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Lot # 2: 1991 Kentucky Derby Owner's Trophy - Strike the Gold

Category: Horse Racing

Starting Bid: $25,000.00

Bids: 36 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "2024 Winter Classic",
which ran from 2/25/2024 10:00 AM to
3/16/2024 10:00 PM

Kentucky Derby Winner's Trophy presented to the owner of Strike the Gold in 1991. Kentucky Derby owner trophies are rarely offered for sale, either privately or publicly. 2024 marks the 150th "Run for the Roses," but the practice of presenting the winning owner with an elaborately-designed trophy first began in 1924. Since that time, we have seen fewer than five owner's trophies sold at public auction. The most recent example, presented to the owner of Spend a Buck in 1985, appeared as Lot 1 in Leland's 2015 Winter Classic, where it realized a record price of $187,521. It is also important to note that the 14K gold Kentucky Derby owner's trophies should not be confused with the more commonly seen examples presented to the winning jockey, trainer, and breeder, which are crafted in sterling silver and are much smaller. 

The offered trophy consists of three main components:

The Cup: The resplendent figural of classic design is hand-hammered in 14K gold. The engraving within the upside-down horseshoe reads: "One Hundred Seventeenth Kentucky Derby - $500,000.00 Added - 1 1/4 Miles -  Chuchill Downs Louisville - May 4, 1991 - Won By Strike The Gold." The underside of the base is stamped "Lemon & Son Louisville KY. 14K." 

The Lid: The magnificent design features a standing steed and rider mounted on the underside with fine tiny screws. All components are crafted in 14K gold. The horse and rider are the only parts of the trophy that are molded.

The Base: Custom made of solid Jade, weighing 9 lbs, 10 ounces. 

In terms of both its history and craftsmanship, the Kentucky Derby owner's trophy is arguably the most beautiful and significant sports trophy in the hobby. There are few sporting events more widely anticipated than the Kentucky Derby, which is also the first leg of any Triple Crown attempt. Its history goes back to 1875 and since that time it has annually been the most exciting two minutes in sports. The design of the trophy and its components are equal to the importance of the race. The trophy is the only solid gold trophy presented for a major sporting event.

Commissioned by the esteemed Lemon & Son, the oldest retail establishment in Louisville, Kentucky, and crafted by New England Sterling, the meticulous design requires nearly 2,000 man hours and takes months to complete, with the trophy typically consisting of nineteen components. The finished product, as one can plainly see, is a piece to behold, and destined to be the centerpiece of any room in which it is displayed. The 14K gold cup and lid weigh a combined 67 ounces, which equals 39.195 ounces of fine-gold content. Given the current price of gold ($2,039 as of February 21, 2024) the gold value alone for the trophy is approximately $79,918. The height of the trophy is 17 inches, and the total height, with the base, is 21 inches. Mint condition. Please Note: Strike the Gold had multiple owners and afterwards an exact 14K gold replica was made for one of the partners but this is the original trophy presented to the ownership group at Churchill Downs. The size and/or weight of this lot will necessitate an increased shipping charge.

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