Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is without question the best-known race in the United States. The mere mention of the Kentucky Derby brings with it a distinct flavour of legend. The famous race is held annually at Churchill Downs Racecourse in Louisville Kentucky on the first Saturday in May, and it attracts the finest three-year-old thoroughbreds of the season without fail.

The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, a three-event cup modelled on the English Triple Crown series. The US Triple Crown is completed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Inaugurated in 1875, the Kentucky Derby is one of the country's longest-established thoroughbred races. It is open to three-year-old thoroughbreds only and runs over a distance of ten furlongs.

With a purse of US$2 million it is no surprise that the 'Derby'- as it is commonly known - is a fierce contest only suitable for the most tenacious equine (and human) athletes. Consequently success in the Kentucky Derby guarantees recognition of one's talents on the international horse racing scenes. Many iconic racing personalities have left their mark on this legendary race; from infamous horses to revered jockeys and trainers.

Secretariat, 1973 winner of the Kentucky Derby - the 1973 Triple Crown Series in fact - , to this day holds the track record for the event. The outstanding thoroughbred, who is considered one of the greatest race horses of all time, finished the ten furlongs in 1:59.40, securing his status as one of the Derby's all-time legends. The title of most successful Kentucky Derby jockey is currently shared by Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack, who racked up five wins each between 1938 and 1952, and 1957 to 1969 respectively. Arcaro rode four of his five winners for trainer Ben A. Jones, who is the most successful Kentucky Derby trainer with six winners under his belt.

The substantial history of the Kentucky Derby has brought forth a great many traditions connected with the race. The Derby Day at Churchill Downs Racecourse could not be complete without a rendition of 'My Old Kentucky Home', the unofficial theme song of the event, or without the consumption of copious Mint Juleps, which have become the official beverage of the meeting.

The Kentucky Derby is a race of many names. As it is one of the most thrilling events of the season, the Kentucky Derby has been dubbed "the most exciting two minutes in sports" or "the fastest two minutes in sports". It is also known as "the run for the roses", a name derived from the blanket of roses which is traditionally draped over the winner. But no matter by which name you decide to call it - the Kentucky Derby remains one of the great, iconic racing events of our time.

Recent Winners of the Kentucky Derby:

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Time


Super Saver

Calvin Borel

Todd Pletcher



Mine That Bird

Calvin Borel

Bennie L. Woolley Jr.



Big Brown

Kent Desormeaux

Rick Dutrow



Street Sense

Calvin Borel

Carl Nafzger




Edgar Prado

Michael R. Matz




Mike E. Smith

John Shireffs

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