This Day in History — May 24

On May 24, 1938, Donald T. Brumfield, who during his thirty-five year career, won 4,573 races in 33,222 rides, was born in Nicholasville.  He was the “track all-time leader in terms of races won” at Churchill Downs until his record was broken by Pat Day, who won more than 2,000 races in his career. In 1966, Brumfield was one of few jockeys to win both the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby in the same year. He won many of his races in Lexington at Keeneland, including five Breeders’ Futurity Stakes wins (1969, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1979) and three Ashland Stakes wins in (1974, 1974,1984). The Ashland Stakes, which was named for the homestead of Henry Clay, and was first run in 1936. In the 1974 running, for only the third time, the Stakes was run in two heats. Don Brumfield is the only jockey to ever have won both heats. He rode to victory on Winged Wishes, a horse owned by his mother, Viola, then took the second running aboard Darby Dan Farm’s, Maud Muller. Brumfield retired from racing in 1989, and since giving up the reins, he has worked as a racing official at various racetracks.


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