Kentucky Derby Fun And Interesting Facts: The Kentucky Derby is considered to be the most prominent and significant horse race that is organized every year in Louisville, Kentucky as well as the United States. The race is held on the first Saturday in May, covering the two weeks long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is basically a Grade I stakes race which is organized for three-year-old Thoroughbreds at a distance of one and a quarter miles (2.0 km). The event is held at Churchill Downs.
Here are some of the fun and interesting facts for all the Derby fans all around the world which will definitely surprise you. So let’s get started….
- · The first ever woman jockey to ever ride in the Derby was Diane Crump. Though there has yet to be a female winner, but in the year 1992 Shelley Riley came the closest when she came second in the spot.
- · The Kentucky Derby was initially started by Lewis Clark Jr. who was the grandson of William Clark, half of the well-known traveler duo Lewis and Clark after he saw England’s, Epsom Derby.
- · In the year 1892 at Kentucky Derby, there were about only three horses that raced in.
- · The remarkable trophy of Kentucky Derby weighs only 3½ lbs.
- · The race was first shown in the year 1952 on the television.
- · There is also a traditional drink of the Derby and that is mint julep. It is said that there are about more than 120,000 mint julep are consumed at the race every single year.
- · There’s been a large amount of food that is consumed at the Derby and the numbers are pretty surprising. If we talk about the average food consumption, the audiences eat a total of 142,000 hot dogs, 32,400 jumbo shrimp, 9,000 scallops, 8,000 pounds of potatoes and 30,000 cookies, 18,000 barbecue sandwiches, 13,800 pounds of beef, as well as 300,000 strawberries.
- · The low temperature recorded at the race was 47 degrees in the year 1935 and 1957. Whereas, on the other hand, the high temperature recorded was 94 degrees in 1959.
- · Nineteen previous winners of Derby have had names starting with the letter “S,” comprising Secretariat, who was the fastest horse in Kentucky Derby history and finished the 1973 race in just less than two minutes.
- · The youngest jockey to win the most admired race was Alonzo “Lonnie” Clayton. He was just 15 when he came derby in the year 1892. Bill Shoemaker carries on to hold the championship as the oldest winner; at the age of 54, he took home the 1986 title trophy.
- · Bill Shoemaker is considered to be ridden the most Kentucky Derby horses i.e. 26 in history.
- · The Derby is also known as ‘The Run for the Roses’ for the reason that the winner is awarded a blanket which is draped on the winning horse and the blanket is sewn with more than 400 roses. This blanket weighs around 40 lbs.
- · Owner Calumet Farm grasps the record for maximum Kentucky Derby wins, with 8. Whereas, “Plain Ben” Jones holds the record for the trainer with the maximum wins (6).
- · Sir Barton who was champion in the year 1919, was the first Triple Crown winner, though he hadn’t won a race before arriving at the Derby.
- · The purse for the 2019 Derby has been increased and this year it will be $3 million, with the winner taking home $1.86 million, $600,000 for second place, $300,000 for third place and $150,000 for fourth place, as well as $90,000 for fifth. This marks a major increase in the prize money: from the year 2005 to 2018 when the purse was merely $2 million.