Hailed as the ‘Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports’ in the US, the Kentucky Derby continues to allure masses from around the region every year. The Grade 1 stakes race features top three year old Thoroughbreds as well as celebrated jockeys and trainers. The race attracts high media attention and officially commences the annual US Triple Crown series that includes two more races; the Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes. This season, the annual race will once again take place on the first Saturday of May. The Derby will be held at its home in Louisville at Churchill Downs.
The Kentucky Derby was started by Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. in 1875. Clark’s 1872 visit to France and England allowed him to witness France’s greatest race of that time, the Longchamps, as well as England’s famous annual Derby, first hand. This inspired Clark to build a superior racing area in Kentucky, resulting in the formation of the Louisville Jockey Club.
In May of 1875, Clark inaugurated the first Kentucky Derby race. It was contested between fifteen three-year-old horses and was witnessed by more than ten thousand people. Jockey Olivier Lewis while riding the colt Aristides came out as the winner of the first ever Derby.
The record for the ‘most wins by a jockey’ is currently tied between Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hardtack with five wins each. On the other hand, Ben A. Jones has won the ‘most wins by a trainer’ with six victories under his belt. Ben first trained the 1938 Kentucky Derby winner ‘Lawrin’ and was later hired by Calumet Farm. Ben’s stint with Calumet Farm resulted in five more Derby victories. He was featured on the cover of Time Magazine in 1949 and was later inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
By the help of Ben, Calumet Farm became one of the greatest stables in Thoroughbred racing history. The Farm currently holds the ‘most wins by an owner’ for Kentucky Derby with eight wins.
The Live Race
Apart from the adrenaline pumping edge of the seat race, the Kentucky Derby features several annual traditions that add to the overall experience and excitement of the live event. The traditional drink of the event is the mint julep that consists of sugar syrup, mint and bourbon. The drink is often served in souvenir glasses that have names of Derby winners printed all over. Another signature dish served at the event is the burgoo. The event comprises of a Millionaire’s Row that refers to the expensive box seats. The Row is normally crowded by the well connected rich and famous people.
Every year, the fans are on a lookout for the Kentucky Derby tickets. The highly anticipated event draws in thousands of people from around the world. This season, the viewers can make sure to be a part of this exciting event by reserving their seats at the upcoming Kentucky Derby and indulge in a memorable experience.