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Kentucky Derby

On the first Saturday in May, join the excitement of the Kentucky Derby - place your bets and cheer on your favorite horse!
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Get ready to experience one of the oldest and most exciting events in American history on the first Saturday in May with the Kentucky Derby! This event has been around since 1875, making it one of the longest running horse races in the world. Every year, over 150,000 people gather at Churchill Downs for an unforgettable day of betting, music and fun. Whether you're a fan of horse racing or not, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this iconic event. So don your most stylish hat and get ready for a day filled with thrilling entertainment!

History of Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby Dates

Kentucky Derby Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1872</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Initial Planning</div><div class='timeline-text'>Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. visits the Epsom Derby in England and becomes inspired to create the Kentucky Derby.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1875</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Kentucky Derby</div><div class='timeline-text'>Held on May 17, 1875, the inaugural Kentucky Derby is won by the horse Aristides.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1896</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Derby Distance Set</div><div class='timeline-text'>The course distance is shortened from the original 1.5 miles to its current 1.25 miles to provide a faster and more thrilling race.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1932</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Starting Gate Introduced</div><div class='timeline-text'>To provide a fair and equal start to all horses, a starting gate is introduced in the Kentucky Derby.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1945</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Television Broadcast</div><div class='timeline-text'>The Kentucky Derby is televised for the first time, broadening its reach and making it a national event.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1973</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Secretariat's Record</div><div class='timeline-text'>Racing legend Secretariat sets a new speed record at the Kentucky Derby, finishing the 1.25 miles in under two minutes.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Kentucky Derby

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Throw a Kentucky Derby party</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Gather your friends and family for a Kentucky Derby themed party. Serve up some classic Kentucky dishes like Hot Browns or Burgoo, make mint juleps, wear fancy hats and cheer on your favorite horse.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Visit Churchill Downs</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take a trip to the iconic Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY - the home of the Kentucky Derby. Tour the track and explore the museum to learn about the history of the famous race.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Place a bet</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Whether you make a bet at the track, or through an online betting site, placing a wager on the Kentucky Derby is sure to add to the excitement of race day.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Make a hat</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Making a hat for the Kentucky Derby is a great way to get into the spirit of the race. From fancy fascinators to wide brimmed hats, you can let your creativity shine!</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Watch a movie</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>If you can't make it to the race, you can still celebrate by watching one of the many movies about or set at the Kentucky Derby.  From Seabiscuit to Secretariat there are plenty of inspiring stories to watch.</p></div></div>

Why We Love Kentucky Derby

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It's full of tradition</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>The Kentucky Derby has been run for over 140 years, and with each passing year it just continues to get bigger and better. From the iconic hats and seersucker suits, to the Mint Juleps and singing of "My Old Kentucky Home," the Derby is steeped in tradition that makes it a one-of-a kind experience.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>You can watch amazing races</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Each year, some of the most talented horses in the world race to be crowned the winner of the Derby. The excitement of waiting to see who will come out on top is unparalleled, and it's sure to keep you on edge as you watch them sprint down the home stretch!</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It raises money for charity</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>The Kentucky Derby is more than just a horse race; it's also a major fundraiser for charities throughout Kentucky and the surrounding areas. From supporting injured jockeys, to helping those affected by natural disasters, the Derby is doing its part to make the world a better place.</p></div></div>

5 Unbelievable Facts about the Kentucky Derby

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Kentucky Derby is Known as "The Run for the Roses"</h3><p class='facts-content'>Because of the rose garland awarded to winners, the Kentucky Derby is also referred to as "The Run for the Roses". The garland features more than 400 red roses and weighs about 40 pounds.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The Kentucky Derby Trophy Includes a Thoroughbred Horse and Jockey</h3><p class='facts-content'>The 14-carat gold trophy that winners receive also includes a 18-karat gold horse and rider, standing on a jade base. It's one of the most desired trophies in professional horse racing.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>A $1,000 Mint Julep is Served at The Kentucky Derby</h3><p class='facts-content'>A traditional drink of the event, a premium version of the Mint Julep made with rare ingredients and served in a gold-plated cup with a silver straw, is offered for $1,000 with proceeds going to charity.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Record Attendance was Over 170,000</h3><p class='facts-content'>The Kentucky Derby is one of the most well-attended sports events in the world. The highest-ever attendance was recorded in 2015, with 170,513 spectators present at Churchill Downs.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Few Fillies Have Won The Kentucky Derby</h3><p class='facts-content'>Only three fillies (female horses) have ever won the Kentucky Derby: Regret in 1915, Genuine Risk in 1980, and Winning Colors in 1988. It demonstrates the high level of competition and difficulty of this iconic race.</p></div></div>

Kentucky Derby FAQs

When is Kentucky Derby?

Kentucky Derby Dates



May 6



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May 1


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