Kentucky Derby 2017 Silks Colors and Patterns:
The Kentucky Derby is nothing if not colorful. From the fashion to the saddle towels and even the red roses draped over the winner of the most prestigious event in horse racing, nothing is more colorful than the silks carried to post by each of the Kentucky Derby contenders representing each owner. The history of silks goes even farther back than the 142-year history of the Run for the Roses itself.
When organized horse racing first began in the early 18th century, there were no such things as program numbers, public address systems or closed circuit television. When England’s King Charles II first assembled race meets on the plains of Hempstead, the dukes and the barons had trouble figuring out which horse was which so they adopted racing silks – or colors – to distinguish their jockeys for easier viewing. And because they were made out of silk, they were referred to as “silks” and have kept the moniker since.
During the time of King Charles II, silks designs were simple. Red for one duke, black for another duke, orange for one earl, white for another earl, and so on. Today, since there are so many owners, silks have become even more colorful. The jockeys’ room at Churchill Downs houses thousands of silks, which are hung on pegs in the order of each jockey’s races for that day.
For this year’s 143rd Running of the Kentucky Derby, the following silks will be seen by millions around the world.
UPDATE: The field of 20, plus two also-eligibles, has been drawn for Saturday’s 143rd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Eclipse Award winner Classic Empire has been installed the 4-1 favorite off his Arkansas Derby (GI) victory, and is followed closely on the morning line by 5-1 chances Always Dreaming, the winner of the Florida Derby (GI), and McCraken, who was third in the Blue Grass Stakes (GII) last out but is undefeated in three starts over Churchill Downs’ main track.
Royal Mo and Master Plan are on the also-eligibles list in case of a scratch from the main body of the race. Following is the field, in post position order with riders and morning line odds
1. Lookin at Lee — L and N Racing (Don Nelson) Trainer – Dale Romans Jockey – Corey Lanerie, 20-1
2. Thunder Snow (IRE) — Godolphin (Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, et al.) Trainer – Saeed bin Suroor Jockey Cristophe Soumillon, 20-1
3. Fast and Accurate — Kendall E. Hansen, Skychai Racing & Bode Miller Trainer – Mike Maker Jockey – Channing Hill, 50-1
4. Untrapped — Michael Langford Trainer – Steve Asmussen Jockey – Ricardo Santana Jr., 30-1
5. Always Dreaming — Brooklyn Boyz Stable, Teresa Viola Racing, et al. Trainer – Todd Pletcher Jockey – John Velazquez, 5-1
6. State of Honor — Conrad Farm (Manfred & Penny Conrad) Trainer – Mark Casse Jockey Jose Lezcano,, 30-1
7. Girvin — Brad Grady Trainer – Joe Sharp Jockey – Mike Smith, 15-1
8. Hence — Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley) Trainer – Steve Asmussen Jockey – Florent Geroux, 15-1
9. Irap — Reddam Racing LLC (J. Paul Reddam) Trainer – Doug O’Neill Jockey – Mario Gutierrez, 20-1
10. Gunnevera — Peacock Racing Stables (Solomon Del-Valle, Guillermo Guerra & Jaime Diaz) Trainer– Antonio Sano Jockey – Javier Castellano, 15-1
11. Battle of Midway — WinStar Farm and Don Alberto Stable Trainer – Jerry Hollendorfer Jockey – Flavien Prat, 30-1
12. Sonneteer — Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley) Trainer – Keith Desormeaux Jockey – Kent Desormeaux, 50-1
13. J Boys Echo — Albaugh Family Stabes (Jason Loustch) Trainer – Dale Romans Jockey – Luis Saez, 20-1
14. Classic Empire — John C. Oxley Trainer – Mark Casse Jockey – Julien Leparoux, 4-1
15. McCraken – Whitham Thoroughbreds LLC (Janis R. Whitham) Trainer – Ian Wilkes Jockey – Brian Hernandez Jr., 5-1
16. Tapwrit — Bridlewood Farm (John & Leslie Malone), Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners (Aron Wellman) & Robert V. LaPenta Trainer – Todd Pletcher Jockey – Jose Ortiz, 20-1
17. Irish War Cry — Isabelle de Tomaso Trainer – H. Graham Motion Jockey – Rajiv Maragh, 6-1
18. Gormley — Mr. & Mrs. Jerry Moss Trainer – John Shirreffs Jockey – Victor Espinoza, 15-1
19. Practical Joke — Klaravich Stables (Seth Klarman) & William H. Lawrence Trainer – Chad Brown Jockey – Joel Rosario, 20-1
20. Patch — Calumet Farm (Brad Kelley) Trainer – Todd Pletcher Jockey – Tyler Gaffalione, 30-1
A/E. Royal Mo — Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss Trainer – John Shirreffs Jockey – Gary Stevens, 20-1
A/E. Master Plan — Al Shaqab Racing & WinStar Farm Trainer – Todd Pletcher Jockey – n/a, 20-1