The first Kentucky Derby was the following year, when Aristides outran 15 horses in front of a crowd of 10,000.
However, none of those starts came as a two-year-old, and that means trainer Bob Baffert is trying to overcome a 136-year-old trend that has kept any Derby entrant out of the winner's circle that didn't race as a two-year-old.
In 2015, American Pharoah became the first horse to win the coveted Triple Crown since Affirmed in 1978.
He is not alone.
With a cacophony of snorts and whinnies and all imaginable equine onomatopoeia, the UAE Derby victor and the lone overseas entry made a loud first appearance Thursday morning on the track where he and 19 other colts will run Saturday in the 144th Kentucky Derby.
"There's so many other things that can go wrong that I don't even worry about that", Baffert said.
Why can't I agree? The horse is looking to break the Apollo Curse.
Asmussen's last major win came with gun runner at the Breeders Cup Classic past year but he would love to finally get the Kentucky Derby into his hall of fame career. It happened in 1882. Instead, set aside a good chunk of your bankroll for the race for win bets, exactas and possibly Oaks-Derby doubles.
To start with, he hasn't faced any serious challenges.
So he's had everything his own way, in a number of ways. Rarely do fillies run in the Derby. "The big guys are sending me horses".
Mendelssohn is my selection. No horse has ever won the Derby out of that gate, and only three have finished in the money. He's trained by Europe's best, Aidan O'Brien. According to America's Best Racing's Christina Moore, No. 17 is the dreaded post position. The horse made the cover of Sports Illustrated and was photographed by United States fashion magazine Vogue.
Pletcher says it's only a matter of time until the curse ends.
Even in the Kentucky Derby, a race that many believe is about as kind to frontrunners as Taylor Swift is to ex-boyfriends, this universal bias has been present. It was a visually awesome performance. Hofburg, Bolt d'Oro, Mendelssohn, Magnum Moon and Vino Rosso can all win the race depending on how it unfolds.
And what a race that has turned out to be.
In this in-depth feature, we will examine both the pros and cons of early speed - or the lack thereof - in the Kentucky Derby.
■ James Garfield won the Greenham Stakes at Newbury in England in his first start of 2018.
If all this doesn't muddle the picture, consider there are 20 horses, some of which have no shot and create a lot of traffic for the genuine contenders. "I think it's changed". He bounced back by winning the Blue Grass at Keeneland. At this point it is the distance for the biggest races (the Derby and Breeders Cup) and a fairly common one for so-called "handicap" races that most horses begin competing in during the summer of their three-year-old year (unless they retire first).
Dale Romans said that conventional wisdom is falling by the wayside pretty often these days when it comes to the Kentucky Derby. He did come to the USA for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and win gamely. You go back, we don't get in a rush with these horses anymore.
"You think I was confident? He looked like a classy horse".
For those of Us not off to the races this weekend, your viewing party fashion can still be just as chic!
Any horse that wins is going to have overcome the Todd Pletcher coalition.
Magnum Moon will try to press the pace and will finish in the show position.
Vino Rosso is the most unsafe, but he'll need a fast pace because he'll be racing from behind. The other three being Noble Indy (ridden by Florent Geroux), Audible (Javier Castellano) and Magnum Moon (Luis Saez).
Audible, a New York-bred, has won four of five, including the Florida Derby. Noble Indy was a gutsy victor of the Louisiana Derby but he was beating a suspect field. "That's how confident we are". He is really talented, and I trust that Mott will have him ready to fire on Saturday.
About a half dozen people sat in the lounge of the Sunset Grill on Thursday afternoon, watching coverage of horse races from Churchill Downs and betting on a handful of races taking place throughout the country.
The Eclipse Champion Two-Year-Old, Good Magic, is at a 12-1 morning line.
"She has the right style to just sit out there, and Mike Smith is on her", Baffert said. Good Magic; 3. Vino Rosso.