Let us celebrate the 100 year anniversary of EXTERMINATOR Winning The Kentucky Derby! He was the long-shot winner back in May of 1918, at odds of 30 to 1. Which coincidentally is the morning line of MY BOY JACK in this years race.
EXTERMINATOR was owned by Willis Sharpe Kilmer of Binghamton, who gained his wealth an notoriety selling Swamp Root, a magic elixir said to cure almost anything that could ail one back then. People would ask Kilmer, what was Swamp Root good for? He would reply; “A couple million a year.” This cure-all contained all natural ingredients…as well as 9% alcohol. WHEW! I wonder if it was bourbon?
It was the stablemate of EXTERMINATOR, a colt named SUN BRIAR that was supposed to be Kilmer’s Kentucky Derby horse that year, but due to health and training issues he was scratched from running. Kilmer instead entered Old Bones to run on that muddy track in Kentucky all those years ago, and the rest is thoroughbred legend.
No one trick pony was EXTERMINATOR, he went on to have a great career. He had 99 career starts with 50 Wins, 17 second, and 17 third place finishes, amassing over a quarter of a million dollars in earnings.
EXTERMINATOR passed away on September 26th, 1945 at thirty years of age. He died in his stall at Sun Briar Court Stables which were somewhere along Riverside Drive on the west-side of Binghamton.
He, along with his stablemates SUN BRIAR, and SUNTICA are buried at Whispering Pines Cemetery off of Gardner Road in the Town of Binghamton.
It is at this grave-site where many a Derby fan will gather before the Run For The Roses to pay tribute to the great horse, and to perhaps hope for a bit of divine, equine foreshadowing as to who the upset Winner might be this year.