The Kentucky Derby has been run every year since 1875!
“I must….descant a little upon the mint-julep, as it is, with the thermometer at 100 degrees F., one of the most delightful and insinuating potations that ever was invented, and may be drunk with equal satisfaction when the thermometer is as low as 70 degrees.” – Captain Frederick Marryat’s diary (1838)
The Kentucky Derby is a horse race for three-year-old thoroughbreds, held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in May. The race is one and a quarter miles at Churchill Downs. The race is known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” or “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” for its approximate duration, and is also called “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses draped over the winning horse.
The Mint Julep, an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and a sugar syrup, is the traditional beverage of the race. The historic drink can be served in an ice-frosted silver julep cup, but most Churchill Downs patrons sip theirs from souvenir glasses (first offered in 1939 and available in revised form each year since) printed with all previous Derby winners. Also, Burgoo, a thick stew of beef, chicken, pork and vegetables, is a popular Kentucky dish served at the Derby.
“The sun shines bright on my ol’ Kentucky home….”
“My Old Kentucky Home” became the official state song of Kentucky in 1928.
In 1986 the word “darkies” was changed to “people”.
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UPDATED! 7 May 2016 – Derby Day Again!
Last Year in 2015, American Pharoah won the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes to complete the Triple Crown!