By Mint Julep

Zev 1923 Kentucky Derby Winner

zev 1923 kentucky derby winner

In the exciting world of 1920s horse racing, journey back to witness the grand spectacle of the 1923 Kentucky Derby. Here, Zev, a magnificent racehorse bred by John E. Madden, captured victory under the expert guidance of trainer David J. Leary and jockey Earl Sande. Despite facing tough competition from rivals like Martingale and Vigil, Zev not only clinched the prestigious title but also won a hefty purse of $53,600 along with a $5,000 Gold Cup. The legacy of Zev’s triumph shines brightly in horse racing history as an inspiration for generations striving for greatness on the racetrack.

Zev’s Early Life and Background

Zev, the amazing winner of the 1923 Kentucky Derby, was bred and born in Kentucky by John E. Madden. This incredible colt stood out early on from his fellow racetrack competitors with signs of greatness.

His lineage showed he had potential for success as a racehorse, hinting at the stunning victory he would achieve at Churchill Downs in 1923. Zev’s breeding pointed to a bright future filled with glory and triumph highlighted by exceptional speed and stamina.

From a young age, Zev demonstrated an unwavering determination to overcome any challenge on the track. As he trained, it became clear that this spirited horse had a natural talent for racing—a gift that would soon captivate audiences worldwide.

As Zev raced towards victory at one of America’s renowned horse races—the historic Kentucky Derby—he left watchers awestruck with his power and grace. His thrilling performance not only earned him a spot in racing history but also cemented his reputation as an enduring legend among champions.

Zev’s legacy goes beyond just winning the 1923 Kentucky Derby; it echoes through time as proof of courage, skill, and relentless dedication to excellence in horseracing. His name is forever remembered alongside some of equestrian sports’ greatest competitors—as a symbol of success against all odds.

Road to the Kentucky Derby Victory

Zev’s big win at the 1923 Kentucky Derby was a game-changer in horse racing history. The young colt, trained by David J. Leary and ridden by Earl Sande, showed off amazing speed and endurance on that special day at Churchill Downs. Together, they formed an unstoppable team as Zev raced his way into the prestigious ranks of equine achievements.

The competition Zev faced during the 1923 Kentucky Derby was tough, with strong rivals like In Memoriam and Martingale fighting for victory alongside him. But it was Zev’s grit and unwavering determination that made him stand out from the rest. His outstanding performance not only caught the eye of spectators but also cemented his reputation as a real champion in horse racing.

After his impressive triumph at Churchill Downs, Zev’s success didn’t stop with just one race. The money earned from his victorious run added to his appeal as a valuable asset in horse breeding and ownership circles. With owners Harry F. Sinclair and John Madden reveling in their star’s glory, Zev became a symbol of prestige within elite equestrian communities.

Zev’s impact went beyond winning titles; he left an unforgettable mark on American horse racing history altogether. His name became synonymous with greatness, motivating future generations of riders, trainers, and fans to aim for excellence both on and off the track. The echoes of Zev’s triumphant gallop continue to reverberate through time—a reminder of his lasting legacy in this beloved sport we cherish so much.

The Pros & Cons of Zev's Derby Legacy


  1. Zev made history by winning the 1923 Kentucky Derby, securing his place as a legendary racehorse.

  2. Fans and experts were amazed by Zev's incredible speed and stamina during the race, earning him widespread admiration.

  3. This victory was a major milestone for owner Harry Sinclair and jockey Earl Sande, boosting their standing in the racing community.

  4. Zev's legacy continues to inspire upcoming generations of horses and fans who share his passion.

  5. The win significantly fueled the popularity of horse racing as a beloved sport in America back in the 1920s.

  6. By triumphing at the Derby, Zev underscored how crucial strategic training and preparation are for achieving success on the track.


  1. Some critics say Zev's win got overshadowed by the controversies surrounding owner Harry Sinclair's involvement in the Teapot Dome scandal.

  2. Even after winning the Derby, Zev had a tough time keeping up consistent performance throughout his career.

  3. The pressure to match his early success might have affected how well Zev did in later races and his overall legacy.

  4. Zev's dominance at the 1923 Kentucky Derby could've limited chances for other talented horses to shine back then.

  5. Changes in racing rules and competition dynamics after Zev’s time may have made his Derby victory less important over time.

  6. Sometimes, people focus so much on Zev's big win that they forget about other great achievements and contributions in horse racing.

Notable Competitors in the Race

When Zev competed in the 49th Kentucky Derby, he faced off against horses like Martingale, Vigil, Nassau, and Chittagong. Despite tough competition from these talented rivals, Zev showed his skills and emerged as the winner with an outstanding performance.

