Matt Winn

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Matt Winn
Matt Winn - 1912.jpg
Matt Winn, 1912
Born June 30, 1861
DiedOctober 6, 1949 (1949-10-07) (aged 88)
Resting place St. Louis Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky
Residence Louisville, Kentucky
Long Island, New York (cottage)
Occupation Horse racing executive
Known for The Kentucky Derby
Board member of President, Churchill Downs Incorporated
Spouse(s) Mollie Doyle
Matt Winn's picture appeared on the official 1949 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Glass with the caption "He Has Seen Them All." He had seen every derby run, since the first derby in 1875, when he was 14 years old. 1949 KY Derby glass.jpg
Matt Winn's picture appeared on the official 1949 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Glass with the caption "He Has Seen Them All." He had seen every derby run, since the first derby in 1875, when he was 14 years old.

Colonel Martin J. "Matt" Winn (June 30, 1861 – October 6, 1949) was a prominent personality in American thoroughbred horse racing history and president of Churchill Downs racetrack, home to the Kentucky Derby race that he made famous. In 2017, he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame as a Pillar of the Turf. [1]

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Churchill Downs Thoroughbred racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, United States

Churchill Downs, located on Central Avenue in south Louisville, Kentucky, United States, is a Thoroughbred racetrack most famous for annually hosting the Kentucky Derby. It officially opened in 1875, and held the first Kentucky Derby and the first Kentucky Oaks in the same year. Churchill Downs has also hosted the renowned Breeders' Cup on nine occasions, most recently on November 2 and 3, 2018. Churchill Downs Incorporated owns and operates the racetrack. With the infield open for the Kentucky Derby, the capacity of Churchill Downs is roughly 170,000.


A Louisville, Kentucky, businessman, Matt Winn had been a racing enthusiast since the day his father brought him to see the first running of the Kentucky Derby in 1875. In 1902, Matt Winn was operating as a merchant tailor. He was asked by one of his clients, William E. Applegate, (who, at that time, owned over eighty percent of the New Louisville Jockey Club) to become involved in the reorganization and management of Churchill Downs. Winn came on board as vice president to run the catering operation and summer entertainment and in 1914 he was listed as general manager of the new Louisville Jockey Club. [2] A skilled marketer, in his first year running the racetrack, his promotions for the event saw the business make its first-ever annual profit. A few years later, Winn was involved in changing the wagering from bookmaker betting to a Parimutuel betting system and in 1911 increased business substantially by reducing the wager ticket from $5 to $2.

Louisville, Kentucky City in Kentucky

Louisville is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the 29th most-populous city in the United States. It is one of two cities in Kentucky designated as first-class, the other being Lexington, the state's second-largest city. Louisville is the historical seat and, since 2003, the nominal seat of Jefferson County, located in the northern region of the state, on the border with Indiana.

Bookmaker organization or person that takes bets on sporting events

A bookmaker, bookie, or turf accountant is an organization or a person that accepts and pays off bets on sporting and other events at agreed-upon odds.

Parimutuel betting betting system in which all bets of a particular type are placed together in a pool

Parimutuel betting is a betting system in which all bets of a particular type are placed together in a pool; taxes and the "house-take" or "vigorish" are deducted, and payoff odds are calculated by sharing the pool among all winning bets. In some countries it is known as the Tote after the totalisator, which calculates and displays bets already made.

Matt Winn used his understanding of marketing to weave an aura of romance around the Kentucky Derby. In 1915, he convinced the multimillionaire sportsman Harry Payne Whitney to ship his highly rated filly Regret from New Jersey to Louisville to compete in the Derby. Whitney agreed, and Winn's effort paid off with nationwide publicity surrounding the first filly to ever win the Derby. Winn called Regret's victory a turning point, and he worked to create an event of exotic grandeur that women soon flocked to, coming from both fashionable society and the ordinary working classes. Under Winn, the Kentucky Derby became the preeminent thoroughbred horse race in America and in recognition of his accomplishments, the Governor of Kentucky bestowed on him the honorary title of Kentucky Colonel. In 1937, Winn and the Derby made the cover of the May 10th issue of Time magazine .

Harry Payne Whitney American businessman and horse breeder

Harry Payne Whitney was an American businessman, thoroughbred horse breeder, and member of the prominent Whitney family.

Filly young female horse

A filly is a female horse that is too young to be called a mare. There are two specific definitions in use:

Regret negative conscious and emotional reaction to personal past acts and behaviours

Regret is a negative conscious and emotional reaction to one's personal decision-making, a choice resulting in action or inaction. Regret is related to perceived opportunity. Its intensity varies over time after the decision, in regard to action versus inaction, and in regard to self-control at a particular age. The self-recrimination which comes with regret is thought to spur corrective action and adaptation. In Western societies adults have the highest regrets regarding choices of their education.

In 1944, Colonel Winn collaborated with Frank G. Menke to publish "Down The Stretch: The Story of Col. Matt J. Winn." He died a few years later in 1949 in Louisville. The Matt Winn Stakes for three-year-olds held each May at Churchill Downs was named in his honor. He is buried in his family plot in St. Louis Cemetery, 1215 Barret Avenue, Louisville Kentucky.

Frank G. Menke Sportswriter and author

Frank Grant Menke was an American newspaper reporter, author, and sports historian. He wrote for the Hearst Newspapers from 1912 to 1932 and his articles appeared daily in 300 newspapers across the country. He was billed by the Hearst syndicate as "America's Foremost Sport Writer". He later devoted much of his effort to his work as an author of books on sports history. Two of his works, The All Sports Record Book and The Encyclopedia of Sports, became known as authoritative reference works that were revised and reissued for several decades.

The Matt Winn Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually in mid May or early June at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Open to three-year-old horses, it is contested on dirt and began at a distance of six furlongs. The event currently offers a purse of $100,000 added.

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The Regret Stakes is a Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old fillies run on the turf at Churchill Downs in mid-June near the end of the Spring Meet in Louisville, Kentucky. Set at one and one-eighth miles, the Grade III Regret currently offers a purse of $100,000.

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  1. "Phipps, Gaines, Winn Named 2017 Pillars of the Turf". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  2. Thomas, Samuel W. (1995). Churchill Downs: A Documentary History of America's Most Legendary Race Track. Louisville, Kentucky: Kentucky Derby Museum. p. 8. ISBN   0-9617103-2-2.
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International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.