On This Day...

April 30, 1940

Bimelech, the previous year's unbeaten champion 2-year-old male, was good. But good enough to win the Blue Grass Stakes, Derby Trial, and Kentucky Derby in the span of 10 days?

Bimelech spent the winter at his birthplace, Col. E.R. Bradley's Idle Hour Farm near Lexington. There had been rumors that his training was held up because of bad weather, but many felt that the lack of extensive 3-year-old experience wouldn't hinder his Derby chances. Bimelech didn't start until the April 25 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and easily won the 1 1/8-mile race at 1-10 odds over two rivals.

Sent to Churchill Downs, Bimelech won the mile Derby Trial April 30 at 1-10 over Gallahadion and six other rivals the Tuesday before the May 4 Run for the Roses. Not surprisingly, he went off the 2-5 Derby favorite, but weakened in the final furlong and finished second to Gallahadion. Bimelech rebounded to win the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.