He’s a thoroughbred racing legend
and no its not American Pharaoh!
The power thoroughbred “American Pharaoh” may not have set another record at the Traverse Stakes, but we have our own Louisville Kentucky native and thoroughbred racing legend who STILL holds a record… and the history behind it is Uncovered!
In this episode of Louisville Uncovered, we peek into the life of Louisville’s Roscoe Goose, who held a one of a kind position in the racing world, and a record at the Kentucky Derby that hasn’t been beated in over 100 years! His style of racing is familiar in contemporary jockey’s like Calvin Borel.
Named “the Golden Goose”, Roscoe took care of other young jockeys coming on to the racetracks opening his home and knowledege of running the races.
His horse, Donerail was a force to be reckoned with, with pedigrees dating back to the mid 1800’s.
Of course, Kentucky is known for producing high-stakes horses, but in the early days the Bluegrass State was also the home of many jockeys gas well.
Roscoe Goose, born in 1891 in Jeffersontown, Kentucky, came from a family of horsemen and began riding at a very early age at Kentucky county fair races. By 1908, he rode in his first Kentucky Derby. In 1913, at age twenty-two, Goose won the Kentucky Derby. That day he was riding Donerail, who was listed at 91-1 odds of winning.
After a successful jockey career, which included 135 victories and 12 wins in stakes, Goose had success as a trainer. In 1939 and 1940, he scored victories in stakes races.
In 1948, Goose was chosen president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, a position he held for three years. He later served as the stable superintendent at Churchill Downs and as a purchasing agent for various owners.
In 1957, Goose was named to the inaugural class of inductees to the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. Roscoe Goose passed away at age 81 in 1971 at his home near Churchill Downs from a heart attack. He was buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. It was learned after Goose’s death that he had quietly amassed a $1.2 million fortune, most of which was left to family members and friends.
About his horse, 1913 Kentucky Derby Winner,Donerail: (born 1910) was an American thoroughbred racehorse that was the upset winner of the 1913 Kentucky Derby. His win stands to this day as the biggest long-shot victory in the history of the Derby. Going off at 91-1, Donerail provided a $184.90 payoff for a $2 bet. He was drawing away at the finish and set a track record with a time of 2:04 4/5.
In that race, various horses had the lead, and for a time it was Ten Point, Foundation in second, and Yankee Notions third. Roscoe Goose kept Donerail away from the pacesetters but within striking distance.
A bay colt by McGee out of Algie M. by Hanover, he was trained by T.P. Hayes, as well as bred in Kentucky by him. Of 62 starts, Donerail won 10, placed in 11, and showed in 10. His other major victories came in the Canadian Sportsmen’s Handicap and the Hamilton Cup. His career earnings amounted to $15,156.
Donerail was retired in 1917 and was briefly used as breeding stallion in Lexington, where he commanded a stud fee of $50.In December 1917, Hayes donated Donerail to the Remount Service for use as a sire of cavalry horses.
On May 27, 1918, Donerail reappeared on the turf in New York, where he was eased and dropped out of competition in a mile-long race.