RUN FOR THE ROSES: UPSET DERBYS
See some of the biggest upsets in Derby history for each decade starting with the 91-1 DONERAIL in 1913, ZEV in 1923, BREVITY in 1936, then GALLAHADIAN just grazing past the favorite BIMELICH in 1940.
But in the 1950's there would be an upset of such incredible proportions that many still consider it the biggest Derby surprise of all time! As the 1953 Derby approached, there was only one horse on everyone's mind - the undefeated gray colt, NATIVE DANCER - a perfect 11-for-11 including nine straight wins the year before that made him the 1952 Horse-of-the-Year - the first time any two-year old held this title. He was the overwhelming favorite at the post but shockingly came up a neck too short to the long shot, DARK STAR. NATIVE DANCER went on to win the final ten races of his career but DARK STAR never won another race again! Unfortunately, NATIVE DANCER's only defeat came in the most important race of all - the Kentucky Derby.
Other upsets include: PROUD CLARION over favorite DAMASCUS in 1967, DUST COMMANDER in 1970, Arthur Hancock's GATO DEL SOL in 1982, and finally THUNDER GULCH in 1995.
For as long as fans have come to back their favorites or cheer the underdogs, there have been upsets in sports. And it seems only right that horseracing gave the sports world the term "upset" after the horse by that name handed the great MAN O'WAR his only career defeat. But the measure of any upset is what is at stake and in Thoroughbred racing, the stakes are never higher than in America's most famous race - the Kentucky Derby.
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|Category:||U.S. & Canadian Flat Racing|