As far as horse racing goes, the Kentucky Derby is one of the most well-known and well-loved races of them all. With the “Crown Jewel” of horse races just hours away, it’s time to take a look at some little-known facts about the beloved event at Churchill Downs. The first Kentucky Derby race ever took place in May 1875 and has created countless legacies and traditions since then. Share some of these facts tomorrow over a mint julep, they might just help you pick the winning steed!
Kentucky Derby Viewing Details:
Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018
Start Time: 6:34 P.M. ET
TV Channel: NBC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live
10. Space is Limited
Although the racetrack is visually stunning, the number of horses selected for the event is less impressive. Only 20 0f the best-thoroughbred race horses are given the honor of competing in the Kentucky Derby.
9. Traditional Hats
The extravagant hats that are seen at the Kentucky Derby are almost as well known as the race itself. This tradition dates back to the very first race at Churchill Downs when the Kentucky Derby was marketed to rival Paris Fashion Week.
8. Racing Mares
Although mares are allowed to enter the race, only three female thoroughbred horses have ever won the competition in history.
7. Party Scene
For over 60 years, two weeks of parties, events and parades have occurred before the start of the Kentucky Derby. Those accustomed to the scene call it the “Kentucky Derby Festival”.
6. Triple Crown Winners
The Kentucky Derby is one of three races that makes up the legendary triple crown circuit. In order to win the triple crown, a horse must win three competitions held within the same month!
5. Price of Entry
As it turns out, those mint juleps don’t pay for themselves. If all deadlines are met on time, it costs close to $50,000 to enter the race.
4. Official Drinks
Speaking of mint juleps, the drink is known for being the official cocktail of the Kentucky Derby. Over 120,000 of these are consumed during visits to the track.
3. Prize Money
Besides earning a blanket of roses, the winning horse in the Kentucky Derby takes home $2 million in prize money.
When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, it’s no surprise that people are willing to bet and bet big. Nearly $209.2 million was gambled during the race in 2017.
1. High Stakes
If you’re lucky enough to pick the top four horses in winning order, you can earn up to $75,974.50 according to last year’s race.
What are you doing to celebrate the Kentucky Derby? Let us know in the comment section below!