Fast facts about the Kentucky Derby: Thoroughbred Horse racing in Louisville

 Kevin Brown
  Jan 08, 2019

2019 is here! It is not long before 145th Kentucky Derby is around the corner and Derby fans from all around the world start buying tickets for this iconic horse race. Kentucky Derby is considered to be the biggest race in the world. Every year millions of people from all around the world bet at various live tracks and online sportsbooks. In 2017, the attendance for Kentucky Derby was 158,070 making it seventh biggest attendance in the history of the racetrack.

Interesting things to know about Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually at Louisville, Kentucky, USA. This race is also referred to as “the most exciting two minutes in sports” or “the fastest two minutes in Sports” due to its approximate run time. The two weeks long Kentucky Derby festival starts on the first Saturday of the May. It is the first race of the famous Triple Crown of the USA which includes Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Derby was inaugurated in 1875 and since then it has been run every consecutive year. This famous horse race was even run every year throughout both world wars when all other sports including Olympics were cancelled.

Kentucky Derby

History

The Kentucky Derby is the spin-off of the Derby Stakes, which was first held in 1780 at Epsom Downs outside London, England. The first Kentucky Derby was held on May 17, 1875, in front of the crowd of 10,000 people, with 15 thoroughbred horses, on Churchill Downs. It is a grade I stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbreds for the distance of one and a quarter miles (2.0km). The distance for the race was 1.5 miles earlier but in 1896, it was reduced to 1.25 miles. This race is popularly called as “the run for the roses” due to the tradition of draping the winner with the blanket of 554 roses. The Kentucky Derby has never been postponed due to bad weather. The oldest living winner of the Kentucky Derby is Sea Hero, who is now 28years old. He won the race in 1993. Till now, three fillies have won the Derby: Regret, Genuine Risk and Winning Colors.

Fun Traditions at the Kentucky Derby

Mint Julep is considered to be the traditional beverage for this race. It is an iced drink that contains bourbon, mint and sugar syrup. Over 120,000 drinks are consumed at the race each year.

The popular Kentucky Dish served at Derby is Burgoo; it is a thick stew of beef, chicken, pork, and vegetables.

Rose was made the official flower of this race by M. Lewis Clark, Churchill Downs founder, and president after attending the 1883 post-derby party where socialite E. Berry Wall was handing out the roses to the ladies in attendance.

In Kentucky Derby Festival, many different activities are held preceding the race. Thunder over Louisville, the largest fireworks display is held two weeks prior to the Kentucky Derby.

2018 Kentucky Derby

Last year Derby was the 144th Kentucky Derby that took place on May 5, 2018. The race was won by Justify, in a time of 2:04 on a sloppy track. The rain of 2.8 inches had been recorded at Louisville on the day of the race which made the track really sloppy. The winning jockey was Mike Smith.

2019 Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby 2019 will be held on 4th May 2019. Before the final race, 2019 road to Kentucky Derby will be held, which is a series of races through which horses will be selected for 2019 Kentucky Derby. There will be total 35 races divided into 19 races for Kentucky Derby Prep Season and 16 races for the Kentucky Derby Championship Season.

How to buy tickets?

It is quite easy to buy tickets for Kentucky Derby. One can purchase one-time, individual tickets through Kentucky Derby annual online sale. It is also possible to reserve multiyear tickets through a personal seat license or a season box or turf club member.

Fast facts about the Kentucky Derby: Thoroughbred Horse racing in Louisville

Kevin Brown

Kevin Brown is a journalist at his own start-up, born and residing in Seattle, Washington. He has a knack of reading up newspaper articles and coming up with summaries and points of view, hence taking up a profession similar to his interest. Simply covering events and activities is something he can do as good as a professional, but he seems to enjoy writing on events that need viewpoints and suggestions.

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