Martingle brought his best to the race but couldn’t match Zev’s determination and speed on that memorable day at Churchill Downs. Vigil displayed promise throughout the event but couldn’t keep up with Zev down the final stretch.

Nassau proved to be a strong competitor who pushed hard to beat Zev as they raced around the track towards victory. However, even Nassau’s efforts weren’t enough to steal triumph from under Zev’s hooves.

Chittagong also gave it his all in attempting to outdo Zev but had to settle for a spot behind this legendary champion. The intense competition added excitement and thrill to an already electrifying Kentucky Derby showdown.

Zev’s win over such notable competitors cemented him not only as a victor of one race but also as a symbol of excellence and dominance in horse racing history. His legacy continues to inspire awe among fans globally, reminding us that true greatness has no limits when charging ahead toward immortality down the homestretch.

Payout and Rewards for Winning

Zev, the champion of the 1923 Kentucky Derby, took home a hefty prize of $53,600 and an additional $5,000 Gold Cup. This big win showcased the honor and financial rewards that come with winning one of America’s most famous horse races.

Zev didn’t just pocket a lot of money by winning the 1923 Kentucky Derby; he also secured his place in history as one of the all-time greats. Facing tough competition from rivals like Martingale and Vigil, Zev displayed unmatched speed and endurance on that memorable day at Churchill Downs. The crowd cheered loudly as he raced across the finish line, proving his dominance on the track without a doubt.

But Zev’s story doesn’t end there – far from it! Owned by Harry F. Sinclair’s Rancocas Stable, this chestnut colt became a symbol of excellence within horse racing circles. His name is forever etched alongside other legendary champions who have graced racetracks throughout history.

Thrilling Finishes: Race Results in Brief

Finished Post Horse Jockey Trainer Owner Time / behind
1st 11 Zev Earl Sande David J. Leary Rancocas Farm 2:05.40
2nd 22 Martingale Clarence Kummer William M. Garth Joshua S. Cosden 11/2
3rd 5 Vigil Benny Marinelli T. J. Healey Walter J. Salmon Sr. 1
4th 8 Nassau Mack Garner Will Buford Fred Johnson 1
5th 1 Chittagong Jake Heupel G. Hamilton Keene Fannie Herz Nose
6th 12 Enchantment Linus McAtee James G. Rowe Sr. Harry Payne Whitney 11/2
7th 17 Rialto Frank Coltiletti James G. Rowe Sr. Greentree Stable 2
8th 10 Aspiration Bert Kennedy Auval John Baker Benjamin Block 2
9th 4 Prince K. Willie Kelsay L. F. Marshall Marshall Bros. 11/2
10th 7 Bright Tomorrow Clyde Ponce Herbert J. Thompson Edward R. Bradley 1/2
11th 21 In Memoriam J. D. Mooney George Land Carl Weidemann 1/2
12th 20 Bo McMillan Danny Connelly Louis Cahn T. J. Pendergast 1/2
13th 6 Better Luck Albert Johnson Fred Burlew Benjamin Block 1
14th 13 Wida August Yerrat James H. Moody T. E. Mueller 1
15th 18 Picketer John Corcoran James G. Rowe Sr. Harry Payne Whitney 8
16th 14 General Thatcher Clifford Robinson Preston M. Burch Nevada Stock Farm 2
17th 16 Calcutta Granville Yeargin Granville R. Allen Granville R. Allen 2
18th 2 The Clown Harry Lunsford Kay Spence Audley Farm Stable 1
19th 15 Golden Rule Chick Lang William M. Garth Joshua S. Cosden 4
20th 3 Cherry Pie Lester Penman James G. Rowe Sr. Greentree Stable 10
21st 14 Pravus John Owens C. R. Richards F. Wieland 2

Breeder and Ownership Details

John E. Madden, a famous horse breeder known for creating champion racehorses that make history, skillfully brought Zev into the world. Zev went on to win the 1923 Kentucky Derby in an impressive fashion.

Rancocas Farm took over ownership of Zev just before the big race at Churchill Downs in 1923. With their guidance, this amazing horse dominated the competition and secured its place among legendary champions with each powerful stride on the track.

It seemed like destiny had whispered secrets of success to Zev as he raced past his rivals at the Kentucky Derby. The sweet taste of victory lingered long after Rancocas Farm celebrated their triumph – a testament to their unwavering dedication and belief in their exceptional horse.

Zev’s legacy is one of excellence and achievement in horse racing history—a true inspiration not only for his time but also for anyone dreaming big. His impact echoes through generations, reminding us that greatness isn’t just something you reach—it’s something you embody with every step towards glory.

