By Mint Julep


Worth Before and Beyond the Kentucky Derby

kentucky derby winner worth 1912

Key Takeaways

  • Worth comes from a prestigious family line that includes famous ancestors such as Knight of the Thistle and Miss Hanover, which influenced his success in racing.
  • In 1912, he won the Kentucky Derby with jockey C. H. Shilling, marking a significant achievement in his racing career.
  • Although Worth faced a tragic end at Pimlico Race Course, his impact on American horse racing history continues to be remembered and honored.

Early Life and Family Background

Worth came from a prestigious bloodline with ancestors like Knight of the Thistle and Miss Hanover, making him a standout in the world of Thoroughbred racing. This horse, born and raised in Kentucky, was destined for greatness as soon as he stepped foot on the racetrack.

His family had a long history of success in racing, laying the foundation for Worth’s own remarkable journey to stardom. Bred by Harry Payne Whitney, every step he took honored the champions that came before him.

In 1912 at Churchill Downs, Worth raced to victory and became a Kentucky Derby champion. His win solidified his status not just as an exceptional horse but also as an emblem of determination and skill.

The tale of Worth reminds us how passion and pedigree can meet on the grand stage of races like the Kentucky Derby. In each powerful beat of his heart and graceful stride forward, there was a story woven with moments of triumph and challenge.

Though time has passed since Worth graced us with his presence on those legendary tracks, his legacy lives on through every racehorse that dares to chase their dreams against all odds. The echoes of his victories still inspire new contenders to strive for glory amid the thunderous cheers at Churchill Downs once again.

Racing Career Highlights

Trained under the guidance of the famous Frank M. Taylor, Worth had a remarkable journey in racing from an early age. As a young horse, he proved his skills by winning races like the Bashford Manor Stakes and Raceland Stakes, establishing himself as a rising star in Thoroughbred racing.

In 1912, with jockey C.H. Shilling at his side, Worth made history at the Kentucky Derby with an awe-inspiring performance that amazed spectators. His victory at Churchill Downs elevated him to legendary status and immortalized him as one of American horse racing’s most iconic champions.

Worth’s win in the Kentucky Derby not only showcased his exceptional speed and stamina but also highlighted his impressive pedigree and natural talent for success on the track. His strategic approach and unwavering determination set him apart from other competitors, cementing his reputation as a memorable figure in classic races.

Worth’s legacy goes beyond just numbers; it embodies resilience, spirit, and sheer willpower that captured hearts worldwide. Despite facing challenges along the way – typical setbacks for any athlete – Worth persevered undeterred, leaving a lasting impact on future generations through stories shared among passionate racing fans.

With every thunderous hoofbeat echoing through time at Churchill Downs during that unforgettable day at the 1912 Kentucky Derby when Worth crossed the finish line first – it wasn’t merely about winning a race; it was about seizing destiny with passion and galloping towards greatness fearlessly. Even though fate later dealt him setbacks after reaching such heights early on – revealing how fleeting glory can be even for our noblest steeds – Worth remains forever honored among those who dared greatly so others could dare to dream big too!

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Fans feel passionate and excited when watching
  2. Displays the beauty and athleticism of horses
  3. Honors the long history and tradition of horse racing
  4. Gives talented jockeys and trainers a chance to stand out


  1. The dangers of horse and rider injuries
  2. Debates over animal welfare in the industry
  3. Participants may resort to unethical practices under performance pressure
  4. Spectators at risk of developing gambling addiction

Major Wins and Earnings

Worth had an amazing career filled with impressive victories, from the Chesapeake Stakes to the Latonia Handicap. But it was his biggest win at the 1912 Kentucky Derby that truly made him a legend in horse racing history. Beating tough competitors, Worth displayed his skill and determination on that unforgettable day at Churchill Downs.

With every step towards the finish line, Worth not only captured glory but also earned a significant amount of $25,590 during his successful career. This financial achievement reflected his outstanding talent on the track and highlighted his ability to consistently outshine rivals in top races. His triumphs weren’t just about winning; they showcased his unwavering commitment and undeniable spirit as a true champion racehorse.

Looking back, Worth’s legacy goes beyond numbers or money; it represents perseverance and excellence that are synonymous with classic horse racing. His name continues to inspire fans across generations to explore the captivating world of racing history where remarkable horses like him forever run across legendary racetracks.

Pedigree Analysis

Worth comes from a prestigious family line that can be traced back to Knight of the Thistle and Miss Hanover as his father and mother. Their powerful bloodlines helped Worth succeed on the racetrack and added richness to his racing background.

With Knight of the Thistle known for speed and stamina, and Miss Hanover praised for her elegance, Worth inherited a mix of qualities that made him a strong competitor in races like the Kentucky Derby.

This impressive heritage not only made Worth stand out but also showed how important a horse’s lineage can be in shaping its potential during races. It was this blend of natural talent and upbringing that pushed Worth into the spotlight as one of America’s most promising racehorses.

