By Mint Julep


Stewart Elliott Jockey: One Kentucky Derby Win

smarty jones kentucky derby winner 2004

In 2004, Stewart Elliott had a remarkable journey in horse racing that reached its peak with a historic win at the Kentucky Derby. Riding Smarty Jones, he competed for the first time in this prestigious race and showcased his exceptional skills as a jockey. His dedication to the sport paid off as he secured victory, making him the first jockey in twenty-five years to achieve such an accomplishment. This triumph not only established Elliott among top jockeys but also paved the way for an exciting Triple Crown campaign that captured the hearts of racing fans worldwide.

Early Life and Family Background

Stewart “Stewie” Elliott, born on March 1, 1965 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, seemed destined for the horse racing world from the start. His family background was deeply rooted in equestrian activities – his father excelled as a jockey on racetracks, his mother skillfully handled show horses with finesse, and an uncle owned a thriving racing stable back in Canada. Stewart’s childhood was filled with stories of hoofbeats and track adventures that set him up for what would become a remarkable career riding some of the best thoroughbreds.

At just seven years old, young Stewart embarked on an exciting journey to Hong Kong with his horse-loving family before settling into the vibrant American horse racing scene. Growing up with this nomadic lifestyle taught him adaptability akin to a saddle fitting snugly on its steed. Traveling across borders exposed him to diverse equine cultures and energy levels which not only enhanced his riding skills but also imparted crucial lessons about resilience and perseverance – qualities vital for success both on and off the racetrack.

Every gallop taken by swift hooves beneath him across varied terrains – whether amidst towering buildings or vast American plains – shaped Stewart’s distinctive style blending intuition seamlessly with technique; each race unfolded like a finely-tuned dance between man and majestic beast. His ability to bring out the best in spirited stallions garnered respect among peers while cementing his reputation as one of those exceptional riders who shared an almost telepathic bond with their mounts.

The story of Stewie Elliott reads like chapters plucked straight from sporting legends: A narrative where determination meets elegance; where modest beginnings blossom into victorious rides down revered tracks. From dreams nurtured during childhood days spent at barns filled with scents of hay to thunderous cheers echoing through Churchill Downs after seizing that iconic Kentucky Derby triumph — Stewie’s journey serves as proof that raw talent coupled with unwavering dedication can forge pathways leading towards equine greatness.

Introduction to Racing

Stewart Elliott’s journey in the world of horse racing began when he was just 16 years old, starting his professional riding career at Philadelphia Park Racetrack. He quickly made a name for himself with determination and raw talent in the competitive field of thoroughbred racing.

Elliott’s skills on horseback caught the attention of many as he rapidly climbed the ranks to become one of Philadelphia Park Racetrack’s most successful jockeys. His consistent victories earned him multiple prestigious awards, securing his position as Pennsylvania’s top rider over several seasons.

From humble beginnings to achieving remarkable accomplishments on the racetrack, Stewart Elliott embodies what it takes to be a skilled and dedicated jockey. His natural ability to expertly handle these majestic animals demonstrates his deep connection and understanding of horse racing.

With each powerful stride taken alongside these magnificent creatures, Stewart Elliott continues to captivate audiences with his exceptional riding abilities and unwavering love for this timeless sport. As he races down that homestretch towards victory time after time, you can’t help but admire how effortlessly he guides his mount towards success.

The Pros & Cons of Jockey’s Derby Triumph


  1. Many fans felt inspired by Stewart Elliott’s unexpected victory.
  2. Elliott’s exceptional skill and determination were on full display during his win.
  3. This victory was a major milestone in Elliott’s career, marking a significant achievement.
  4. The jockey’s triumphant moment at the Derby will go down as an unforgettable event in horse racing history that many will remember.
  5. Elliott’s win showed how important it is to keep pushing forward with dedication and perseverance to achieve success.
  6. The race was a thrilling reminder of how unpredictable horse racing can be, injecting more excitement into the sport.


