The Kentucky Derby, is a race for 3 year old Thoroughbred horses. The race distance is one and one-quarter miles long, and it is run on the dirt racetrack at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Colts and geldings in the race carry 126 pounds (57 kg), and fillies in the race carry 121 pounds (55 kg)
20 horses compete in the Kentucky Derby, which is a larger field size than most horse races; where on average 8 horses race against one another. The 20 horses racing in the Kentucky Derby must first travel along the Road to the Kentucky Derby, which is a series of 35 races taking place at tracks across the country and the world. Points are awarded to the top 4 horses that finish in each of those 35 races, and the 20 horses with the most points earn a spot in the starting gate in the Kentucky Derby race. The Kentucky Derby winning purse is $2 million.
The Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May every year, and typically draws a crowd of 155,000 people. It is the longest continually held sporting event in America, and it is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. Often called “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”, the Kentucky Derby receives this nickname from the approximate length of time it takes the winner to run from the starting gate to the finish line. The Kentucky Derby is the first race within the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, where it is followed by the Preakness Stakes race and the Belmont Stakes race.
Were you desperately hoping for a refreshing bourbon cocktail but frustrated that you didn’t have a good enough excuse? Thankfully for you, the Kentucky Derby Day is tomorrow to pander to your wildest fantasies… just as long as those fantasies involved sipping this classic cocktail.
Mint julep originates in the southern USA and still counts this area as its heartland. This is especially true of Kentucky where the annual Kentucky Derby horse race sees around 120,000 juleps served each year. Premium versions of the drink are served in gold-plated cups with silver straws at a cost of $1000, but you don’t need to spend quite as much as that to enjoy the day. The ingredients are simple: bourbon, mint leaf, sugar and water. However, no two bartenders seem to make the drink in the same way, which is all the more reason to sample a few before this special day is over!
In 1973, arguably the greatest race horse of all time, Secretariat, won the Kentucky Derby. Nicknamed “Big Red”, for his reddish brown color.
What’s so impressive was Secretariat’s response to the pressure of his fans and the media to be the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years. Just two weeks following the Kentucky Derby, Secretariat won the Preakness Stakes. Then, just a few weeks later, only 4 horses went on to challenge Secretariat in the Belmont Stakes. He did more than win the Belmont, Secretariat set two more world–records
– he finished the Belmont’s one and half mile race in 2:24 seconds, and
-he won the race 31 lengths ahead of the second place finisher.
Secretariat’s victory was by such a large margin, that not even the widest camera angle could show him in the same shot as the next nearest horse.