Kentucky Derby Tickets
Celebrating to the tune of Dan Fogelburg's famous "Run for the Roses," and the Kentucky Derby's traditional beverage iced Mint Julep, a blanket of 554 roses is draped over the winner every year, a unique tradition kept since 1896 when Churchill Downs founder and president Col. M. Lewis Clark made the rose the official flower of Kentucky Derby. As the race horses are proudly paraded while the marching band plays "My Old Kentucky Home," time slows down and one feels as if one is part of the Kentucky Derby's rich history as much as the excitement of the present moment, excitement that is otherwise called "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports"! The one and a quarter mile (2km) race is an incredibly thrilling sensation and justifies all the fuss around it.
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One of the oldest Thoroughbred races in the US, the Kentucky Derby takes place every year in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in May, as the grand finale to the Kentucky Derby Festival. The Kentucky Derby is a grade I stakes race for three year-old Thoroughbred horses, with colts and geldings carrying 126 pounds and fillies carrying 121 pound. The Governor of Kentucky presents the legendary garland and the trophy to the winner at the conclusion of the race.
The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. The Derby is followed by the two other racing events, the Preakness Stakes and then the Belmont Stakes. The Kentucky Derby is the most heavily attended in North America. Originally, the distance of the race was one and a half mile (2.4 km) which was the same as the Epsom Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris, but in 1896 this distance was altered for the shorter one and one quarter of a mile (2km).
The crowds have gathered for the Kentucky Derby for longer than a century. At the first race in 1875, fifteen thoroughbreds held about 10,000 spectators enthralled. A colt by the name of Aristides made history by winning the inaugural day race, under his jockey Oliver Lewis and trainer (future Hall of Famer) Ansel Williamson. Another record was set on May 11, 1892 when Alonzo "Lonnie" Clayton, an African American jockey became the youngest to be a Kentucky Derby winner at age fifteen. The first woman owner of a racehorse to have a Derby victory was Laska Durnell in 1904. Among other record makers is the 1915 thoroughbred "Regret," the first filly to win in the Derby and "Omar Khayam," the British-bred colt that became the first foreign-bred to have a Derby title.
The Kentucky Derby has the distinction of being the oldest continuous sporting event in the US. The event has drawn throngs of Derby devotees through the decades and its appeal has steadily grown since that first historical race in the nineteenth century. The aura of the famous "Run for the Roses" is as grand, and the runners are as thrilling today as they ever were.
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