The Kentucky Derby Winners of The 2000s
The 2000s at Churchill Downs saw the second fastest Kentucky Derby in history, the first favorite to win in more than 30 years, and a horse with a funny name become a hero!
2009 - With a drying muddy track in play, Mine That Bird recorded one of the more improbable Kentucky Derby upsets - as the mud-streaked gelding found room up the rail after trailing the field in the early stages of the race. At 50/1, Mine That Bird was an easy winner, returning to run second in the Preakness and third in the Belmont.
Jockey - Calvin Borel Trainer - Bennie L. Woolley Jr Owner - Double Eagle Ranch
2008 - Despite entering the Derby with just three career races under his belt and breaking from post 20, Big Brown continued to show incredible raw talent while running his race record to a perfect 4 for 4. The precocious colt won the Preakness with laughable ease, but an injured hoof proved to be his undoing in the Belmont where he was eased down the stretch to a last-place finish.
Jockey - Kent Desormeaux Trainer - Richard Dutrow Owner - IEAH Stables
2007 - Never had a Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner won the Kentucky Derby until Street Sense accomplished that very feat, once again proving his love for the Churchill Downs surface. The stretch-running superstar was 19th of 20 early, but closed up the rail to catch the tiring Hard Spun. Sreet Sense finished a game second to Curlin in the Preakness and did not race in the Belmont.
Jockey - Calvin Borel Trainer - Carl Nafzger Owner - James Tafel
2006 - A superstar in every sense of the word, Barbaro produced a dominant performance to stay unbeaten in six career starts. Breaking with traditional trends, the strapping colt entered the Derby off a five-week layoff, but was easily best powering away in the stretch by six lengths. Tragically, Barbaro broke down in the Preakness soon after the start and never raced again.
Jockey - Edgar Prado Trainer - Michael Matz Owner - Leal Stables
2005 - With a pace meltdown unfolding on the front end, Giacomo's persistent and grining style paid dividends, as the gray or roan son of Holy Bull sprung a mammoth upset at odds of 50/1. The colt would finish third in the Preakness and seventh in the Belmont, losing both starts to Afleet Alex.
Jockey - Mike Smith Trainer - John Shirreffs Owner - Jerry & Ann Moss
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2004 - Looking like racing's next phenom, Smarty Jones became the first undefeated winner of the Kentucky Derby since Seattle Slew 17 years earlier. The popular colt then backed up that performance with a smashing 11 1/2-lengths before running second in the Belmont after setting a pressured pace.
Jockey - Stewart Elliot Trainer - John Servis Owner - Someday Farm
2003 - In Becoming the first New York-bred to win the Kentucky Derby and first gelding to wear the roses since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929, Funny Cide earned legions of loyal fans and returned to win the Preakness two weeks later. The New Yorker couldn't bring home the Triple Crown, however, fading to third over a sloppy track.
Jockey - Jose Santos Trainer - Barclay Tagg Owner - Sackatoga Stable
2002 - The speedy War Emblem gave Bob Baffert his third Derby winner with a gate-to-wire score over a strong field. The colt returned to win the Preakness, but stumbled out of the gate in the Belmont Stakes and failed to hit the board.
Jockey - Victor Espinoza Trainer - Bob Baffert Owner - Thoroughbred Corp.
2001 - Monarchos, an improving colt, powered away to win the Kentucky Derby in a time of 1:59.97 - second only to the immortal Secretariat's time of 1:59 2/5. The budding gray star's dominance was short-lived, however, as he finished sixth in the Preakness and third in the Belmont.
Jockey - Jorge Chavez Trainer - John Ward Owner - John Oxley
2000 - The well-bred Fusaichi Pegasus, once purchased for over $4 million as a yearling, fulfilled his potential by becoming the first Kentucky Derby favorite to win the race since Spectacular Bid in 1979. After a losing Preakness bid, the star colt skipped the Belmont Stakes.
Jockey - Kent Desormeaux Trainer - Neil Drysdale Owner - Fusao Sekiguchi
2004 Kentucky Derby - Smarty Jones