By Mint Julep

Meridian 1911 Kentucky Derby Winner

meridian 1911 kentucky derby winner

Join us on an exciting journey back in time to explore the world of horse racing. We will dive into the thrilling story of Meridian, who won the famous 1911 Kentucky Derby. Learn about Meridian’s family background, training routine, and incredible victory that made history at Churchill Downs. Discover the fierce competition, standout rivals, and lasting impact that secured Meridian’s place as a celebrated champion in Thoroughbred racing.

Meridian’s Background and Early Life

Charles L. Harrison, a breeder from Kentucky, produced Meridian, the victorious horse in the 1911 Kentucky Derby. This bay colt came from a line of well-known bloodlines recognized for generating successful racehorses.

Richard F. Carman Sr. owned Meridian and noticed his exceptional potential as a young Thoroughbred with a promising future on the racetrack.

Meridian stood out among his competitors right from the start when he began racing at Churchill Downs due to his elegant stride and determined nature.

During an era marked by intense competition among esteemed racing stables, Meridian became a symbol of hope and promise, capturing the hearts of both spectators and bettors with his magnetic presence.

With each powerful hoofbeat reverberating through the stands, Meridian etched his name into history not only as a champion but also as a legend in progress at one of America’s most prestigious races.

Road to the Kentucky Derby Victory

Under the guidance of trainer Albert Ewing and with jockey George Archibald in the saddle, Meridian’s outstanding performance leading up to the 37th edition of the Kentucky Derby on May 13, 1911, mesmerized all those who witnessed his impressive speed and endurance. The duo’s smart training approach positioned them as strong contenders for the prestigious Grade I stakes race held at Churchill Downs.

The competition at Churchill Downs was fierce, with experienced rivals fighting for the sought-after title. Surrounded by excited spectators and thundering hooves resounding through the historic racetrack, Meridian shone brightly as a symbol of excellence. His elegance on the course and unyielding determination set him apart from his opponents, securing his spot in horse racing history.

As Meridian raced down that final stretch at Churchill Downs on that memorable day in May, he not only crossed the finish line first but also carved out a place for himself in racing legend. The victory wasn’t just a win; it stood as proof of dedication, talent, and unwavering spirit displayed by both horse and rider. Meridian’s legacy at Churchill Downs would forever be hailed as an example of courage under pressure and sheer brilliance on track—a story woven into Kentucky Derby folklore for future generations to enjoy.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Future racers look up to the racing legends for inspiration.

  2. They add thrill and status to horse racing, making it more exciting.

  3. Fans are drawn in by their captivating stories, evoking a sense of nostalgia.

  4. Racing legends achieve remarkable records and accomplishments.

  5. They play a crucial role in shaping the vibrant history and tradition of horse racing.


  1. Current racers often feel overwhelmed by the pressure to live up to a legend's reputation.

  2. Newer talents may find their recognition hindered by overshadowing legends.

  3. As time goes on, it becomes challenging to maintain the legacy of a legend.

  4. Retiring or passing away, legends can leave a void in the racing community.

  5. Controversies or scandals involving legends can tarnish their image and have an impact on the sport.

Historic Kentucky Derby Win

Meridian stole the show on race day, impressing everyone with a remarkable performance that left spectators and racing fans in awe. With an incredible time of 2:05.00, Meridian clinched victory at the 1911 Kentucky Derby thanks to jockey George Archibald’s expert skills.

Competing in the Kentucky Derby is no joke; it’s a fierce competition where only the best can come out on top. In 1911, Meridian faced tough rivals like Colonel Holloway and Ethelbert – horses known for their speed and endurance at Churchill Downs.

Meridian’s win wasn’t just about crossing the finish line first; it was about making history in horse racing. Every step he took towards glory that day solidified his place alongside legendary horses like Man o’ War and Secretariat – iconic figures who went beyond mere competition to become symbols of excellence.

Even now, you can still hear echoes of Meridian’s powerful hooves at Churchill Downs, reminding us all of the unbeatable spirit that defines champions. His legacy stands as proof of the hard work and passion shared by everyone involved in his journey to success – from trainers to grooms, owners to fans – each playing a crucial role in shaping his destiny during that unforgettable Derby day back in 1911.

Notable Competitors and Scratched Entries

Governor Gray, who was known for his incredible speed on the track, presented a tough challenge to Meridian’s goal of winning. Colston, recognized for his endurance and determination, brought an element of surprise to the race. Mud Sill, often called the dark horse because he was considered an underdog, sparked excitement among fans.

However, some entries like Jabot left fans disappointed when they were removed from the derby lineup. Ramazan’s absence was deeply felt by supporters who had high expectations for him at Churchill Downs. Captain Carmody pulling out caused chaos in the racing community as betters rushed to adjust their strategies without one of their top picks in contention.