  1. Some people were unsure if Stewart Elliott faced tough competition in the race.
  2. The win became less important because of controversy about another horse in the race being accused of using performance-enhancing drugs.
  3. Even though he won, some questioned if Stewart Elliott could keep winning in future races.
  4. People talked a lot about fairness and sportsmanship after the jockey’s victory.
  5. A few viewers thought that other jockeys should have won instead of Stewart Elliott.
  6. After the win, there was lots of talk about doping and honesty in horse racing.

Kentucky Derby Win

Stewart Elliott made history on May 1, 2004, when he rode Smarty Jones to victory in the prestigious Kentucky Derby. His exceptional riding skills were on full display as he guided the spirited colt to the finish line, securing his place in racing history books.

The win at Churchill Downs propelled Stewart Elliott into the spotlight and earned him recognition within the horse racing community. His flawless performance showcased not only his talent but also established him as a top-tier jockey capable of handling high-pressure situations with finesse.

Elliott’s triumph reverberated throughout the sport, sparking discussions about his undeniable prowess in the saddle and setting high expectations for future races. Spectators and fellow competitors alike marveled at Elliott’s composure and strategic maneuvers aboard Smarty Jones during that unforgettable race day.

As they crossed the finish line amidst thunderous cheers from fans, Stewart Elliott and Smarty Jones cemented their place in racing folklore. Their partnership exemplified excellence and determination—a true testament to what can be achieved through unwavering dedication and unparalleled teamwork on that memorable Derby day.

Triple Crown Campaign

After winning the Kentucky Derby in 2004, Stewart Elliott kept up his winning streak by steering Smarty Jones to victory at the Preakness Stakes just two weeks later. The pair showed an amazing connection on the racetrack, highlighting Elliott’s talent for bonding with each horse he rode. Although they narrowly missed out on clinching the Triple Crown after coming second at the Belmont Stakes, Elliott’s exceptional riding skills were recognized throughout that season.

The fierce competition of the Triple Crown races truly tested Elliott’s abilities, showcasing his calm demeanor under pressure and strategic race-riding skills. Every move made by Smarty Jones was expertly guided by Elliott’s precise commands and deep understanding of pace and position among a crowded field of competitors.

Elliott’s journey through the Triple Crown series not only demonstrated his technical expertise but also revealed his resilience in handling both victories and setbacks with grace. His unwavering commitment to improving as a jockey stood out amidst the whirlwind of high-stakes racing situations that marked each stage of these prestigious competitions.

As fans eagerly followed every step along this thrilling path towards potential historic moments, Stewart Elliott emerged as a symbol of masterful horsemanship that went beyond mere sport – it reflected an art form where man and horse moved together towards greatness as one cohesive unit.

Triumphs and Turmoil: A Decade in Racing

Year Races Won Earnings ($)
2003 262 $14,533,061
2004 143 $5,393,661
2008 4


Major Racing Achievements

In 2004, Stewart Elliott won the Kentucky Derby on Smarty Jones, a moment that defined his career and left an impact on horse racing. His impressive riding skills were evident as he guided Smarty Jones to victory, showing his ability to connect with and bring out the best in his horse. This win was significant for Elliott as it marked his entry into horse racing history and solidified his reputation as a top jockey.

After winning the Kentucky Derby, Stewart Elliott went on an exciting Triple Crown journey with Smarty Jones. The hype surrounding their attempt at the Triple Crown drew fans from around the world. Despite facing tough competition and pressure, Elliott remained focused and composed throughout each race leg, showcasing resilience and determination that made him popular among both casual viewers and seasoned racing enthusiasts.

Elliott’s talent received widespread recognition within the horse racing community after his Kentucky Derby triumph. Trainers, fellow jockeys, owners – all acknowledged his skillful horsemanship and strategic race-riding abilities that set him apart from others in the field. His victory aboard Smarty Jones validated years of hard work dedicated to improving himself in this sport – proving that dreams can come true through dedication, perseverance,and maybe just a bit of luck.

