By Mint Julep

Roscoe Goose Jockey: One Kentucky Derby Win

1913 kentucky derby winner donerail

Embark on an exciting journey following the incredible life of Roscoe Goose. He started out in Louisville, Kentucky and went on to become a famous jockey and influential figure in Thoroughbred racing. Discover his amazing win at the 1913 Kentucky Derby riding Donerail, beating the odds at 91:1 and earning him the nickname “The Golden Goose.” See how Goose continued to make an impact as a trainer, owner, and advisor in horse racing, leaving behind a lasting legacy that shaped the sport he loved so much.

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Roscoe Tarleton Goose was born on January 21, 1891, in Louisville, Kentucky. He had a natural talent and love for horse racing from a young age. Growing up near Churchill Downs, he spent hours watching experienced jockeys and learning everything he could about the sport. Immersed in the world of Thoroughbred racing since childhood, Roscoe quickly understood horses’ abilities on the track.

Driven by passion and determination, Roscoe pursued his dream of becoming a jockey with zeal. His exceptional skills in guiding horses to victory with finesse and precision earned him recognition as one of the most promising talents in racing circles. Through hard work and dedication, he achieved numerous triumphs on prestigious tracks across the country.

As Roscoe’s reputation grew within the racing community, he smoothly transitioned into training and eventually owning racehorses himself. Known for his ability to spot potential champions early on and nurture them towards greatness set him apart as a multifaceted figure in Thoroughbred racing history. Each success story attributed to his expertise both on and off the saddle solidified Roscoe Goose’s legacy as an icon of excellence in sports.

After decades dedicated to honing his craft through mentorship roles later in life; Roscoe Goose influenced future generations positively through actions that resonate deeply within every hoofbeat echoing down those hallowed tracks where dreams are made real by sheer willpower combined with boundless love for these majestic creatures who carry us towards glory atop their backs like modern-day Pegasus flying towards Mount Olympus!

Kentucky Derby Victory

In the 1913 Kentucky Derby, Roscoe Goose achieved a remarkable victory riding Donerail that is still celebrated in horse racing history. The surprising win at incredible odds of 91:1 shocked spectators and marked a pivotal moment in his successful career as a jockey. Known for his skill and determination on the racetrack, Goose’s triumph with Donerail was like capturing lightning in a bottle – an unforgettable accomplishment that continues to resonate through time.

The thrilling atmosphere at Churchill Downs on that memorable day captured the excitement and grit synonymous with horse racing. As Roscoe Goose guided Donerail to an unlikely victory, he challenged conventional wisdom and demonstrated how underdog stories can unfold against all expectations. This extraordinary feat elevated him to legendary status among both peers and fans, earning recognition as one of the sport’s most esteemed figures.

Looking back, Roscoe Goose’s win aboard Donerail stands as proof of unwavering resolve and self-belief despite facing significant obstacles. His partnership with the spirited colt showcased the synergy between man and animal, resulting in a resounding triumph that surpassed mere statistics or betting predictions. The Kentucky Derby success not only propelled Goose into stardom but also cemented his name alongside other revered figures who defied norms and left their mark on prestigious tracks.

Beyond its financial implications for savvy bettors who supported this improbable pair, Roscoe Goose’s conquest symbolizes resilience amidst challenges – a narrative deeply ingrained in horse racing lore where dreams are realized against formidable odds. The reverberations of Donerail thundering across Churchill Downs under Goose’s expert guidance serve as an enduring reminder that dedication paired with perseverance can lead to exceptional outcomes beyond imagination.

As we revisit Roscoe Goose’s historic Kentucky Derby triumph years later, it serves as both inspiration and cautionary tale within the realm of equestrian excellence. The Golden Age invites us to embrace uncertainty while trusting our instincts akin to Goode when he steered Donerail towards immortality on that spring afternoon many years ago – proving once more that legends don’t just happen; they charge boldly onto center stage when least expected.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Racing legends inspire and motivate those who dream of becoming racers.

