The Kentucky Derby

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Kentucky Derby One of the World’s Most Famous Races

The Kentucky Derby is not only one of America’s best known horse races, but one of the most famous worldwide.

The Kentucky Derby is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on the first Saturday in May. The race is a Grade 1 stakes race for three year old Thoroughbreds over a distance of 2 kilometres at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 57 kilograms, and fillies 55 kilograms. It is the first leg of the American Triple Crown, and is followed by the Preakness Stakes, and then the Belmont Stakes. Unlike those two races, however, the Kentucky Derby has been run every consecutive year since 1875. A horse has to win all three races to win the Triple Crown.

Attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America, and surpasses the attendance of every other stakes race. The 141st running of the Kentucky Derby was held on 2 May, 2015, with a minimum guaranteed purse of two million dollars.

The Origins of the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby was started by an American Colonel Clark, who was inspired during a visit to England, by the Derby there, a race that has been running annually since 1780. On his return to the United States, the historic Churchill Downs racecourse was established in the heart of America’s horse breeding country, on land donated by the Churchill family in America.

The fastest time ever fun in the Derby was set in 1973 by the horse Secretariat in just under two minutes, this record has not been broken in forty one years.

Interesting Traditions of the Race

The Kentucky Derby festival stretches the ”most exciting two minutes in sport” , as it is known in the United States, into a two week long party, with many entertainments offered for adults and children alike. In keeping with the traditions of the other horse races in the Triple Crown, the winning horse is draped with a garland of flowers. In the Kentucky Derby, the lush blanket is made up of 554 red roses. This practice began in 1896, when Colonel had the idea of making the rose the official flower of the race, and the Governor of Kentucky gave the garland to the winning horse.

Another tradition of the Kentucky Derby is the serving of the special Derby drink, the mint julep. Made with bourbon, mint and a sugar syrup served in an ice frosted cup, it is the accepte4d beverage of the Derby. Also burgoo, which is a thick stew, is a popular dish served at the Derby.

Huge Number of Punters Bet On the Kentucky Derby

Horse races provide sports punters with a great deal of entertainment. The Kentucky Derby has a  huge number of people throughout the world who pay intense interest to the horses racing in that famous race. Millions of people follow coverage of the race on the television, and the amount of online betting reaches new heights. As punters realise how easy and convenient online betting can be, the number of people trying it out has increased enormously.

Horse races have always been some of the biggest sports events in the world, and they appeal to huge crowds of spectators. They become even more exciting when there is a financial interest in the outcome of the race.