E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Started by Edward Smith Stanley, the twelfth Earl of Derby, in 1780, the year after his establishment of the Oaks stakes (q.v.).
The Derby Day is the day when the Derby stakes are run for; it is the second Wednesday of the great Epsom Spring Meeting, in May.
The Derby Day.
The Derby, the Oaks, and the St. Leger are called The Classic Races. The Oaks is the classic race for fillies only, three years old (£1,000); the Derby (Darby) for colts and fillies three years old; the St. Leger for colts and fillies, those which have run in the Oaks or Derby being eligible.