  2. Fans are entertained and thrilled by the excitement the sport brings.

  3. Racing legends demonstrate their skill and dedication, showcasing their talent.

  4. The history and legacy of the sport are carefully preserved for future generations to admire.

  5. Opportunities for sponsorship and partnerships abound in the racing world.


  1. Racing poses the risk of injuries or accidents

  2. Feeling pressure to uphold a winning streak can be stressful

  3. Intense competition might cause conflicts among racers or teams

  4. Training, equipment, and race participation come with high costs

  5. The physical demands of racing could impact the racer's health

Transition to Training

Roscoe Goose smoothly transitioned into training, showcasing his versatility and deep understanding of the horse world. His time as a jockey gave him valuable insights that he seamlessly applied to his training career. By becoming the top trainer at Arlington Park in 1928, Goose solidified his reputation as a powerful force in the racing industry. This change not only highlighted his adaptability but also emphasized his enduring passion for nurturing and developing horse talent.

After retiring from professional jockeying, Roscoe Goose enjoyed a string of successes as a trainer. His ability to connect with horses on a profound level shone through in every victory on the racetrack. The pinnacle came in 1940 when he guided a horse to triumph in the prestigious Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes, further establishing himself as one of the leading trainers of his time. Goose’s keen eye for detail and unwavering dedication set him apart as an expert craftsman in Thoroughbred training.

As Roscoe Goose navigated this new chapter in his illustrious career, spectators marveled at how effortlessly he shifted from riding horses to guiding them towards success behind-the-scenes. His natural understanding of equine behavior and ability to maximize their potential made him a sought-after mentor among aspiring trainers seeking wisdom from such an esteemed figure like himself. With each race won and every milestone achieved, Goose’s legacy continued to grow, leaving an indelible mark on generations of horse racing enthusiasts who admired him not only for what he accomplished on tracks but also for how generously he shared knowledge within the close-knit community.

Contributions to Horse Racing Industry

Roscoe Goose had a huge impact on the horse racing world, going beyond just being a successful jockey and trainer. Many people in the horse trading business looked up to him for his advice and expertise when it came to picking out top-quality Thoroughbreds. Roscoe’s experience helped others choose great horses, showing off not only his knowledge of racing but also his sharp eye for spotting talented horses.

During his three years leading the Kentucky Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Roscoe Goose made big waves. As president of this important organization, he guided it with skill and wisdom, making lasting changes that boosted growth in the breeding community. His leadership was all about striving for excellence and preserving Kentucky’s famous Thoroughbred industry legacy.

In addition to winning awards at racetracks around the world, Roscoe Goose stood out as a smart businessman in the equestrian world too. He made strategic investments and smart decisions that brought him wealth while also opening doors for future generations in horse racing. By combining athletic talent with financial smarts, he became a pioneer who went beyond just being an athlete.

Overall, Roscoe Goose was an example of success from many angles in horseracing—a real standout—offering valuable guidance on acquisitions and taking on key roles within respected organizations like the Kentucky Thoroughbred Breeders Association. His legacy lives on through more than just breaking records or winning races; it continues to shape an industry he cared deeply about.

Roscoe Goose: Legendary Jockey and Horse Trainer

Attribute Data
Name Roscoe Goose
Occupation Jockey, Horse trainer
Born January 21, 1891
Place of Birth Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Died June 11, 1971
Age 80 years old
Resting Place Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Career Wins Not found
Major Racing Wins Clark Handicap (1913), Debutante Stakes (1913), Bashford Manor Stakes (1915), Cherokee Handicap (1915, 1916), Louisville Cup (1915), Kentucky Oaks (1916), Kentucky Derby (1913)
Significant Horses Donerail
Honours Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame (1963)

Recognition and Legacy

Roscoe Goose made a lasting impact on the world of horse racing that goes beyond just winning races. His name is revered in the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, where he was honored in 1963. Among other top athletes, Goose earned his place as one of the legendary figures in sports history. The prestigious award recognized not only his exceptional talent as a jockey and trainer but also his unwavering commitment to the Thoroughbred community.

His legacy remains alive in Louisville through a magnificent bronze plaque proudly displayed at the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center’s Freedom Hall. This enduring tribute serves as evidence of Roscoe Goose’s unmatched contributions to horse racing, a sport he graced with skill and passion. Every person who sees this commemoration is reminded of Goose’s groundbreaking spirit that still motivates equestrian enthusiasts around the globe today.

Each letter engraved on that bronze plaque tells a story—a tale woven from victories on racetracks near and far, from Churchill Downs to distant places where hooves thundered along with destiny. Roscoe Goose’s name stands tall among champions old and new, serving as an eternal reminder that true greatness extends beyond fleeting moments of success. His legacy encourages us all to pursue our passions wholeheartedly and chase after our dreams with determination just like he did throughout his illustrious career in equine excellence.

