Louisville House Owned by Donerail Rider Goose Gets Historical Marker

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1:18 pm EDT

The 'Golden Goose'

By Dick Downey
Photo by Steve Downey

Today in Louisville across the street from Churchill Downs, the Roscoe Goose house was memorialized in a ceremony conducted by the Kentucky Historical Society as part of its road marker sign program.

Among his many other accomplishments, the "Golden Goose" rode Donerail to victory in the 1913 Kentucky Derby, producing the largest win payoff in the history of the race at odds of 91-1. Donerail's upset returned $184.90 on a $2 win ticket.

Goose and his brother Carl Ganz, who rode Cream to victory in the Kentucky Oaks the same year, took their winnings to purchase the house, located at 3012 South Third Street.

According to Wikipedia, Goose continued to work in the Thoroughbred racing business after his career as a jockey ended, training in the Kentucky and Illinois circuits and working as a bloodstock agent. He was president of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Breeders Association for three years. A good manager of money, he became wealthy and lived well.

Goose, who was born near Louisville and lived from 1891 to 1971, was among the first class inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

As for the house, it was built in about 1891 and has an Italianate and later Victorian styling. There is a a single-story porch that wraps across the front and left sides, and there's a large arched window on the ground floor next to the main entrance. Goose lived there from from 1913 until 1970 or 1971.

The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. David and Steve Downey's Goose House LLC own the house. David is Steve's son, and they are a nephew and brother of the author.

According to David Downey (photo, right), Savannah Darr (second from right) was instrumental in making the marker happen. She studied the house while a graduate student at the University of Louisville and later went to work for the City in its Develop Louisville program. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (left) was also in attendance at today's ceremony.

The Downeys bought the house in late 2014 and spent about a year renovating it. Darr helped them get the house placed on the National Register.

The Goose brothers are part of a short documentary which can be viewed here