close

There are few things scarier for a wild horse than to be frantically ...read more A pregnant mare was impounded as a stray and ended up at the McKinley ...read more

Kentucky Derby History, Traditions & Champions

Advertisement

On Saturday, May 6, 2017 the 143rd Kentucky Derby race will enter the history books. With such a long legacy, there is quite a bit to know about this cherished equine event.

Here we will explore Louisville, Kentucky’s biggest claim to fame with a breakdown of fun facts, curious traditions, race records and some of your most beloved former champions.

A post shared by Kentucky Derby (@kentuckyderby) on

Sometimes referred to as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports,” the Kentucky Derby marks the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. The Preakness Stakes follows and will be held on May 20 this year, and the Belmont Stakes will end the series on June 10.

History & Traditions

-The Kentucky Derby is always held on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

-The 1 1/4-mile race is run on a dirt race track by 20 horses.

-In order to qualify for the Derby, horses and their jockies participate in a series of 35 races that features a point system, known as The Road to the Kentucky Derby.

-The top four finishers at those 35 races earn points and the top 20 horses earn a spot in the big race.

-About 10,000 spectators took in the first Kentucky Derby in 1875. This year, Churchill Downs will host as many as 150,000 fans.

-The iconic Churchill Downs Twin Spires were constructed in 1895 by designer Joseph Dominic Baldez.

-The race has been nicknamed the “Run for the Roses” because the winner traditionally receives a garland of more than 400 red roses sewn together.

-Roses were first linked to the Derby in 1896 when Derby winner Ben Brush received an arrangement of white and pink roses.

-Red roses became the official flower of the Kentucky Derby in 1906.

-The Kentucky Derby winning purse is $2 million, and the winner takes home an estimated $1.24 million.

A post shared by Kentucky Derby (@kentuckyderby) on

 

Former Winners & Record Holders

-142 incredible thoroughbreds have earned the title of Kentucky Derby winner since the race’s inception.

-Secretariat still holds the Kentucky Derby record at 1:59.40, set in 1973. He also set records at the Preakness and Belmont Stakes en route to a Triple Crown.

-The slowest time by a winner was earned by a horse named Kingman in 1891, his time was 2:52.25.

-A horse named Donerail became the biggest long-shot winner in 1913 at over 91-1 when he bested even-money favorite, Ten Point by half a length.

-Four horses – Old Rosebud (1914) Johnstown (1939) Whirlaway (1941) Assault (1946) – hold the record for the largest margin of victory with 8 lengths each.

-Here are the most recent champions and their winning times from 2000 to present.

  • 2000: Fusaichi Pegasus, 2:01.12

  • 2001: Monarchos, 1:59.97

  • 2002: War Emblem, 2:01.13

  • 2003: Funny Cide, 2:01.19

  • 2004: Smarty Jones, 2:04.06

  • 2005: Giacomo, 2:02.75

  • 2006: Barbaro, 2:01.36

  • 2007: Street Sense, 2:02.17

  • 2008: Big Brown, 2:01.82

  • 2009: Mine That Bird, 2:02.66

  • 2010: Super Saver, 2:04.45

  • 2011: Animal Kingdom, 2:02.04

  • 2012: I’ll Have Another, 2:01.83

  • 2013: Orb, 2:02.89

  • 2014: California Chrome, 2:03.66

  • 2015: American Pharoah, 2:03.02

  • 2016: Nyquist, 2:01.31

-For a full list of all 142 victorious thoroughbreds, click here!

 

Odds to Win the 2017 Kentucky Derby

-Classic Empire and Always Dreaming were the early odds-on favorites, but as we’ve learned from previous races – never rule out the underdog! Go Patch!!

Here are the most recent odds as of May 5!

  1. Lookin at Lee 25-1 (20-1)

  2. Thunder Snow 17-1 (20-1)

  3. Fast and Accurate 33-1 (50-1)

  4. Untrapped 61-1 (30-1)

  5. Always Dreaming 9-2 (5-1)

  6. State of Honor 45-1 (30-1)

  7. Girvin 19 (15-1)

  8. Hence 16-1 (15-1)

  9. Irap 35-1 (20-1)

  10. Gunnevera 9-1 (15-1)

  11. Battle of Midway 38-1 (30-1)

  12. Soneteer 37-1 (50-1)

  13. J Boys Echo 43-1 (20-1)

  14. Classic Empire 6-1 (4-1)

  15. McCracken 6-1 (5-1)

  16. Tapwrit 30-1 (20-1)

  17. Irish War Cry 6-1 (6-1)

  18. Gormley 24-1 (15-1)

  19. Practical Joke 32-1 (20-1)

  20. Patch 14-1 (30-1)

A post shared by fastlisa (@fastlisa) on

How will YOU be spending your 2017 Kentucky Derby Saturday?

 

H/T to Sporting News

Featured Image via Tandem Sport

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Story Page