July 29, 1911 -- If a Kentucky Derby winner ever turned up at Fort Erie for a race, you'd think it would cause something of a stir.
That did happen 100 years ago today. What's more, it was Meridian's second trip to the Canadian race track in less than a month.
Meridian took part in the Dominion Handicap at the Fort. The fans who figured a Derby winner was a shoe-in were sadly disappointed. Meridian finished out of the money in the race.
The horse had run on the surface on July 4. Meridian was second in the appropriately named Fourth of July Stakes.
Meridian won the 1911 Derby in what was then a record time of 2 minutes, 5 seconds. The old record had been held for 11 years by Lieut. Gibson.
Despite the losses in Canada, Meridian was named horse of the year for 1911. He finished his career with 20 wins in 66 starts.
--- Budd Bailey