Stewart Elliott’s legacy, established through his victories in races such as the Arkansas Derby, Maryland Million Classic, and Acorn Stakes, inspires young riders even today. His wins represent the perfect union of passion and precision, combining human athleticism with equine grace. With each success, Elliott has etched his name deeper into racing history, painting vivid stories on a canvas rich with tales of triumphs, tragedies, and everything in between.

As time passes, the story of Stewart Elliott’s Kentucky Derby victory becomes richer with layers, like a good bourbon maturing in the barrel of memories. His name remains linked to Smarty Jones’ quest for Triple Crown glory – a powerful testament to talent and grit that hold strong as the heartbeat of horse racing culture. Even as new stars shine bright, Elliott’s memorable moments stay etched in stone – a provocation of what can be achieved when passion meets precision in the thrill of racing. May his legacy continue onward through history, murmuring its tales to all who dare to listen and dream big across the finish line.

Awards and Recognition

Stewart Elliott’s amazing horse riding skills have caught the attention of the horse racing world. His talent for connecting with horses on a deep level and guiding them through tough races has earned him many awards, showing that he is one of the best jockeys in the sport.

The significance of Elliott’s win at the Kentucky Derby in 2004 cannot be overstated. It was not just a competition; it was a moment that changed his career and put him in the spotlight as a powerful force on the racetrack.

After winning at Churchill Downs, Stewart Elliott took part in an exciting Triple Crown campaign that drew fans from all over. The way he guided Smarty Jones to success not only showed off his skill but also highlighted his strong commitment to achieving greatness in high-level horse racing.

Elliott’s legacy goes well beyond just one race or season. His industry recognition, including prestigious awards like the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award and being named ABC NEWS Person of the Week, shows how much impact he has had on thoroughbred racing and how he has set a lasting example for future generations of jockeys to follow.

Mythical tales surrounding Stewart Elliott’s Derby triumph

  1. Mythical stories surrounding Stewart Elliott’s Derby victory:
  2. The Lucky Socks: It is said that before winning the Kentucky Derby, Stewart Elliott wore a pair of lucky socks given to him by a fan. Many believe these socks brought him good luck and helped him secure his win.
  3. The Secret Pre-Race Ritual: Rumor has it that before every big race, including the Kentucky Derby, Stewart Elliott had a secret pre-race ritual. Some say this ritual involved chanting or carrying a lucky charm for good fortune.
  4. The Mysterious Horse Whisperer: Racing fans talk about how Stewart Elliott has a special bond with horses, earning him the nickname “The Horse Whisperer.” They say he can understand their needs and motivations better than anyone else.
  5. The Dream Vision: Before the Kentucky Derby, it is said that Stewart Elliott had a vivid dream where he saw himself crossing the finish line first on his horse. Some believe this dream was predicting his upcoming win while others think it was just coincidence.
  6. The Magical Stirrups: Legend has it that during his Kentucky Derby victory, Stewart Elliott used magical stirrups made by an old wizard near the racetrack. These stirrups were believed to give riders exceptional skill and agility to navigate races effortlessly.

Milestone Achievements

In January 2009, Stewart Elliott achieved his 4,000th career win at Philadelphia Park Racetrack. This milestone wasn’t just a number; it showcased his dedication and exceptional riding skills. From the first time he rode a horse as a young man, his love for racing was evident in every race. Each win added to his expertise, earning him respect from both peers and fans.

On August 9, 2020, Elliott reached over 5,000 career wins—a remarkable accomplishment that placed him among North America’s top jockeys. His ability to connect uniquely with each horse he rode set him apart by guiding them smoothly towards victory after victory. The determination on his face during races showed how hungry he was for success.

