On October 9, 1893, excitement was building among the crowd gathered at the Lexington’s Red Mile. The occasion was the inaugural of the Kentucky Futurity, which today is one of the oldest and one of the richest horse races in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and ranks as the oldest classic race in the world of harness racing. That day the crowd watched a shiny black colt named Oro Wilkes score a grueling five-heat victory for driver J.A. Goldsmith. Oro Wilkes fastest Futurity heat was 2:14 ½ and the purse for the inaugural was only $11,880.
Fast forward a few years and here’s how the Kentucky Futurity played out: