The Kentucky Derby is not just another horse race. The first race was in 1875. This was the year Churchill Downs was founded by Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. His Grandfather was William Clark, the famous explorer.
You’ll want to know more
There are hundreds of interesting facts surrounding the Kentucky Derby. Even if you are not a horse racing fanatic, you will definitely want to learn more about the history of the longest continual running sporting event in the United States. You may even want to go see it in person next May.
Little Known Facts
Five of the most interesting facts about the Kentucky Derby that most people don’t know are:
Almost all of the horses are 2 years old. The race is open to horses up to 3 but the last horse over 2 years old to win was Apollo in 1882.
They say starting position doesn’t matter, but I sure wouldn’t want to be in post position 15. There has never been a winner out of this position.
The phrase “Run For the Roses” came from a New York sports columnist. His name was Bill Corum . He later became the president of Churchill Downs.
Secretariat has held the record for fastest time for over 40 years. The winning time was 1:58:29.
Since 1938, the official beverage of the Kentucky Derby has been the Mint Julep. It’s made with mint leaves, sugar and Kentucky Bourbon.
The Long Shot Record Still Stands
We all probably have a relative somewhere that attended the Kentucky Derby in the past 149 years. I wonder if any of them bet on the 94-1 long shot in 1913 named Donerail . Anyone who placed a $2.00 bet won $184.90. This is still a record for highest paying winner.
Go Watch It In Person
Now that you see how interesting the history of the Kentucky Derby is, all you need to do is get your tickets and go. If you want to drink Mint Juleps on the infield with the rest of the rowdy crowd, tickets in advance are only $45.00. Maybe you would rather sit with the well-dressed folks in the grandstands. You can pick either the regular section of the grandstands or Millionaire’s Row. Tickets are $600 to $6000 each. I think you’ll find me watching it from my living room for free!