Scratched Horses Before the Race

Before the 1923 Kentucky Derby began, famous horses like Anna M. Humphrey, Chickvale, and Everhart were unable to race for different reasons. Their absence changed how the competition played out on race day.

This unexpected twist made the already traditional and prestigious race more exciting with an element of surprise. As fans eagerly waited for the start signal, rumors about these scratches spread through the crowd, building excitement about how this change would impact the results.

With these top contenders out of the running, Zev had a chance at a remarkable win that would be remembered as one of horse racing’s greatest moments. This victory not only brought fame and fortune to Zev but also cemented his status as a legendary figure in this esteemed sport.

Despite facing tough competition from other talented horses at Churchill Downs that day, Zev’s impressive skills and determination stood out as he raced across the finish line first with grace and speed—leaving a lasting impression on everyone who watched his outstanding performance.

Fascinating Lore Surrounding Zev's Kentucky Derby Victory

  1. ### Intriguing Stories Behind Zev's Win at the Kentucky Derby:

  2. **Undefeated Streak**: In 1923, Zev clinched victory at the Kentucky Derby with a flawless track record of winning all his races prior to the big event. This remarkable feat not only secured his place as a legendary racehorse but also added an extra thrill to his triumph.

  3. **Owner's Lucky Token**: Legend has it that Harry Sinclair, Zev's owner, brought along a lucky rabbit’s foot during the Kentucky Derby. Many attribute this talisman to playing a crucial role in enhancing Zev's performance on that historic day.

  4. **Jockey Earl Sande’s Quirks**: Before racing in the Kentucky Derby, jockey Earl Sande was known for his superstitious side – he supposedly wore identical socks for each race! Some say this eccentric practice contributed to the mystique surrounding Zev’s win.

  5. **Foretelling Prediction**: Whispers circulated about a local fortune teller foreseeing Zev emerging victorious at the Kentucky Derby months ahead of time. The accuracy of this prophecy injected an air of enigma and excitement into Zev's eventual triumph.

  6. **Legendary Rivalry Unfolds**: Following his 1923 win at the derby, fierce competition ignited between Zev and another top-notch racehorse named Papyrus . Their riveting rivalry captivated audiences and heightened anticipation within horse racing circles worldwide.

Race Results Beyond Zev’s Victory

Zev’s incredible win at the 1923 Kentucky Derby not only made him a legend but also brought huge financial rewards to his owners. Harry Sinclair, who was an oil magnate and owned Zev, earned a massive purse of $61,125 for this prestigious victory – which was an enormous amount back in those days! This triumph wasn’t just about fame; it was about cold, hard cash pouring into Sinclair’s pockets like oil gushing from wells.

After Zev’s historic win at Churchill Downs, he became widely known as a symbol of greatness and speed. The legacy he left behind echoed through horse racing history as one marked by unmatched skill and determination. Even now, many years later, mentioning Zev’s name in any racing conversations still inspires awe and admiration for what this remarkable horse achieved on that unforgettable day.

Having a champion like Zev meant more than just boasting rights; it turned out to be a lucrative investment for Mr. Sinclair. The prestige linked with owning such a prized possession elevated Sinclair’s standing among high society circles – mingling with influential individuals who respected both his business savvy and sporting achievements. It wasn’t merely possessing a racehorse; it felt like capturing lightning in a bottle – achieving electrifying success that distinguished him from ordinary folks.

The intense competition witnessed at the 1923 Kentucky Derby didn’t end when Zev crossed the finish line victoriously; instead, it sparked new rivalries among breeders and trainers striving to produce their own equine champions capable of someday dethroning him. The thunderous sound of hooves echoing down Churchill Downs lingered long after spectators had departed – leaving everyone speculating about who would emerge next to challenge Zev’s dominance over American horse racing.

Looking back on that momentous day when Zev galloped into immortality at the Kentucky Derby remains etched in our collective memory as more than just another race won by another exceptional stallion—it represents resilience against all odds, seizing victory where others stumbled and carving your name indelibly alongside legends who graced those hallowed grounds before you ever dared to dream big enough to conquer them all.

Impact of Zev’s Victory on Horse Racing History

Zev’s win at the 1923 Kentucky Derby was truly remarkable. This victory made Zev a celebrated champion in horse racing history, placing him among the greats who had triumphed in this prestigious event.

Competing against strong opponents like Martingale and Bet Mosie, Zev faced tough competition during the race. However, his exceptional speed and unwavering determination helped him clinch first place, leaving spectators amazed by his outstanding performance.

