This day in sports: Bill Shoemaker wins fourth Kentucky Derby at age 54

Among Bill Shoemaker's many accomplishments was becoming the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. He did that, at age 54, atop Ferdinand, above, in 1986.
Among Bill Shoemaker’s many accomplishments was becoming the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. He did that, at age 54, atop Ferdinand, above, on May 3, 1986.
(Los Angeles Times)

It was a Run for the Ageless on this date in 1986 when Bill Shoemaker, 54, won his fourth Kentucky Derby, riding long shot Ferdinand (17-1) to a thrilling last-to-first 2 1/4-length win over Bold Arrangement.

The victory established Shoemaker as the oldest jockey to win the Derby, and Charlie Whittingham, 73, the oldest trainer to visit the Churchill Downs winner’s circle. Shoemaker surpassed Angel Cordero, 42, who had won the previous year aboard Spend a Buck.

Ferdinand was the only horse to run in all three Triple Crown races that year, finishing second to Snow Chief in the Preakness Stakes and third in the Belmont Stakes behind Danzig Connection and Johns Treasure.

In baseball games postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dodgers were scheduled to play a Sunday day game in San Diego against the Padres, and the Angels and Minnesota Twins would have played the final of a three-game series at Angel Stadium.


Here is a look at memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1947 — Jet Pilot, ridden by Eric Guerin, defeats Phalanx by a head in one of the closest Kentucky Derby finishes ever. Jet Pilot goes almost wire-to-wire and Phalanx comes from last to finish second, a head in front of third-place Faultless.

1952 — CBS is the first network to televise the Kentucky Derby when Hill Gail wins by two lengths over Sub Fleet. It is jockey Eddie Arcaro’s record fifth Derby win and Ben A. Jones gets the record for most Derby wins (six) by a trainer. A record $1,253,042 is bet on the race.

1968 — Owner Bob Kerner sells the St. Louis Hawks to a group that announces the team will move to Atlanta starting with the 1968-69 season. The departure occurs 10 years after the Hawks win their only NBA championship in 1958.

1969 — Jockey Bill Hartack wins his fifth Kentucky Derby, aboard Majestic Prince, tying Eddie Arcaro’s record. Majestic Prince, the dominant 3-year-old on the West Coast, overtakes Arts and Pleasure at the mile pole and holds on to win by a neck. Majestic Prince would go on to beat Arts and Pleasure in the Preakness Stakes, but lose to him in the Belmont Stakes.

2000 — The Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-4 to end Atlanta’s franchise-record 15-game winning streak, the longest in the big leagues since 1991 and the National League’s longest since 1951. Shawn Green and Todd Hollandsworth hit home runs off Greg Maddux, and Carlos Perez gets the win at Dodger Stadium.

2001 — Dallas, with an 84-83 win over the Utah Jazz, is the sixth team in NBA history to win a five-game series after trailing 0-2. The Mavericks rally from double-digit deficits in all three victories, including 17 points in Game 5.


A look at what happened on April 29 in sports history including the debut of ABC’s “Wide World of Sports”.

2003 — Funny Cide is the first gelding since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929 to win the Kentucky Derby. Ridden by Jose Santos, Funny Cide holds off 5-2 favorite Empire Maker by a length after making a decisive move midway on the turn for home.

2011 — Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is the NBA’s youngest most valuable player. The 22-year-old is a landslide winner, receiving 113 of 120 first-place votes. He averages 25 points and 7.7 assists while leading the Bulls to the league’s best record at 62-20. Wes Unseld was the previous youngest MVP at age 23 in 1969.

2011 — Francisco Liriano pitches the first no-hitter of the season and the first complete game of his career in the Minnesota Twins’ 1-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox. Liriano walks six and strikes out two.


SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press