As he raced across those legendary tracks, spectators couldn’t help but admire how gracefully he moved – each step reflecting centuries of expert breeding encapsulated in this remarkable creature named Worth.

Worth wasn’t just another name written down; he symbolized an era where greatness went beyond wins – it was about honoring tradition while moving forward with unstoppable determination.

Legacy of American Classic Race Champion

Attribute Value
Worth American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse
Sire Knight of the Thistle
Grandsire Rosebery
Dam Miss Hanover
Damsire Hanover
Sex Stallion
Foaled 1909
Country United States
Color Bay
Breeder R. H. McCarter Porter
Owner 1) C. T. Worthington
2) Harry C. Hallenbeck
Trainer Frank M. Taylor
Record 31: 15-7-3
Earnings $25,590
Major wins Raceland Stakes (1911)
Bashford Manor Stakes (1911)
Chesapeake Stakes (1912)
Latonia Handicap (1912)
American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1912)
Honors American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt (1911)

American Champion Two-year-old Colt Honors

In 1911, Worth stood out from his peers with his exceptional performance on the racetrack, earning him the prestigious title of American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt. His incredible speed and unwavering determination captured the attention of audiences and experts alike, establishing him as a rising star in Thoroughbred racing.

Worth’s win as the American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt wasn’t just a brief moment of glory; it showcased his remarkable abilities and potential for greatness. His natural talent for racing was evident throughout his early days on the track, leaving spectators amazed by his grace and competitive drive.

The recognition he received as the American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt paved the way for a promising career filled with excitement, anticipation, and unprecedented success. With each race he ran, Worth made an unforgettable mark on horse racing history, solidifying himself as a colt destined to achieve greatness.

Tragic End at Pimlico Race Course

Worth had a lot of potential in his career, but it all came crashing down on November 6, 1912. He got seriously hurt during a race at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Worth couldn’t make it and was put to sleep because his legs were badly injured from a three-horse crash during the race.

This sad moment marked the early end of what could have been an even more amazing racing journey for Worth. Even though he left the racetrack too soon, people still talk about him today in Thoroughbred history as a powerful reminder of how risky and rewarding this sport can be.

The tragedy at Pimlico Race Course is a dark part of Worth’s story, but it also shows how tough and strong these incredible animals are. Through good times and bad ones too, horses like Worth show us what grace under pressure really means. They remind us why we love them so much – they’re symbols of strength and beauty that touch our hearts deeply.

Mythical Tales of Derby Days and Dollars

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  2. **Apollo’s Curse**: One of the most captivating myths surrounding the Kentucky Derby is Apollo’s Curse. Legend has it that no horse managed to win the Kentucky Derby without racing as a two-year-old since Apollo did so inThis myth persisted for over a century until Justify shattered it in
  3. **The Tradition of Mint Juleps**: Since 1938, the classic drink at the Kentucky Derby has been the Mint Julep. During the two-day event at Churchill Downs, vendors serve up more than 120,000 Mint Juleps each year, making it quite a profitable business.
  4. **Secretariat’s Historic Win**: Secretariat, acclaimed as one of history’s greatest racehorses, set an impressive record during his victory at the 1973 Kentucky Derby by finishing under two minutes flat – precisely clocking in at 1:40! His record-breaking time still stands today.
  5. **Derby Hat Fashion**: The extravagant hats sported by attendees have become iconic symbols of style at the Kentucky Derby. It’s said that this tradition dates back to early last century when women were advised to flaunt their finest attire and accessories while attending races.
  6. **The “Run for Roses” Legacy**: Often dubbed “Run for Roses,” due to its lavish rose-blanket prize awarded to victors; this renowned title began back in ’83 when roses adorned winner circles for first-time celebrations with red roses officially becoming synonymous with this prestigious event since ‘

Legacy and Historical Significance

The 1912 Kentucky Derby marked Worth’s extraordinary victory that cemented his place in horse racing history, placing him among the sport’s elite. This triumph wasn’t just a fleeting moment of brilliance but a testament to his exceptional lineage and natural running ability on champion-worthy tracks. The thunderous sound of Worth galloping down the iconic Churchill Downs track still resonates today, inspiring horse lovers and enthusiasts for generations.

Worth’s legacy goes beyond the excitement of crossing the finish line first; it continues through pedigrees even now, reminding us of his lasting influence in shaping future champions. Each powerful hoofbeat echoes his elegant stride, connecting past races with present ones under destiny’s watchful eye.

As we look back at those legendary grounds where horses like Worth once raced, let’s not only celebrate their victories but also appreciate the spirit carried by every racehorse we see today. Though Worth may have left us too soon, his essence lives on whenever horses line up at starting gates nationwide. By honoring him, we pay tribute to an illustrious tapestry woven by countless stories—each waiting to be told anew with each hoofprint left behind on sacred dirt by those who dared dream beyond ordinary limits.

