Governor Steve Beshear today unveiled the 2013 Governor’s Commemorative Derby poster. This year’s poster features a photograph by John Stephen Hockensmith that captures the undefeated Smarty Jones racing towards the finish line at the 2004 Kentucky Derby.
“I am honored to continue this time-honored tradition of unveiling the commemorative Derby poster,” said Gov. Beshear. “This artwork exemplifies the excitement and enthusiasm that surround the greatest two minutes in sports and serves as a wonderful memento for the public.”
Smarty Jones became one of America’s most beloved racehorses with his speed, charisma and tenacity. He was the first undefeated Kentucky Derby winner since Seattle Slew in 1977 and went on to win the 2004 Preakness Stakes by a record margin of 11½ furlongs. This made him only the tenth horse to win both the Derby and Preakness since 1978 Triple Crown winner Affirmed.
Smarty Jones’ popularity led to increased race attendance and the highest television ratings for thoroughbred racing in years. He was the fan favorite going in to the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, but finished second to long-shot Birdstone. It was his first loss out of nine starts and the first time he had ever been passed in a race. Smarty Jones retired to stud at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Kentucky, in August 2004.
The 2013 poster is available now for purchase online through a link on the Governor’s Derby Celebration website at http://governor.ky.gov/derbycelebration/. The $15 poster will also be available for purchase at the Governor’s Downtown Derby Celebration on Derby morning.
A portion of the proceeds from the Governor’s Derby poster sales will benefit First Lady Jane Beshear’s Horses and Hope Program and the Equine Health and Welfare Alliance Inc. Horses and Hope provides breast cancer education, awareness, screening and treatment referral to uninsured and underinsured employees of Kentucky’s thoroughbred industry. The Equine Health and Welfare Alliance Inc. directly supports efforts addressing equine health and safety in Kentucky.
The 77th annual Governor’s Derby Celebration will be held in historic downtown Frankfort for the third year in a row. This year’s celebration will be held on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Eastern time and is free and open to the public.
Information on the Governor’s Derby Celebration, including an electronic invitation, a downloadable version of the Governor’s Derby poster, and more is available at http://governor.ky.gov/derbycelebration/. The website will be updated as more information on the celebration is released.