EVERETT A. CLAY
Hialeah Race Course
Public relations director and secretary
Dave Erb on Needles in 1956. Erb was off last in a field of 17 starters. He was next to last midway down the back-stretch. It took a cool head and the utmost confidence to sit there, looking for an opening. He moved to the middle of the track, found an opening and won by three-quarters of a length.
W. H. VEENEMAN
Chairman of the Board of Churchill Downs
I think the 1933 Derby topped them all. Meade rode Brokers Tip, and Fisher was up on Head Play. They rode neck and neck in the stretch, punching and pulling each other's bridles. Both were so far ahead it wasn't fair to disqualify either. One had to win. Meade won on Brokers Tip.
Racing columnist for Triangle Publications
I've seen every Derby since 1916. Bill Knapp's ride on Exterminator in 1918 was the best. Exterminator was originally brought to the Derby as a trial horse. He was unknown and went to the post at $29.60 to $1. He outstripped the favorite, Escoba; it was the start of Exterminator's career.
New York Racing
Association track announcer
Eddie Arcaro's ride on Hill Gail in 1952. There was a large field of 16 horses. From post position No. 1, Eddie had to come out at an angle and take the lead immediately to avoid being shut off. He angled out to the front with a terrific burst of speed, a masterful maneuver, and he kept the lead all the way.
MRS. ISABEL DODGE SLOANE
Naturally I'm partial to my only Derby winner—Cavalcade in 1934. However, the most exciting Derby was last year's, when my horse, Sword Dancer, finished second to Tomy Lee after the famous bumping match in the stretch. Bill Boland claimed a foul, but you don't win a Kentucky Derby on a foul.
Hialeah and Garden State Park
Henry Moreno's handling of Dark Star in the 1953 Derby was the most masterful I've seen. Native Dancer, one of the great horses, was the favorite. Dark Star went to the post at $24.90 to $1 odds. Dark Star set the pace all the way, and Moreno held on in the stretch to win. It was the only way to beat Native Dancer.