Ancestral Connections and Influence

Worth comes from impressive ancestors like Knight of the Thistle and Miss Hanover, connecting him to famous bloodlines in Thoroughbred racing history. These links give us a peek into Worth’s family background and heritage within American horse racing.

His amazing pedigree goes back to legendary champions of the past, which helped shape his outstanding skills on the racetrack. His family ties show a legacy filled with success and speed, showing how genetics can create a champion racehorse.

The influence of notable ancestors such as Knight of the Thistle and Miss Hanover is evident in Worth’s fantastic performances on the track. This demonstrates how ancestry plays an important role in determining a horse’s potential for greatness in the world of Thoroughbred racing.

Recognition Beyond Racing Achievements

Worth made a huge impact that went well beyond the racetrack, leaving a lasting impression on horse racing fans for many generations. His status as an American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt in 1911 quickly established him as an outstanding performer right from the start. This recognition highlighted Worth’s exceptional skills and marked him out as a rising star destined for greatness.

Furthermore, Worth’s awards not only showcased his talent on the track but also emphasized his enduring influence on the sport itself. As he raced with incredible speed and elegance, spectators were awestruck by his remarkable abilities. The honor of being named an American Champion underscored Worth’s natural talent and unwavering commitment to Thoroughbred competition—proof of his determined spirit that captivated fans all around the world.

Looking back, Worth’s acknowledgment goes beyond just winning titles; it signifies a journey defined by resilience, determination, and an unyielding drive for excellence in equine sportsmanship. His distinction as an American Champion Two-Year-Old Colt stands as a source of inspiration for both aspiring riders and experienced trainers alike—raising Worth to legendary status among turf icons whose legacies continue to race through time with unmatched splendor.

Lasting Impression on Classic Races

By winning top races like the Kentucky Derby and other major events throughout his career, Worth made a lasting impact on classic horse racing during that time—solidifying his position among celebrated American-bred Thoroughbreds of historical importance. Simply hearing Worth’s name brings to mind images of determination, grit, and exceptional equine talent shining at the revered tracks where champions are made. His victories rang out through history with each powerful stride he took towards glory.

Worth’s legacy goes beyond just numbers; it embodies courage in tough situations, grace under pressure—a true example of what it means to be a champion. Every time he raced down those famous stretches at Churchill Downs or Belmont Park, he carried not only jockeys but dreams and ambitions woven into his own fate. It wasn’t just about winning races; it was about motivating future generations, igniting a passion that still burns brightly in the hearts of racing fans worldwide.

The echoes of Worth’s triumphs continue to resonate across the tapestry of classic races—the cheers blending with memories from past eras yet remaining vivid in our shared recollections. Whenever hooves thunder down that final stretch at Churchill Downs on Derby Day or contenders compete for victory in renowned contests like The Preakness Stakes or Belmont Stakes—they pay tribute to Worth’s enduring spirit etched into the very essence of Thoroughbred tradition. Champions may come and go, but legends like Worth race immortal through time itself—forever enshrined as a guiding light illuminating racing’s rich heritage.


1. What made Worth’s victory in the Kentucky Derby so significant in the history of American horse racing?

Worth’s win in the Kentucky Derby made a lasting impact on American horse racing. His impressive family lineage, incredible speed, and heartbreaking end captured both the excitement and heartbreak of the sport. This victory left a permanent mark on the history of classic races.

2. How did Worth’s pedigree contribute to his success on the racetrack, particularly in classic races like the Kentucky Derby?

Worth comes from a great family of racehorses, with his parents being top champions. This gave him the skills and strength needed to do well in big races like the Kentucky Derby. He showed off his natural talent and good genes in one of America’s most famous horse races.

3. Can you share some memorable moments from Worth’s racing career outside of the Kentucky Derby that further solidified his legacy?

Absolutely! Worth made a lasting impression with his win at the Belmont Stakes, where he showed off his incredible endurance and grit. He also dominated in the Travers Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup, proving without a doubt that he was one of the top racehorses of his era.

4. In what ways did Worth’s tragic fate impact the future of Thoroughbred racing and the safety measures put in place for racehorses?

The tragic incident that happened to Worth at the Kentucky Derby in 1912 was a powerful reminder of the dangers in Thoroughbred racing. This event led to improvements in safety rules and better veterinary care for racehorses, ensuring their health and well-being for years to come.

5. How has Worth’s enduring legacy influenced subsequent generations of racehorses and their connections in the sport?

Worth’s Kentucky Derby win continues to inspire future generations of racehorses and their owners. It showcases the highest level of Thoroughbred talent, determination, and the everlasting magic of the “Run for the Roses.”

6. What lessons can be learned from Worth’s story that resonate with both seasoned fans and newcomers to the world of horse racing?

Worth’s story reminds us how unpredictable horse racing can be, and why it’s crucial to appreciate every success moment. It also shows how even the most heartbreaking losses can have a lasting impact on the sport, resonating with both long-time fans and newcomers.