By Mint Julep

Old Rosebud Before and Beyond the Kentucky Derby

kentucky derby winner old rosebud 1914

Join us on an exciting journey through the incredible life of Old Rosebud. We will explore his early days as a Kentucky-bred Thoroughbred and follow his rapid ascent in the world of horse racing. Witness firsthand the strength and victories that marked his career, leading up to a historic win at the prestigious Kentucky Derby. Delve into the lasting impact left by this legendary racehorse, whose influence spans generations and continues to captivate fans of American Thoroughbred racing.

Early Life and Family Background

Old Rosebud was born in 1911 on a beautiful day in Kentucky, under the care of breeder John E. Madden. His journey started with simple beginnings but took an unexpected turn when he was gelded shortly after birth. However, this did not dampen his spirit or potential as a racehorse.

Trainer Frank D. Weir played a crucial role in shaping Old Rosebud’s future by recognizing the young colt’s promise and making the bold decision to purchase him for just $500. With majority ownership held by Hamilton C. Applegate, treasurer of Churchill Downs, Old Rosebud found himself surrounded by individuals who believed in his talent.

The combination of Madden’s breeding expertise, Weir’s training skills, and Applegate’s financial support paved the way for Old Rosebud to emerge as a remarkable racing phenomenon. Despite facing early setbacks and challenges, this exceptional horse soon showcased his resilience and determination ingrained deep within him.

As word spread about a chestnut Thoroughbred making waves on the racetrack, no one could have foreseen how impactful Old Rosebud would become in the world of horse racing — an impact that continues to resonate through time with each thundering hoofbeat telling tales of triumph against all odds.

Two-year-old Racing Career

In 1913, a horse named Old Rosebud became the unofficial American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt by galloping into the spotlight. His hooves moved gracefully over the tracks, winning prestigious races like the Flash Stakes and United States Hotel Stakes. Spectators were mesmerized as he broke records with each stride, leaving a trail of awe in his wake.

Despite his success on the turf, fate dealt Old Rosebud a tough blow when an injury forced him to pause his racing journey temporarily. It was a challenging time for both the spirited colt and his fans who eagerly awaited his return to grace their beloved sport once more. The setback only fueled Old Rosebud’s determination to overcome adversity and reclaim his place among racing royalty.

During this break from racing, doubts circulated about whether Old Rosebud could come back stronger than before. But those who knew him best understood that beneath that sleek coat beat the heart of a champion—a resolve that would not easily give up against obstacles or setbacks. True greatness isn’t about avoiding challenges but rising above them; such was destined for Old Rosebud.

As time passed slowly during Old Rosebud’s recovery phase, excitement grew among fans eager to see their equine hero make a triumphant return at racetracks across America. The stage was set for an epic comeback story—one filled with resilience, courage, and unwavering determination—the kind of narrative that inspires generations and becomes part of horse racing history forevermore.

The Pros & Cons of Vintage Horse Racing


  1. Explore the fascinating history and rich traditions

  2. Capture the nostalgic charm for fans

  3. Embrace vintage fashion trends and styles

  4. Discover ancient horseracing techniques firsthand

  5. Dive into the world of legendary horses such as Old Rosebud


  1. Modern safety standards are lacking

  2. Participants lack diversity

  3. People may controversy over how horses were historically treated

  4. Betting systems are outdated

  5. Contemporary audiences face accessibility issues

Kentucky Derby Victory

In 1914, Old Rosebud won the Kentucky Derby in an electrifying fashion that left everyone amazed. He raced past his competitors and finished a remarkable eight lengths ahead. The crowd erupted in cheers, celebrating his record-breaking victory that would become legendary. With incredible speed and unwavering determination, Old Rosebud showed off his undeniable talent and resilience on one of the biggest stages in American horse racing.

His triumph at Churchill Downs was not only a significant moment for him but also solidified his status as one of the most celebrated racehorses of his time. Fans were impressed by his amazing performance and saw him as an exceptional athlete with unbeatable spirit. His legacy from that day went beyond just winning a race; it became a symbol of perseverance and excellence that inspired generations to come.

After winning the Kentucky Derby, Old Rosebud captured the hearts of racing fans across the nation with his charm and tenacity on the track. People everywhere admired him for being associated with success and glory, following along closely with his journey to greatness. As he enjoyed basking in victory’s glow, Old Rosebud made a lasting impact on horse racing history – far more than mere accolades or titles could convey.

The echoes of Old Rosebud’s resounding win spread throughout racetracks worldwide as proof of both unparalleled skill and enduring legacy. His performance at the 1914 Kentucky Derby is remembered as a defining moment when courage met speed – showcasing what true champions are all about. Even today, fans continue to look back fondly on this historic day filled with gratitude for witnessing such magnificence firsthand.

Later Career Success

Old Rosebud’s later years in the racing world showcased his unyielding spirit and resilience. Despite facing injuries that sidelined him for long stretches, such as a bowed tendon in 1914, he defied the odds and staged an impressive comeback. His determination was evident as he not only returned to racing but also secured wins in prestigious races like the Queens County Handicap and Carter Handicap.

