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Entry from May 13, 2018
“Run for the Orchids” (Florida Derby)

"Run for the Orchids” is the nickname of a horse race, much like the “Run for the Roses” (Kentucky Derby) and the “Run for the Carnations” (Belmont Stakes). The term has not been trademarked and has been shared by several races.

“Run for the Orchids” was the name of a race in Taunton, Massachusetts, as published in the Boston (MA) Sunday Globe on August 29, 1946.

“Run for the Orchids” described New York City’s Belmont Stakes in May 1947. The Belmont Stakes—now called the “Run for the Carnations”—didn’t use orchids for very long.

“Run for the Orchids” has been used to describe the Louisiana Derby since at least November 25, 1948, when a florist advertised in The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA). “Original RUN FOR THE ORCHIDS” was advertised in The Louisiana Weekly (New Orleans, LA) on March 16, 1968.

“Run for the Orchids” has been used to describe the Florida Derby since at least March 20, 1953, when this was printed in the Miami (FL) Daily News.

Wikipedia: Louisiana Derby
The Louisiana Derby is an Grade II American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at the Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans, Louisiana. Run in late March, the race is open to horses, age three, willing to race ​1 1⁄8 miles (9 furlongs) on the dirt. It currently offers a purse of $1,000,000.
A race was held in 1894 and called the Crescent City Derby. The race was later renamed in honor of Fair Grounds’ home state, Louisiana.

Wikipedia: Florisa Derby
The Florida Derby is an American Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old horses held annually at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Since 2005, it has been run five weeks before the Kentucky Derby, which is held on the first Saturday in May. Thus the Florida Derby is currently run either at the end of March or the beginning of April. Added to the racing schedule in 1952, the Grade I race is run at ​1 1⁄8 miles on the dirt for a purse currently set at $1 Million.

29 August 1946, Boston (MA) Sunday Globe, “Greyhounds Named for Taunton Stake,” pg. 29, col. 5:
In addition to the “Run for the Orchids,” top stake event of the season Saturday, the Consolation Derby will be held Friday night.

18 May 1947, The Sunday Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), “Robb classes $100,000 race above Derby, Preakness” by Pat Robinson, pg. 6-S, col. 6:
NEW YORK (INS)—Kentucky may have its Run for the Roses in its Derby.

Maryland is welcome to its Run for the Black-eyed Susans in the Preakness.

But Broadway insists that its Run for the Orchids in the Belmont is by far the classiest and most important of the three $100,000 stakes for three-year-olds.

25 November 1948, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), pg. 24, col. 3 ad:
Of course, we can’t give you the winner of the Louisiana Derby “Run for the Orchids” so far in advance, but we can tell you that it will be a thoroughbred who will wear a garland of Farley’s most beautiful orchids when he has been brought to the judges’ stand after the race; ...
E. A. Farley

16 March 1949, Tampa (FL) Daily Times, “Louisiana Derby Slated Saturday,” pg. 11, col. 8:
The one mile and an eighth race for three-year-olds is expected to furnish a contender or two for the Kentucky Derby. It is known as the “run for the orchids” because the winner is awarded an orchid wreath in addition to a gold cup.

2 March 1952, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “Gushing Oil Wins Derby,” pt. 2, pg. 10, col. 2:
In the 27th renewal of the run for the orchids, Hiram Jr., an outside, was third.

20 March 1953, Miami (FL) Daily News, “Thru the Looking Glass” by Helen Wells, pg. 2-B, col. 2:
Florida Derby
It’ll be a run for the orchids tomorrow at Gulfstream Park for the big ($100,000) race, the Florida Derby.

21 March 1953, New York (NY) Herald Tribune, “Matagorda Heads Field of 17 in Gulfstream’s $100,000 Florida Derby Today” by Bill Lauder Jr., pg. 13, col. 1:
HALLANDALE, Fla. March 20.—Seventeen three-year-olds, headed by Joe W. Brown’s Matagorda, winner of the Louisiana Derby last Saturday in New Orleans, were entered today to contest tomorrow’s $100,000 added mile and a quarter Florida Derby, Gulfstream Park’s “run for the orchids.”

Google Books
Southern Florist and Nurseryman
Volume 70, Issues 1-13
Pg. 65:
Orchids were in the news at the March 30 “Run for the Orchids” at Gulfstream. Racetrack owner, James Donn, who also owns Exotic Gardens, went all out with hundreds of white orchids in a horseshoe arrangement for the winning horse.

16 March 1968, The Louisiana Weekly (New Orleans, LA), sec. 2, pg. 7, col. 4 ad:
Fair Grounds

Google Books
Dreamers, Schemers, and Scalawags
By Stuart B. McIver
Sarasota, FL: Pineapple Press
Pg. 258:
The Kentucky Derby had its “Run for the Roses.” At Gulfstream the Florida Derby had become the “Run for the Orchids.”

wil bonnin
I’m giving away: run for the orchids flower horse racing new orleans mardi gras doubloon rare coin. Che
5:18 PM - 8 Sep 2013

Posted by Barry Popik
Florida (Sunshine State Dictionary) • Sunday, May 13, 2018 • Permalink