I don’t know anyone who did not want a horse while growing up — or at least a pony. For some, the love for horses never phased away, and so every year since 1875, they head to the Kentucky Derby to get their fix on the thundering hooves of competing horses for a breath-stopping two minutes. Here are five things about the Kentucky Derby you might not know already.
1. Champions Breeding Champions: In the history of the racing event, there have been a total of eleven Kentucky Derby winners whose offspring went on to equally win the event. The most recent time this happened was in 1996, when a horse named “Grindstone” won at the event. Six years earlier at the 1990 event, his father named “Unbridled” had won at the Kentucky Derby.
2. Not so Lucky Numbers: Some people have a strong belief in the power of numbers, others brush such notions off as superstition. In the 140-year history of the Kentucky Derby, no competing horse starting off at post positions 17 and 19 have ever won the race. Logically the post position number has nothing to do with the horse’ performance, but then again it is an interesting fact; especially for those wagering big bucks.
3. 2011 Record Attendance: Before 2011, the 100th anniversary event of the Kentucky Derby (1974) held the record for largest attendance in its history; with a total of 163,628 attendees. In 2011 however, that record was broken with 164,858 people in attendance. To offer an appreciative perspective of this number, the average Superbowl game attendance is 78,019 attendees (Massaro).
4. Garlands and Flowers: The Kentucky Derby winner’s garland has 400 “Freedom” roses individually sewn on it. This garland is 2.5 yards long, and weighs in at forty pounds. The Kroger’s Company have been the official florist of the Kentucky Derby since 1987, and are responsible for the creation of this garland.
5. Triple Crown Winners: The Kentucky Derby has seen a total of eleven triple crown winners. Triple Crown consists of three races by three year old thoroughbred horses. When a single horse wins all three of these races, it is a Triple Crown winner. Here are the names of Triple Crown winners thus far: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secreteriat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977) and Affirmed (1978).
“138 Kentucky Derby Fun Facts” – Kentucky Derby.
“Super Facts of the Super Bowl: I-XLII Edition” – John Massaro.