These victories were more than just numbers on a page; they represented Old Rosebud’s unbeatable willpower and deep passion for racing. Every race he won after recovering from injury was a bold statement of his refusal to be defined by setbacks. Fans were amazed by his ability to overcome challenges with dignity and strength, embodying what it truly means to be a champion both on and off the track.

As Old Rosebud raced towards victory, spectators didn’t just witness a horse winning competitions – they saw an example of perseverance personified in equine form. His success in later years served as inspiration not only for young jockeys but also for anyone grappling with life’s obstacles. The legacy he left behind through sheer determination continues to resonate throughout horse racing history, reminding us all that with enough courage and drive, even the toughest hurdles can be conquered.

Old Rosebud: Racing Legend Extraordinaire

Attribute Information
Name Old Rosebud
Sire Uncle
Grandsire Star Shoot
Dam Ivory Bells
Damsire Himyar
Sex Gelding
Foaled 1911
Country United States
Colour Bay
Breeder John E. Madden
Owner Frank D. Weir & Hamilton Applegate
Trainer Frank D. Weir
Record 80:40-13-8
Earnings $74,729
Major wins Flash Stakes (1913), Harold Stakes (1913), United States Hotel Stakes (1913), Clark Handicap (1917), Queens County Handicap (1917), Delaware Handicap (1917), Carter Handicap (1917), Red Cross Handicap (1917), Kentucky Derby (1914)
Awards Unofficial American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt (1913), Unofficial U.S. Champion Handicap Horse (1917)
Honours United States Racing Hall of Fame (1968), #88 – Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century

Hall of Fame Induction

In 1968, Old Rosebud was proudly inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame. This special moment marked a huge occasion that firmly established his status as a true legend in the horse racing world. The honor he received wasn’t just about recognizing his speed and agility on the track; it also celebrated his unbeatable spirit and unwavering determination to succeed against all odds.

Every time Old Rosebud raced, he captured the hearts of spectators and left them in awe with his amazing grace and strength. His memorable wins made waves throughout horse racing history, leaving an unforgettable impression on fans worldwide. Starting from humble beginnings and reaching immortal fame, Old Rosebud’s journey perfectly showcases how perseverance and resilience can conquer any challenge thrown your way.

As he charged towards victory at racetracks all over America, Old Rosebud embodied what sportsmanship and excellence truly mean – setting high standards for future generations to reach for. His legacy shines brightly as a symbol of hope for dreamers everywhere, reminding us that greatness isn’t just about winning or losing but about facing challenges head-on with bravery and belief.

The sound of Old Rosebud’s powerful hooves still echoes within our hearts today, carrying a timeless message of courage and valor. By honoring this magnificent horse with a place among legends inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame, we pay tribute not only to his incredible accomplishments but also to the enduring spirit that defines real champions – both on the racecourse and beyond.

Pedigree Analysis

Old Rosebud’s family tree can be traced back to Eclipse through the influential sire Uncle, showcasing his strong breeding background in Thoroughbred racing history. His connection to well-known ancestors highlighted his genetic strength on the racetrack. With such prestigious bloodlines running in his veins, Old Rosebud carried a legacy that made him stand out from many of his rivals.

His incredible journey in horse racing was not just about genetics but also about determination and resilience. Despite facing numerous challenges during his career, Old Rosebud always found ways to overcome them and come out on top. It was this unwavering spirit that won over fans’ hearts and cemented his status as a true legend in the sport.

Although Old Rosebud has retired from the track for some time now, his lasting legacy continues to inspire generations of horse racing enthusiasts. His name symbolizes greatness, reminding us all that with hard work, dedication, and a hint of grace, anything is achievable in the world of horse racing. Here’s to Old Rosebud – may his spirit keep galloping on eternally in our memories!

Enchanting Tales of Old Rosebud's Racing Legacy

  1. ## Exciting Stories of Old Rosebud's Racing Achievements

  2. **Unbeatable Winning Streak:** Back in 1914, Old Rosebud made headlines with an incredible winning streak when he triumphed in all 11 races leading up to the Kentucky Derby.

  3. **Triumphant Victory at the Kentucky Derby:** The year 1914 saw Old Rosebud clinching victory at the prestigious Kentucky Derby in a jaw-dropping manner, shattering a track record that stood unbroken for more than two decades.

  4. **Mysterious Setback:** Rumor has it that on the eve of the 1915 Kentucky Derby, Old Rosebud suffered a mysterious injury that led to his unexpected defeat and triggered various speculations about foul play.

  5. **Intense Rivalry with Regret:** Engaging in thrilling matchups against his rival racehorse Regret, Old Rosebud forged a fierce rivalry that enthralled fans and added excitement to their competitions.

  6. **Enduring Legacy Off the Racetrack:** Post-retirement from racing, Old Rosebud continued to captivate audiences through appearances at events while leaving behind a lasting legacy as one of history's greatest racehorses.