With each achievement, Stewart Elliott left an unforgettable mark in horse racing history—not only through wins but also through resilience and grit. From humble beginnings to becoming a respected figure in the racing world, his journey inspires aspiring jockeys worldwide. It proves that with talent, hard work, and perseverance dreams can become reality against all odds.

Legacy and Impact

In 2004, Stewart Elliott rode Smarty Jones to victory at the Kentucky Derby, thrusting him into the limelight and showcasing his exceptional riding skills. This win was a monumental achievement not only for Elliott but also for the entire horse racing community. With finesse and determination, he guided Smarty Jones to an impressive lead on that fateful day at Churchill Downs.

After winning the Kentucky Derby, Stewart Elliott took part in an exciting Triple Crown campaign that captured fans worldwide. His skillful handling of Smarty Jones during those challenging races demonstrated his unwavering focus and commitment to excellence. Despite facing tough competition and intense pressure, Elliott remained composed under fire, earning respect from peers and spectators alike for his expert horsemanship.

Elliott’s resilience in overcoming challenges both on and off the track solidified his status as a revered figure in Thoroughbred racing history. He showed time after time that he was more than just a jockey – he was a force to be reckoned with; someone who could navigate complexities with finesse while staying humble amidst all the praise received. This blend of talent, tenacity, and humility endeared him to fans across generations who found inspiration in watching him ride towards greatness.

Stewart “Stewie” Elliott’s legacy goes beyond mere statistics or race results; it lies in inspiring aspiring jockeys around the world. His journey from modest beginnings to becoming well-known serves as proof that hard work pays off—a reminder that dreams can indeed come true with dedication, perseverance, grit—and perhaps just a sprinkle of luck along the way too! It is no surprise then that many look up to him not only as an accomplished athlete but also as an embodiment of sheer determination personified.

As we look back on Stewart “Stewie” Elliott’s illustrious career filled with highs and lows—victories etched in memory alongside defeats brushed aside like dust—we are reminded once again what sets him apart: not simply trophies adorning shelves or records etched into annals but rather indomitable spirit continuing to inspire new generations—a beacon lighting paths yet untrodden by those daring enough to chase glory astride thundering hooves beneath them.


1. How did Stewart Elliott’s exceptional riding skills contribute to his victory in the Kentucky Derby?

Stewart Elliott’s amazing riding abilities, shown through his smart moves, perfect timing, and expert control of Smarty Jones, were key in helping him win the Kentucky Derby.

2. What made Stewart Elliott’s Kentucky Derby win historically significant in the world of horse racing?

Stewart Elliott made history in the horse racing world by using his exceptional riding skills to lead the underdog Smarty Jones to victory in the Kentucky Derby. This win captured fans’ hearts and set the stage for an unforgettable Triple Crown campaign.

3. How did Stewart Elliott’s triumph at the Kentucky Derby impact his career trajectory and reputation within the racing community?

Stewart Elliott’s win at the Kentucky Derby highlighted his outstanding riding abilities, propelling him to the top of the racing world. This set the scene for an unforgettable Triple Crown journey that confirmed his status as a skilled jockey.

4. Can you discuss Stewart Elliott’s subsequent Triple Crown campaign following his Kentucky Derby victory?

After winning the Kentucky Derby, Stewart Elliott continued to race Smarty Jones in the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Although he fell short of achieving the Triple Crown, his performance established him as a skilled jockey with a lasting impact on horse racing history.

5. In what ways has Stewart Elliott’s talent been acknowledged and celebrated within thoroughbred racing circles post-Kentucky Derby win?

After Stewart Elliott won the Kentucky Derby, everyone in horse racing recognized and cheered his amazing riding abilities. This victory made him one of the best jockeys around and earned him respect for all he has accomplished in the sport.

6. What enduring legacy has Stewart Elliott established through his remarkable performance in the Kentucky Derby?

Stewart Elliott’s amazing ability to ride horses and his thrilling win at the Kentucky Derby have solidified his lasting reputation as a skilled jockey who has made a big impact on the sport of horse racing.