the country’s most prestigious races, drawing talented competitors from all over.

When Ben Brush emerged victorious at Churchill Downs in 1896, he not only cemented his own legacy but also left an enduring mark on horse racing history. His win showcased his skill, determination, and speed – inspiring equestrian fans worldwide for generations to come. His triumph resonated throughout the sport, reminding everyone that greatness has no limits when pursued with passion and dedication toward destiny.

Thrilling Finish: Ben Brush Takes the Lead!

Finished Post Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Time / behind
1st 7 Ben Brush Willie Simms Hardy Campbell Jr. Michael F. Dwyer 2:07.75
2nd 5 Ben Eder J. Tabor Hot Springs Stable Nose
3rd 1 Semper Ego A. Perkins L. B. Ringgold 8
4th 3 First Mate Charles A. Thorpe Augustus Eastin & Samuel E. Larabie 8
5th 8 The Dragon Monk Overton James E. Pepper
6th 6 Parson Tommy Britton Himyar Stable
7th 2 The Winner W. Walker William Wallace
8th 9 Ulysses Robert "Tiny" Williams Edward D. Brown

Historical Significance of Ben Brush’s Victory

In 1896, Ben Brush made a stunning win at the Kentucky Derby that not only secured his victory but also sent shockwaves through the racing world. With an impressive time of 2:07.75, he set a new track record at Churchill Downs that remained unbeaten for more than twenty years, proving his remarkable speed and endurance.

Facing tough competition from other skilled horses on race day, Ben Brush showed exceptional determination and poise as he surged ahead to claim the coveted title. His dominance on the racetrack left no doubt about his status as an elite racehorse with unmatched abilities.

Ben Brush’s triumph went beyond just winning one of horse racing’s most prestigious events; it marked a significant moment in racing history. His legacy endures as a powerful symbol of excellence and sportsmanship in the world of horse racing, inspiring fans and future champions for generations to come.

Legacy and Impact on Horse Racing

When Ben Brush won the 1896 Kentucky Derby, it wasn’t just a victory – it was a game-changer in horse racing. The $4,850 prize he took home might not seem like much today, but back then, it turned heads and got people talking. This win instantly made Ben Brush a legend in the sport.

But that’s not where his story ended – Ben Brush kept winning race after race after that unforgettable day at Churchill Downs. Each time he raced, he proved himself as one of the best horses around during his era. It wasn’t just about numbers or money; Ben Brush symbolized grit and composure under pressure for everyone who saw him perform.

Even long after retiring from racing, Ben Brush’s influence continued to be felt on racetracks all over the world. His impact crossed generations and changed how horses were trained, raced, and admired by fans everywhere. In many ways, Ben Brush set a standard that others could only dream of reaching – leaving behind more than just wins but also an enduring legacy woven into the very essence of horse racing history.

The Legendary Tales of Derby Champion Ben Brush

  1. ### The Epic Adventures of Derby Champion Ben Brush

  2. **Unstoppable Winning Streak**: Leading up to the 1896 Kentucky Derby, Ben Brush made waves with an impressive winning streak in races like the Clark Handicap and the Brighton Handicap.

  3. **Derby Dominance**: In a thrilling turn of events at the 1896 Kentucky Derby, Ben Brush showcased his exceptional talent by outperforming a tough field of competitors, including favorite Salvable, to clinch victory as the Derby champion.

  4. **Triple Crown Contender**: Following his triumph at the Kentucky Derby, Ben Brush took on challenges in both Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, cementing his position as a top contender for horse racing's prestigious Triple Crown title.

  5. **Rivalry with Hastings**: Engaging in riveting showdowns against fellow racehorse superstar Hastings kept audiences hooked as they witnessed displays of remarkable speed and unwavering determination on the track between these two champions.

  6. **Legacy of Greatness**: Through his outstanding accomplishments on the racetrack and enduring influence within horse racing circles, Ben Brush continues to inspire future generations of fans and competitors alike with his legendary status as one of history's greatest racehorses.