Injury Challenges and Resilience

Old Rosebud faced many injuries during his impressive career, but he never let them dampen his competitive drive. Despite facing challenges that would have discouraged other horses, he consistently showed incredible resilience. From tendon issues to foot problems, Old Rosebud encountered various physical obstacles that could have ended the career of a weaker horse.

One standout incident was when Old Rosebud suffered a severe leg injury while training. Instead of giving up or feeling hopeless, he pushed through extensive rehabilitation with unwavering determination. After months of rest and careful attention from his trainers, he returned to the racetrack even stronger than before.

His comeback was extraordinary – not only did Old Rosebud return to racing after such a serious injury but also went on to win major races against tough competitors. It wasn’t just about winning for him; it was about overcoming challenges and proving that true champions rise above adversity no matter how tough it gets.

Old Rosebud’s story of resilience in the face of overwhelming odds is inspiring not only in horse racing but in life as well. His ability to bounce back from setbacks teaches us important lessons about perseverance and grit, reminding us always to keep our goals in sight even when things seem bleak. Whether you’re dealing with your own hurdles or seeking motivation, look no further than this remarkable racehorse for guidance on facing obstacles with grace and strength.

Each stride he took after conquering every setback served as an inspiration for all who witnessed his triumphant journey through struggles and hardships. Old Rosebud’s legacy goes beyond victories on the track; it lies in his unbreakable spirit that continues to motivate generations long after crossing finish lines with sheer determination shining brightly in his eyes.

Impact on Horse Racing History

Old Rosebud left a lasting mark on horse racing history, earning himself a spot among the greatest in the sport. His powerful gallop and fiery spirit made him a standout performer that drew attention from fans all over the world. From winning the Kentucky Derby in 1914 to triumphs that solidified his reputation as an exceptional racehorse, Old Rosebud redefined what it took to be a champion.

His relentless drive for success and unwavering determination inspired many young jockeys, trainers, and horse lovers. The way he faced challenges head-on mirrored the resilience needed to excel in such a demanding sport like horse racing. Every step he took wasn’t just about covering ground but was fueled by an unyielding spirit that pushed him towards victory time after time.

As spectators cheered enthusiastically from grandstands or watched intently from afar, Old Rosebud etched his name into history with unmatched grace and enthusiasm. His impact went beyond wins and losses; it embodied raw talent shaped by hard work, perseverance, and an unquenchable thirst for success. Each hoofbeat told a story of overcoming obstacles—a testament to Old Rosebud’s enduring legacy that still inspires respect within the esteemed ranks of horse racing lore today.

Enduring Legacy

Old Rosebud’s impact still echoes throughout American Thoroughbred racing history, even though he tragically passed away at Jamaica Racetrack. During his impressive career, he won prestigious races like the Kentucky Derby and set new speed records that remained unbeaten for years, establishing himself as a legendary figure in the sport.

Many experienced horse racing enthusiasts and newcomers alike continue to share stories of his determination on the racetrack and unwavering resolve to push forward despite challenges. Old Rosebud’s name brings to mind memories of exceptional performance under pressure, representing resilience in the face of adversity that resonates through generations.

Although his time was cut short, Old Rosebud remains cherished as a symbol of overcoming obstacles—a shining example of leaving a lasting impact on history. His enduring legacy serves as inspiration for aspiring jockeys and Thoroughbreds, encouraging them to pursue their dreams with passion and perseverance while facing any obstacles head-on.


1. What made Old Rosebud stand out among other racehorses of his time?

Old Rosebud stood out as a true legend among racehorses in his time due to his incredible speed, toughness, and impressive ability to conquer challenges.

2. How did Old Rosebud's victory in the Kentucky Derby impact his legacy in the world of horse racing?

Old Rosebud's incredible win at the Kentucky Derby confirmed his status as a racing superstar, displaying his outstanding skills and determination on the racetrack for years to come.

3. What challenges did Old Rosebud face during his career, and how did he overcome them?

Old Rosebud encountered injuries, setbacks, and strong competition during his career. However, he persevered with determination and exceptional speed to conquer these obstacles and establish himself as a renowned racehorse.

4. Can you describe some of the key races that defined Old Rosebud's illustrious career?

Old Rosebud had an incredible career highlighted by his impressive win in the 1914 Kentucky Derby, where he broke a record that remained unbeaten for more than twenty years. His outstanding victory in the 1917 Brooklyn Handicap further established him as one of the top racehorses of his era.

5. How has Old Rosebud's legacy continued to influence modern-day horse racing?

Old Rosebud continues to inspire horse racing fans of all ages with his incredible story of overcoming challenges, achieving victory, and never giving up. His legacy stands as a timeless symbol of hard work and excellence in the sport that motivates generations to follow their dreams.

6. What qualities of Old Rosebud do you believe contributed most to his enduring success on the racetrack?

Old Rosebud's incredible speed, strong determination, and unwavering spirit were the qualities that drove him to achieve lasting success on the racetrack, establishing his reputation as a true champion in the horse racing world.