Friendship with Jimmy Winkfield

In Ed Hotaling’s book, there are stories that show how Roscoe Goose was kind and caring. There is one story where he stood by Jimmy Winkfield, an African-American jockey, during a time when horse racing was segregated. This act of kindness showed how Goose went beyond just competing and touched the hearts of those around him.

Their friendship grew despite facing tough times together. Goose showed warmth and friendship to Winkfield when such gestures were not common because of the discrimination happening in society. Their bond did not care about what society thought and instead became a sign of hope for including everyone in an industry divided by race.

When people struggled to come together, Roscoe Goose stood out as someone who cared deeply for others, making connections that some avoided. His friendship with Jimmy Winkfield reminds us that true greatness is not only about winning races but also about building relationships outside of sports that last a lifetime.

The Legend of Roscoe Goose Jockey: Derby Delight

  1. The Tale of Roscoe Goose: Derby Delight

  2. In 1913, the famous jockey Roscoe Goose pulled off an incredible upset by riding Donerail to victory in the Kentucky Derby. The odds were a staggering 91-1, making it the biggest long shot ever to win this prestigious race.

  3. Despite this amazing underdog triumph, Roscoe Goose's time as a jockey was brief, with his crowning achievement being that unforgettable Kentucky Derby win.

  4. Stories say that Roscoe had a special bond with horses; he would quietly encourage them before races, earning him the nickname "The Horse Whisperer" among his fellow riders.

  5. After his historic victory at the Kentucky Derby, Roscoe retreated from public view and chose a quiet life on his farm in Kentucky where he enjoyed spending time with horses away from all the attention.

  6. Even now, Roscoe Goose's surprising success at the Kentucky Derby reminds us that anything can happen in horse racing – showing how true legends can rise up from even the most unlikely situations imaginable.

Family Tragedy and Personal Loss

Roscoe Goose faced a tough challenge when he dealt with the tragic loss of his younger brother, Carl Goose. The heartbreaking incident took place at Latonia Race Track on October 15, 1915, overshadowing Roscoe’s successful career in horse racing. Despite the excitement and noise of the racetrack, personal grief consumed Roscoe as he mourned his sibling’s sudden passing.

The brothers’ bond was not just based on blood but also their shared love for riding magnificent Thoroughbreds to victory. Carl Goose had made a lasting impact on the racing scene by winning the prestigious 1913 Kentucky Oaks—a remarkable achievement that showcased his exceptional talent and determination on the tracks. In coping with such deep sadness, Roscoe found comfort in reminiscing about their shared triumphs and cherished moments training together side by side.

As word spread through the close-knit community of jockeys and trainers about Carl’s tragic accident, Roscoe stood strong amidst overwhelming sorrow. The weight of loss pressed down on him but also fueled a fierce resolve to honor his brother’s legacy in every race he competed in thereafter. With each thundering hoofbeat resonating both loss and resilience, Roscoe Goose moved forward not only pursuing his own dreams but also those intertwined with memories of Carl—a poignant reminder that even amid tragedy, champions rise up to face destiny boldly.

Historic Home and Final Resting Place

The passing of Roscoe Goose in 1971 marked the end of an era for horse racing fans around the world. His legacy lives on not just through his incredible accomplishments, but also through his historic home, now a respected site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The importance of his resting place at Cave Hill Cemetery cannot be underestimated; it stands as a powerful reminder of his lasting influence on the sport and its community.

The walls of Roscoe Goose’s former house resonate with stories of triumphs and challenges from this legendary figure’s illustrious career. From wins at top racetracks to moments spent nurturing future champions, every corner holds a piece of history waiting to be explored by devoted fans and curious visitors alike. Strolling through these sacred halls evokes whispers of past glories lingering in the air, honoring Goose’s unwavering commitment to all things related to horses.

Cave Hill Cemetery is more than just where Roscoe Goose rests; it serves as a sanctuary where memories blend with admiration for those who have shaped Thoroughbred racing worldwide. Amongst tall trees and beautifully carved headstones lies Goose in eternal peace alongside other influential figures who have made their mark on this timeless sport. Here lies a man whose dedication knew no bounds—a pioneer whose spirit races forever in the hearts of those who treasure each step taken towards greatness.

