Kentucky Derby Tickets
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Kentucky Derby Tickets

Women have played an important part in Kentucky Derby history. This history began in 1904 with a woman by the name of Laska Durnell and a horse called Elwood. In the beginning the colt's, Elwood, record was terrible. Of course that changed when Elwood was brought to Louisville, Kentucky and honored for his excellent performance by C.E. Durnell, husband of Laska. Elwood was the first Kentucky Derby winner owned by a woman. Another fact is that Mrs. J.B. Prather bred Elwood. Prather made history for being the first woman to breed a horse. But Laska wanted to continue racing Elwood. Laska's husband was not in favor of running Elwood in the Kentucky Derby because of his poor overall performance and felt he was unable to win. As expected, Laska disagreed with her husband, but she did win the argument. Since she won the argument her husband boycotted the affair. Laska asked another trainer to saddle Elwood in the Churchill Downs. Elwood was piloted to win the Kentucky Derby and roses were presented to Elwood on that day in 1904. Unfortunately, C.E. Durnell was not present for the ceremony.

Rosa Hoots. The story of the second woman to make history in Kentucky Derby history is sad, but fulfilling. This story begins in 1909 with a mare named Useeit. She participated in a race in Oklahoma and sadly lost. A rancher from Tulsa, Al Hoots, was somehow impressed with Useeit and decided to purchase her. Since he was unable to pay with money he opted to trade 80 acres of cattle grazing land for Useeit. To some people's amazement, Useeit began to win. Disaster struck when, after a race, Useeit was claimed in Mexico in a race. Hoots had become so attached to this magnificent animal that he would not honor the claim. He had to find a way to transport Useeit. He put her on a freight train to Oklahoma and with that action Hoots was banned from racing. In 1920, as Hoots lay on his deathbed he made his wife, Rosa, promise him that she would not sell Useeit. He requested that she breed Useeit with Black Toney and run the offspring in the Kentucky Derby Tickets. On a farm known as Bradley's Idle Hour Farm in Lexington, Kentucky, Useeit was bred.

The most beautiful pony was born on February 17, 1921. The name given to this graceful creature was Black Gold. This name was derived from the oil that oozed from the Oklahoma soil. As expected, Black Gold won the Kentucky Derby on May 27, 1924. This made Rosa Hoots the second woman to run a Kentucky Derby Tickets winner. But in 1928, Black Gold broke a leg and was put to rest. Mrs. John D. Hertz. Mrs. John D. Hertz was the owner of the Kentucky Derby winner Reigh Count. John Hertz bought the horse from Willis Kilmer for almost nothing. You are probably right if you think the name sounds familiar. John Hertz later became the founder and owner of Hertz Rent-a-Car. When he entered Reigh Count in races he decided to use his wife's name. Sadly, the offspring of Reigh Count did not manage to win races. But then the Hertz's luck changed. Reigh Count was bred with a mare named quickly. The offspring was given the name Count Fleet. Count Fleet won the Kentucky Derby in 1951.

Helen Hay Whitney. A woman by the name of Helen Hay Whitney came to the forefront on May 16, 1931. Mrs. Whitney became the first woman to win the Kentucky Derby Tickets twice. At Bowman Field on that day people were preparing for the race. The horse they were watching was Twenty Grand. As the race started, Twenty Grand was moving slowly. All of a sudden energy seemed to engulf Twenty Grand and his rider as he bound forward. The anxiety and anticipation could be felt throughout Bowman Field. Twenty Grand won the race with time to spare. Twenty Grand won again in 1937 as the winner of the Wood Memorial, Belmont Stakes, Travers, and Jockey Club Gold Cup! Isabel Dodge Sloan. In 1934, Isabel Dodge Sloan purchased Calvacade for $1,200. But Sloan has an interesting past. With the death of Isabel's father, John F. Dodge, she inherited an automobile industry fortune worth $7 million. During the race, Calvacade wore down a horse called Discovery and ran to victory. The humorous side is that Mrs. Sloan was so excited at Calvacade's win that many people can probably remember her victory screams.

Ethel V. Mars. Sweet victory occurred again on May 4, 1940 by a horse named Gallabadion. Gallabadion owner was none other than Ethel V. Mars. (Ethel's husband was the owner and founder of the Mars candy bar.) On this particular Kentucky Derby day Gallabadion was racing against Bimelech who was sometimes referred to as the best horse in America. Gallabadion managed to win this 66th Kentucky Derby. Mrs. Mars was unable to attend the race because of an illness. Instead she listened to the Kentucky Derby Tickets on the radio. Elizabeth Arden Graham. Seven years later another woman became owner of a Kentucky Derby Tickets winner and made history. Elizabeth Arden Graham owned Main Chance Farm's stables. A fire engulfed the stables and 22 two-year old horses were lost at a value of $282,000. Even though Mrs. Graham was devastated, her prize possession Jet Pilot had been previously shipped to Churchill Downs prior to the disaster. Interesting fact is that the race was so close the judges had to review numerous photographs to announce the winner. The winner, of courser, was Jet Pilot. This made history as the first photo finish. Mrs. Graham was also known as the queen of the cosmetics industry. She was the creator and named after Elizabeth Arden products. Hill Gail. Hill Gail became the Kentucky Derby winner on May 3, 1952. Lucille Wright Markey became the sole owner of Calumet Farm after the death of her husband. Hill Gail became the fifth win for Calumet Farm.

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