The competitive scene at Churchill Downs was ignited by these impressive racers and unforeseen obstacles leading up to the Kentucky Derby. Each participant had its own unique story – tales of early morning training sessions on misty tracks; jockeys forming strong bonds with their horses through hard practice runs; trainers dedicating themselves completely to perfecting every movement. The scratches added another layer of intrigue to an already intense narrative unfolding amidst enthusiastic crowds eagerly anticipating history being made at America’s most prestigious horse racing event.

1911 Kentucky Derby Top Finishers Snapshot

Finished Post Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Time / behind
1st 5 Meridian George Archibald Albert Ewing Richard F. Carman Sr. 2:05.00
2nd 7 Governor Gray Roscoe Troxler James S. Everman R. N. Smith 3/4
3rd 1 Colston Jess Conley Raleigh Colston Raleigh Colston 15
4th 2 Mud Sill Ted Koerner William H. Fizer J. Hal Woodford & Buckner 2
5th 3 Jack Denman J. Wilson George Walker Francis J. Pons Head
6th 6 Round the World Matt McGee William G. Yanke William G. Yanke 1
7th 4 Col. Hogan J. McIntyre S. Miller Henderson Henderson & Hogan 15

Payouts and Purse Distribution

After Meridian’s incredible performance on the track, owner Richard F. Carman Sr. won a big prize of $4,850 for coming in first place at the 1911 Kentucky Derby.

The second-place finisher got $700 and third place received $300 from the total prize money given out to top racers in this important event.

These cash rewards didn’t just celebrate how well the horses did but also showed how high-stakes horse racing was at Churchill Downs back then.

It was an exciting moment when Meridian made history by winning and leaving its mark at one of America’s most famous racetracks with every gallop it took.

Legacy of Meridian at Churchill Downs

In 1911, Meridian set a new Derby record with his exceptional performance, leaving an unforgettable mark on the history of Churchill Downs. He became a celebrated champion for his outstanding victory in one of horse racing’s most well-known events. Meridian’s legacy is still honored today within racing circles for his incredible achievement during the 37th running of the Kentucky Derby.

Meridian’s triumph at Churchill Downs was not just about speed and agility but also highlighted the dedication and skill of everyone involved in his success. Trainers meticulously prepared him for the race while jockeys guided him through each stride, showing how every individual played a vital role in shaping Meridian into the formidable contender he proved to be on that historic day.

The significance of Meridian’s victory goes beyond mere statistics; it represents competition, perseverance, and excellence that define horse racing. His record-breaking feat serves as both inspiration and aspiration for future generations of racers aiming to make their mark alongside legends like Meridian in Churchill Downs’ storied past.

Legendary Tales of Meridian's Derby Triumph

  1. Exciting Stories of Meridian's Big Win at the Derby:

  2. In 1911, Meridian zoomed to victory at the Kentucky Derby with his lightning-fast speed and impressive endurance.

  3. The famous horse trainer Albert Simmons whipped Meridian into shape for the race, known for his knack in transforming underdog horses into champions.

  4. Making history at the 1911 Kentucky Derby, this was California's first-ever triumph in this prestigious event.

  5. By clinching a win at the Kentucky Derby, Meridian etched his name in racing lore and gained legendary status among fans and rivals alike.

  6. Despite fierce competition from other top racers, it was Meridian's grit and talent that carried him to an unforgettable victory in one of the most thrilling races ever seen at the Derby.


1. What made Meridian 1911 stand out from other competitors in the Kentucky Derby?

Meridian 1911 stood out from his rivals in the Kentucky Derby with his impressive speed, endurance, and relentless drive. These qualities made him a standout champion in horse racing history.

2. How did Meridian's victory in the Kentucky Derby impact his legacy in horse racing?

Meridian's win in the Kentucky Derby made him a true legend in horse racing, highlighting his amazing skills and securing his status as a champion at Churchill Downs.

3. Who were some of the notable competitors that Meridian faced in the Kentucky Derby?

Meridian took on some tough competition like Bagenbaggage, The Finn, and Grey Lag in the famous Kentucky Derby. He showed off his amazing skills and strong drive at the iconic Churchill Downs track.

4. What training regimen and preparation did Meridian undergo leading up to the Kentucky Derby?

To prepare for the Kentucky Derby, Meridian followed a strict training routine that involved daily exercise sessions, customized meal plans, and simulated races to optimize performance.

5. How did Meridian's jockey contribute to his success in the Kentucky Derby?

The jockey from Meridian skillfully guided their horse through the tough competition, demonstrating excellent skills and smart tactics that helped them win first place at the famous Kentucky Derby.

6. What historical significance does Meridian 1911 hold in the annals of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby?

Meridian 1911's win at the Kentucky Derby changed Churchill Downs forever, showing he was one of the best and leaving his mark on the race's rich history.