The Kentucky Derby is one of the most fun annual horse racing events, usually big hats and celebrities are in abundance along with the beautiful horses. A lot of people might not know a lot about the Kentucky Derby itself, but watch it to see the horses and celebrities. Here are five lesser-known facts about the Kentucky Derby, which you might find a bit surprising.
The Kentucky Derby started in 1875
One very interesting lesser-known fact is that the Kentucky Derby started in 1875. Back then, the course was 1.5 miles long, and there were close to 10,000 people lined up to watch it. There were 15 thoroughbred horses that were involved in the race, and that to me is just amazing. I can’t imagine how 15 horses got so much attention during that time period that 10,000 people decided to watch it. Word of mouth had to be huge then, because there was really no way for people from all over to know about this event, since television wasn’t invented yet.
It took 51 years to be on radio
You may know now that the Kentucky Derby is broadcast on television, but it took 51 years just for it to be broadcast over the radio. This is very interesting because we think of it as this huge kickoff to May and summer, but for 50 years it was just a horse race, and unless you were there you didn’t know about it. To me this is really interesting, because it didn’t first get attention over the radio until 1925, and that was only a couple of stations in Kentucky and Illinois.
Burgoo is the food of choice
One really weird fact that most people don’t know about the Kentucky Derby is that the official food is burgoo. Burgoo is simply a stew that contains chicken, beef, vegetables, and pork. Burgoo is a southern food item that you just don’t hear about that much, but now it’s getting national attention. Every sporting event needs an official food item, because it separates it from other events, and it’s something that can bring people from all religions and nationalities together. It might not sound appealing from the name, but it really is a hearty meal that will leave you full and satisfied, although maybe a bit tired because it’s pretty heavy.
No woman has ever won
As a woman, I really am intrigued at the fact that no female jockey has ever won the Kentucky Derby, although only five women have ever tried. There have been women that have owned the winning horse, which first occurred in 1904, but women are not seen in the jockey role very often, which may be why they have never won. Women are mostly trainers and groomers for the Kentucky Derby, which leads me to think that more women need to get involved in the sport.
Apollo was last three-year-old to win
Way back in 1882, a horse named Apollo won the Kentucky Derby, and that was the last horse to win at three-years-old. The Kentucky Derby is mainly made up of two-year-old horses, even though the horse can enter up to age three. I find this interesting because for people, we think of the terrible twos, but two seems to be the most rewarding age for horses when it comes to racing. It is statistically odd that all these years later, no other horse that was older than two won the race, because plenty of three-year-old horses have entered since that time.