Literary Representation

Roscoe Goose’s legacy goes beyond just horseracing folklore; it is deeply ingrained in literary history. In 1974, Earl Ruby – a talented writer known for capturing the excitement of racetracks – crafted “The Golden Goose.” This masterpiece not only chronicled Roscoe’s remarkable journey but also placed him among legendary horses like Secretariat and Citation. With an introduction by the famous Eddie Arcaro, the story unfolded as an epic saga where determination met triumph at Churchill Downs.

Ruby skillfully portrayed Roscoe Goose’s life, vividly depicting victories and defeats amidst the cheers and tears of passionate fans. The pages resonated with the intense rhythm of hooves racing towards destiny as Roscoe guided his steeds towards immortality under those iconic twin spires. Every twist and turn revealed layers of unwavering resolve – a jockey who overcame obstacles to win hearts both on and off track.

“The Golden Goose” was more than just words on paper; it served as a guiding light for future generations fascinated by racing stories. From humble beginnings to glorious victories, each chapter echoed tales from tracks across time. Through Ruby’s storytelling skills emerged narratives filled with courage, hard work, and aspirations chasing after dreams painted gold by hard-earned successes—a tribute to Roscoe Goose’s unyielding spirit that transcended even death itself.

Musical Tribute by Midlake

Let me tell you all about the indie folk band Midlake’s amazing tribute to Roscoe Goose. In their captivating song “Roscoe,” released in 2006, they beautifully intertwined elements of his extraordinary life into poetic lyrics that appeal to history enthusiasts and music lovers alike. Roscoe Goose was born in 1891, and his story has left a lasting impact on history, inspiring artists like Midlake to honor him through their melodic masterpiece.

The song skillfully portrays a deep appreciation for Roscoe Goose’s legacy – blending historical respect with artistic creativity. It feels as if Midlake used a brush dipped in nostalgia to paint a vivid picture of this legendary figure who made an unforgettable mark on horse racing history. Through their musical talent, they revitalized Goose’s narrative, ensuring that his spirit transcends time and genres.

With each note echoing like hoofbeats at a racetrack, Midlake captured the essence of Roscoe Goose – from jockey to trainer whose name resonated throughout Thoroughbred racing lore. Their homage encapsulates not only his achievements but also the magical aura he brought to every race he participated in – an enchanting presence that lingered long after he retired from riding.

Listening to “Roscoe” by Midlake is like embarking on a lyrical journey back in time when horse racing stood supreme and heroes such as Roscoe Goose galloped across our collective imagination. The song serves as a poignant reminder of how one man’s love for horses went beyond mere sport; it became ingrained within an era defined by determination, elegance, and triumph at every corner.

In its closing notes filled with emotional depth, Midlake immortalized Rosco Goose not just as a historical figure but as an emblematic individual whose spirit continues inspiring dreamers worldwide – proof that legends never truly die out; rather they find new ways through which their tales can be told eternally.


1. How did Roscoe Goose first become involved in the world of horse racing?

At a young age, Roscoe Goose started his journey in horse racing as a jockey, displaying his innate talent and love for the sport.

2. What was the significance of Roscoe Goose's victory at the Kentucky Derby?

Roscoe Goose's win at the Kentucky Derby showed off his amazing talent as a jockey and kicked off an incredible career that would see him shine not just in racing but also as a top trainer and influential figure in Thoroughbred racing.

3. Can you elaborate on Roscoe Goose's transition from jockey to trainer?

Absolutely! Roscoe Goose smoothly shifted from being a winning jockey, including his notable victory in the Kentucky Derby aboard Donerail in 1913, to establishing himself as a highly regarded and successful trainer. His influence on the world of Thoroughbred racing remains strong and unforgettable.

4. What impact did Roscoe Goose have on the Thoroughbred community beyond his racing career?

Roscoe Goose made a lasting impact on the horse racing world not just for his successful career, but also for guiding young jockeys and trainers while championing for better treatment of horses in the sport.

5. Were there any memorable races or horses associated with Roscoe Goose's training career?

During Roscoe Goose's training career, one of the races that stood out was when his skilled horse, Thunderbolt, won the renowned Belmont Stakes. This victory cemented Goose's status as a top-notch trainer in the competitive world of Thoroughbred racing.

6. How is Roscoe Goose remembered and celebrated within the horse racing industry today?

Today, the horse racing industry holds Roscoe Goose in high esteem for his outstanding skills as a jockey, his smooth shift to becoming an accomplished trainer, and his lasting influence on the Thoroughbred community.