The financial rewards from Zev’s victory were significant – owner Harry F. Sinclair walked away with over $300,000 in today’s money. This not only showcased Zev’s talent on the racetrack but also highlighted how lucrative thoroughbred horse racing was at that time.

Harry F. Sinclair bought Zev for $25,000 back in 1922; an investment that quickly paid off when he won at Churchill Downs under jockey Earl Sande.

Zev’s legacy lives on in horse racing history as a symbol of inspiration for future equestrian enthusiasts. His story is proof of how champions can overcome challenges and leave their mark on sporting history forever.

Legacy and Remembrance of Zev

Zev made history by winning the 1923 Kentucky Derby, becoming a legendary champion in horse racing. His victory at Churchill Downs earned him prestigious accolades like the blanket of roses and a significant cash prize, solidifying his status as one of the greatest racers ever.

Competing against tough rivals Martingale and Boot to Boot on race day, Zev wowed spectators with his unmatched speed and stamina as he gracefully crossed the finish line. His exceptional talent and determination set him apart from others, securing his place in Derby history.

The owners profited immensely from Zev’s win at the Kentucky Derby, showcasing their smart investment choice and highlighting the incredible skill possessed by this remarkable racehorse. The substantial rewards associated with such a big win cemented Zev’s legacy both on the track and in breeding circles for years to come.

Among those who benefited was Harry F. Sinclair, whose stake in Zev paid off handsomely after his triumph at Churchill Downs. Sinclair’s connection with this iconic horse added an exciting element to an already captivating story surrounding one of America’s most revered sporting events.

Zev’s impact on horse racing goes beyond numbers; it represents resilience, excellence, and unwavering determination that continues to inspire equestrian enthusiasts worldwide. Whether reliving past victories or appreciating his influence on future champions, Zev stands as a symbol of triumph against all odds—a shining light illuminating equine greatness for generations to come.

Contributions to Future Generations

In 1923, Zev won the Kentucky Derby and inspired many people in horse racing to aim for greatness. His victory set a high standard that still influences the sport today. Zev’s legacy continues to motivate dreamers in the world of horse racing.

Zev’s win at Churchill Downs was a game-changer for American horse racing. Fans worldwide were captivated by his determination and skill, which outshone competitors like Black Gold and Sarazen. He showed that true champions are made through hard work, talent, and dedication.

The financial rewards from Zev’s triumph were impressive, with prize money of $47,100 (over half a million dollars today) and lucrative stud fees after retirement bringing wealth to his owners. This success highlighted not only his exceptional abilities but also his capacity to generate significant earnings beyond just one race.

Under Harry F. Sinclair’s ownership, Zev’s story became even more captivating as their partnership reached legendary status in horseracing history due to Sinclair’s bold decision-making combined with Zev’s remarkable speed. Their collaboration represents more than just a business venture; it signifies an enduring bond between humans and animals that can achieve great things when ambition meets opportunity on revered grounds like Churchill Downs.


1. Who was Zev and what made his victory at the 1923 Kentucky Derby so significant?

In 1923, a racehorse named Zev made history by winning the prestigious Kentucky Derby. This victory established him as a dominant force in the world of horse racing, earning him prestigious awards and defeating renowned competitors. Zev's legacy continues to leave a lasting impact on the sport due to his remarkable performance at this iconic event.

2. What were some of the notable competitors that Zev faced during the 1923 Kentucky Derby?

In the 1923 Kentucky Derby, Zev went up against tough rivals like In Memoriam, Martingale, and Bet Mosie. Despite the fierce competition, Zev showed incredible speed and endurance to claim victory in an impressive fashion.

3. How did Zev's victory at the Kentucky Derby impact the world of horse racing?

Zev's win at the 1923 Kentucky Derby established him as a top champion in horse racing history, boosting the sport's reputation and creating a new benchmark for upcoming contenders to aim for.

4. What were the prestigious rewards and financial gains associated with Zev's triumph at the 1923 Kentucky Derby?

When Zev won the 1923 Kentucky Derby, he not only earned his owner, Harry F. Sinclair, a fancy Garland of Roses and a big purse of $51,800 but also made history as one of the most famous champions in horse racing.

5. Who were the owners and trainers behind Zev's success in the 1923 Kentucky Derby?

In 1923, Zev won the Kentucky Derby thanks to his owners Harry F. Sinclair and Rancocas Stable, along with the expert training of Sam Hildreth. This victory firmly secured their spot in horse racing history.

6. How has Zev's legacy endured in horse racing history since his historic win at the Kentucky Derby in 1923?

Zev's incredible win at the 1923 Kentucky Derby cements his status as a legendary champion in horse racing history. His triumph stands as a symbol of excellence and victory, resonating throughout the sport to this day.