Fascinating facts about jockeys featured on mural at Churchill Downs
The mural is 40 feet wide and seven feet tall and hangs on the 2nd floor of the track.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- When it comes to Derby facts, Louisville native Barry Northern is a wealth of knowledge. He has devoured information about Churchill Downs and horse racing since he was a child. That burning passion for the sport led him to a job at the Kentucky Derby Museum. He is now the lead tour guide at the Kentucky Derby Museum.
He took time out of his busy schedule to show us one of the highlights of his tour, a beautiful mural with the face of every jockey who has won the Kentucky Derby.
The painting hangs on the wall on the 2nd floor of the track. It's about 40 feet wide and 7 feet tall.
"It's an evolution of the Kentucky Derby from 1875 to present day. If you start in the far left hand corner, you have Oliver Lewis. He rode Aristides to victory in the very first Kentucky Derby. Just to the right of Lewis, you will find James Soup Perkins and Alonzo Lonnie Clayton. Those two were the youngest jockeys to win the Derby. They were 15-years old when they won," Northern said.
That record won't be broken because jockeys now have to be 16-years-old to get a license.
Northern continued, "Look at number seven. I get the question these days, who's the jockey that looks like Donald Trump? That's Earl Sande. He was called the "Handyman." He's one of the greatest jockeys of all time. He's riding Gallant Fox in that picture. 8 out of 10 groups that I bring over here, somebody says he looks like Donald Trump."
"The guy in the orange silk with the white polkadots is Pat Day. He has won more races at Churchill Downs than any other jockey. This is the 25th anniversary of Pat winning his only Kentucky Derby in 1992 on Lil E Tee."
Northern gets more excited as he moves his way from left to right on the mural.
"This is Calvin Borel. We all love him around here. Calvin won in 2007, 2009 and 2010. When he won in 2010, the artist came by and all he did was draw another finger for Calvin. If you look closely, it looks like he has 7 fingers on that hand right now."
Artist Pierre Bellocq is the man who painted this masterpiece.
"People call him Peb. He originally did this in 2005 and he comes each year to update it. He has not updated it since 2013. Peb is 91 or 92 years old. I'm not so sure what the plans are, but all of the jockeys who have won since he has been here were represented anyway. So all of the jockeys who have won the Kentucky Derby are up here right now," Northern said.
For information about taking a tour of the track with Barry Northern CLICK HERE.
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