Special Kentucky Derby 150 Gold Trophy Unveiled

January 30, 2024

The special bejeweled gold 150th Kentucky Derby Trophy. (CDI Photo)

Churchill Downs Press Release

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The priceless gold trophy to be presented to the winning owner of the landmark 150th running of the $5 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve on Saturday, May 4 was unveiled for the first time Tuesday during a media event held in Churchill Downs’ First Turn Club.

The special Kentucky Derby trophy was handcrafted by silversmiths of S.R. Blackinton in Smithfield, R.I. from 14-karat solid yellow gold and green gold over a period of more than six months.

Diamonds serve to fill the nail holes on the gold trophy’s horseshoe. (CDI Photo)

As always, the front of the trophy is adorned by a 14-karat gold horseshoe pointed upward, the top features a 14-karat gold horse and rider, and the sides showcase a pair of horseshoe-shaped wreath handles. 

Overall, the trophy stands 22 inches tall and weighs just under 68 ounces, excluding its jade base and unique gems added to this year’s milestone trophy. 

As was the case with previous special anniversaries – 1949 (75th), 1974 (100th) and 1999 (125th) – this year’s trophy has unique jeweled embellishments to commemorate the special 150th anniversary of the Kentucky Derby.

The ruby and emerald blanket. (CDI Photo)

A distinctive garland of roses outfitted with 196 rubies, 96 marquise emeralds and 36 round emeralds is draped across the withers of the horse atop the 2024 trophy. Additionally, there are 12 diamonds on the cover cape beneath the horse, 38 rubies on the circular braid atop the gold cup, and eight diamonds within the horseshoe on the front of the trophy.

Since the 50th running of the Kentucky Derby in 1924, Churchill Downs has annually presented a gold trophy to the winning owner of the famed “Run for the Roses.”

History is unclear if a trophy was presented in 1875 to the winner of the first Kentucky Derby, and trophy presentations were sporadically made in following years. Finally, in 1924, legendary Churchill Downs President Col. Matt J. Winn commissioned a standard design to be developed for the “Golden Anniversary” of the Derby.

The trophy is believed to be the only solid gold trophy that is annually awarded the winner of a major American sporting event.

Additionally, three smaller sterling silver replica trophies are awarded to the winning jockey, trainer and breeder of the Kentucky Derby.

Tickets for the 150th Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby on May 3-4 have seen unprecedented demand with limited premium and luxury experiences still available. Fans are encouraged to secure tickets by visiting www.KentuckyDerby.comwww.Derby150.com and www.DerbyExperiences.com or by calling (502) 636-4447 to be a part of the most extraordinary Kentucky Derby yet.

Churchill Downs also provides a secure, official resale marketplace to purchase Derby and Oaks tickets via the Churchill Downs Ticketmaster Ticket Exchange on www.KentuckyDerby.com.

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