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In retrospect, the effect of Regret winning the 1915 Kentucky Derby was central to the event becoming a national classic. The filly’s victory put the race and its winner in the national spotlight for newspapers through the next two years of her racing career, and it confirmed for Eastern stables that the Derby was a prize worth competing for and one they had a fair chance of winning.
In a contemporary report on the race from the Thoroughbred Record, the writer noted that “the daughter of Broomstick and the granddaughter of Ben Brush furnished a spectacle for more than 40,000 persons at Churchill Downs that will not soon be forgotten. Dashing to the front with the rise of the barrier, she made every post a winning post and came on to [earn] laurels that were rightfully hers.”
The race was already a major spectacle before the success of Old Rosebud the previous year, but the escalating enthusiasm for the Derby in Kentucky made it a central test on the program for most stables.
Owner Harry Payne Whitney said that “this is the greatest race in America at the present time, and I don’t care if she never starts again. The glory of winning this event is big enough, and Regret can retire to the New Jersey farm any time now. I told [stable trainer] Rowe I didn’t care if she never won another race if she could only land this one.”
That is a serious endorsement of the race and of Whitney’s own enthusiasm for winning it.
The chestnut filly was a picture after the race, here painted by the journalist: “Regret pulled up remarkably fresh after her long journey. When she came back into the charm circle before the judges’ stand she was still full of run. When the wreath was placed around her neck and Jockey [Joe] Notter boosted up on her bare, sweaty back the cheering which had accompanied her victory was a mere whisper in comparison to the ovation she received when the idea that the unattainable had been attained and that a filly had conquered the princes of the turf and won a Kentucky Derby.”
The New Jersey-bred daughter of Broomstick continued her remarkable career on the track, winning nine of 11 starts, and was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1957.