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LADY LUCK: Elizabeth Arden and the 1947 Kentucky Derby

LADY LUCK: Elizabeth Arden and the 1947 Kentucky Derby

Beauty, brains, and brawn (in this case, the brawn is horses) and lady luck have a long history together. Besides being a whip-smart entrepreneur and a beauty pioneer, Elizabeth Arden was well known for her love of horses. Her ambition and a little luck made her as successful on the track and at the Kentucky Derby as she was in business.

Horse racing, along with beauty and empowering women to be their best, was a passion of Ms. Arden and she managed to make money at the sport most of the time. In fact, in 1945, after establishing Maine Chance Stables (named for her former country home, which she had turned into a health resort), she earned a whopping $589,000 in horses’ winnings. That’s not bad for a sport that has brought many a male mogul to his knees.

But Elizabeth Arden’s success did not end there and in fact even headier days were yet to come. TIME magazine devoted their cover to Elizabeth Arden and her horses in 1946. Take a look in TIME’s archives and you’ll see that she looks about 40 years old although she was closer to 70 at the time.

The following year her beloved and aptly named horse, Jet Pilot, won the Kentucky Derby.

all brings to mind one of our favorite quotes by the lady, “It is remarkable what a woman can accomplish with just a little ambition”. Though we suspect lady luck had a hand in Ms. Arden’s racing success as well.


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