The Kentucky Derby Facts

The facts of the Kentucky Derby: The Kentucky Derby is a horse race that held yearly in the month of May on the first Saturday of the month at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

The race started way back in 1875, and it is a two-week-long festival celebrated at Churchill Downs. The race is known in the US as “The most exciting two-minute sport”, also it is known as “Run for the Roses”.

May 7th, 2016, the 142nd Derby was held and the race was won by Nyquist with a jockey Mario Gutierrez. Nyquist is the 2016 fame of Derby


  • The Kentucky Derby is the first Triple Crown horse racing  that also includes the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes
  • It is famously known as the “The fastest two minutes in sport” because of its approx run time. It is also famously known as the Run for the Roses as the winner will be covered with beautiful red roses (around 554 red roses garland draped over the Derby winner).
  • Every year, around 120,000 mint juleps will be served on Friday and Saturday during the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby race.
  • Just three fillies have won the Kentucky Derby till date, including Regret in 1915, Genuine Risk at 1980 and winning colors in 1988.
  • The maximum age of the racing horse must be 3 years old.
  • Till date, no Derby has been postponed because of bad weather or rain.


1875 – The first Kentucky Derby was held on May 17th, 1875. The first winner of the Derby was Aristides, it’s a 3-year-old chestnut colt raced with 14 other horses.

1892 – In this year only 3 horses run the race, which is considered as the smallest field ever.

1896 – In this year, the distance of the race is decreased from 1.5miles to 1.25miles, which is 2km.

1925 – Bill Corum and American writer for the New York Journal started the phrase “Run for the Roses”

1952 – On May 3rd, 1952 the Kentucky Derby was broadcasted for the first time nationally.

1956 – The first KD (Kentucky Derby) Festival held. This yearly event starts two weeks before the actual races.

1973 – The winning horse called Secretariat broke the all-time record by finishing the race in 1:59 minutes. Still, it is the fastest time and none other racehorse breaks the record yet.

2008: On May 3rd , 2008  just after the Big Brown the winner crosses the finish line, the second place winner Eight Bells fractured it’s both front legs and falls on the ground.  It was severely injured due to that it couldn’t run on the track anymore.

Some other facts:

  • Mint Julep is considered as the Kentucky Derby official drink. It is an iced drink made of mint, bourbon, and sweet syrup. This drink is traditionally served in honoring Kentucky Derby glass. The drink is available throughout the Derby season.


  • Burgoo is a thick, meaty stew and it is considered as the traditional Kentucky Derby meal. Many cooks make different recipes, but the traditional burgoo usually contains three kinds of meat and it is cooked with okra, corn, and Lima beans.  The other traditional foods of the Kentucky Derby are Henry Bain Sauce, Derby Pie, Hot Brown Sandwiches, and several others.



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