Breeding Lineage and Pedigree

Ben Brush came from a long line of champion horses bred at Runnymede Farm. His ancestors were famous for producing top-notch racehorses, and Ben Brush was no exception. He was considered one of the best thoroughbreds to ever set foot on tracks like Churchill Downs. The blood running through his veins carried stories of victory that echoed around racetracks, leaving a legacy that went beyond just winning races.

His family tree wasn’t just a list of names; it was like a beautiful painting made up of past champions and the potential for greatness seen in every gallop he took on the track. From his dad Bramble’s strong physique to his mom Roseville’s grace under pressure, Ben Brush inherited qualities that made him stand out as more than just another horse racing in competitions like the Kentucky Derby. Each step he took reflected the triumphs of his ancestors—a heritage rich in racing history and destined to be remembered forever.

In 1896 at the Kentucky Derby, Ben Brush didn’t just participate—he showcased how powerful good genes can be when combined with hard work and dedication in one exceptional horse. His win wasn’t only about money or fame; it cemented his status among legendary horses whose names have stood the test of time. When he crossed that finish line first, Ben Brush didn’t simply win a race—he etched his name into horse racing history books with an achievement that would be celebrated by future generations as something truly extraordinary.

Enduring Record Time Set by Ben Brush

In 1896, Ben Brush set a winning time at the Kentucky Derby that became a standard for future contenders looking to beat his impressive record over a 1+1/4 mile distance (10 furlongs). This record showcased his exceptional talent and competitive drive on race day.

Jockey Willie Simms played a key role in guiding Ben Brush to victory at Churchill Downs in 1896. With expert horsemanship skills and strategic race tactics, Simms demonstrated his mastery as he steered Ben Brush across the finish line ahead of tough competitors fighting for Derby supremacy.

Trainer Hardy Campbell Jr.’s careful preparation and training routine were crucial in molding Ben Brush into a strong contender capable of winning top races like the Kentucky Derby. Campbell’s expertise played an important part in maximizing Ben Brush’s potential as they aimed for triumph on racing’s biggest stage.


1. How did Ben Brush's victory at the 1896 Kentucky Derby impact the landscape of horse racing during that era?

Ben Brush made history by winning the 1896 Kentucky Derby. This victory highlighted his incredible talent and changed the world of horse racing forever, as it set a higher bar for future champions to aim for.

2. What were some of the key competitors that Ben Brush faced during his triumphant run at the Kentucky Derby in 1896?

In the 1896 Kentucky Derby, Ben Brush proved his talent and determination by defeating tough rivals like Ben Eder, Semper Ego, and Handspring. His victory showcased his exceptional skills on the racetrack for all to see.

3. Can you elaborate on the significance of Ben Brush's win in terms of prize money payouts and its impact on his legacy within the racing world?

In 1896, Ben Brush won the Kentucky Derby and earned a big $4,850 prize. This victory made him a legendary racehorse, setting high standards in horse racing history that are still remembered today.

4. How did Ben Brush's performance at the 1896 Kentucky Derby compare to other notable races he participated in throughout his career?

Ben Brush's amazing run at the 1896 Kentucky Derby really made a mark in his impressive career, showing everyone that he was a top racehorse with unmatched talent and drive on the track.

5. In what ways did Ben Brush's victory at the 1896 Kentucky Derby contribute to shaping the history and evolution of horse racing as a sport?

Ben Brush's win at the 1896 Kentucky Derby made him a legendary champion in horse racing history. His victory set a high standard of excellence and sportsmanship that still motivates horse racing fans and experts today, inspiring generations to come.

6. What distinguished Ben Brush as a standout competitor among his peers during the late 19th century, particularly in relation to his triumph at the prestigious Kentucky Derby?

Ben Brush stood out as a remarkable competitor in the late 1800s due to his incredible speed, endurance, and unwavering determination. His unforgettable win at the 1896 Kentucky Derby made him a legend in horse racing history.