Greetings from the Kentucky Derby in beautiful Louisville, Kentucky! Today I’m taking in the ‘Run for the Roses’ from the legendary Churchill Downs racetrack. While I’m out in the infield with the masses experiencing the festivities (and doing my best to actually see a horse), I wanted to share a list of interesting facts about the derby with you:
-The Kentucky Derby is the first race in the ‘Triple Crown’ of horse racing – The Preakness and The Belmont are the two others. The last horse to win all three races and claim the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978.
-Churchill Downs has been the host of the Kentucky Derby since it was built in 1875; the grandstand facilities seat around 50,000 people.
-The race is nicknamed “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses that is draped over the winning horse.
-The distance of the race is 1.25 miles and is usually completed in a little over two minutes.
- The fastest time ever run at the Kentucky Derby was 1:59 by Secretariat, a record that has stood since 1973.
- Burgoo is a popular meal eaten around the Kentucky Derby; it is a spicy meat and vegetable stew often served with cornbread.
-80,000 fans pack the infield of the track where the atmosphere is decidedly more casual than in the grandstands.
- Only three fillies (female horses) have ever won the Kentucky Derby; there is a separate fillies-only race held at Churchill Downs the day before called The Kentucky Oaks.
-The traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby is the Mint Julep, an alcoholic concoction consisting of bourbon, mint, and a sugar syrup served over ice, typically in a frosted silver Julep cup
-The Kentucky Derby first ran in 1875. It has been run every year since.
- The official song of the Kentucky Derby is “My Old Kentucky Home” by Stephen Collins Foster which is performed just before the race.
-Millionaires row is nickname given to the seating area where the rich and famous take in the race. Presidents, celebrities, and even Queen Elizabeth have attended past derbies.
-The Derby Hat Parade is the term used to describe the mass of elaborate and elegant hats that adorn the heads of the Kentucky Derby attendees (similar the Easter Parade in New York City)
-The winning horse with the longest odds in Kentucky Derby History was Donerail who did so with 91.45 – 1 odds in 1913.
-Only 16 seconds separates the fastest and slowest ever Kentucky Derby runs
Alright, it is time for me to get back to the festivities. If you’re not following me on facebook yet, go take a look. I’ll be posting some photos from the event throughout the day.
Have you ever been to the Kentucky Derby or a Kentucky Derby party?