Kentucky Derby Facts and Information

Kentucky Derby facts:

  • First Saturday in May- The Kentucky Derby is run annually on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Triple Crown Part 1- The Derby is the first race in horse racing’s coveted Triple Crown, which also includes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
  • Greatest Two Minutes in Sports- The race is known as “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” for its approximate run time. The Derby is also referred to as “The Run for the Roses” due to the garland of 554 red roses draped over the winner.
  • 3-Year Old Race- The maximum age for a competing horse is three years.  All the horses are 3 years old.
  • Mint Julep-  the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. (What is a Mint Julep?)
  • Approximately 120,000 mint juleps are served annually during the two day period of the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby.
  • Female Derby Champs?- Only three fillies have won the Derby: Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980) and Winning Colors (1988).
  • No Rain-outs- No Derby has ever been postponed because of rain or bad weather.

Timeline:

May 17, 1875 – The first Kentucky Derby is held. The winner is Aristides, a three-year-old chestnut colt, beating fourteen other horses.

1892 – Only three horses run the race, making it the smallest field ever for a Kentucky Derby.

1896 – The race distance is reduced from 1.5 miles to its present 1.25 miles.

1925 – N.Y. Journal-American writer Bill Corum coins the phrase “run for the roses.”

May 3, 1952 – The Kentucky Derby is televised nationally for the first time.

1956 – The first Kentucky Derby Festival is held. This annual event runs for the two weeks preceding the actual races.

1973 – Secretariat wins with a time of 1:59 minutes, setting the record for the fastest time.

May 3, 2008 – Shortly after winner Big Brown crosses the finish line, second place finisher Eight Belles suffers fractures in both front legs and falls to the ground. Due to the severity of the injuries, the filly is euthanized on the track.

Above facts: CNN

The Kentucky Derby has been run every consecutive year since 1875.

The attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and the Breeders’ Cup.

No horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without having raced at age two.

In 1970 Diane Crump became the first female jockey to ride in the Derby, finishing 15th aboard Fathom.

In 2005, the purse distribution for the Derby was changed, so that horses finishing fifth would henceforth receive a share of the purse; previously only the first four finishers did so.

The 2004 Derby marked the first time that jockeys, as a result of a court order, were allowed to wear corporate advertising logos on their clothing.

In 2010 Calvin Borel set a new record, being the first jockey to win 3 out of 4 consecutive Kentucky Derbys

As the horses are paraded before the grandstands, the University of Louisville Marching Band plays Stephen Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home,” a tradition which began in 1921

The fastest time ever run in the Derby (at its present distance) was set in 1973 at 1 minute 59 2/5 seconds when Secretariat broke the record set by Northern Dancer in 1964. Not only has Secretariat’s record time stood for 41 years, but in the race itself, he did something unique in Triple Crown races: each successive quarter, his times were faster. Though times for non-winners were not recorded, in 1973 Sham finished second, two and a half lengths behind Secretariat in the same race. Using the thoroughbred racing convention of one length equaling one-fifth of a second to calculate Sham’s time, he also finished in under two minutes. Another sub-two-minute finish, only the third, was set in 2001 by Monarchos at 1:59.97

   Source: Wikipedia

Pick a horse name beginning with the letter “S”- There have been 19 winning horses in the Kentucky Derby whose names began with the letter “S.” Horses beginning with the letter ‘S’ have won 19times, and there are no winners beginning with the letters ‘Q’, ‘X’ or ‘Y’. Following is a list of the number of Derby winners followed by number of starters for each letter of the alphabet and the most recent horse to win with that letter.  Alphabet KD

Kentucky Derby 138 Fun Facts- Churchill Downs realeased this list of facts about the Kentucky Derby including; the race, the food, the wagering, the people, the horses, the trophy, the flowers, the weather, and more: 138 Kentucky Derby Fun Facts

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