9 Kentucky Derby Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know At All

technology in horse racing

Horses are not only part of the backyard family. Some of them were born with the talents to become the world’s premier racehorses.

Not only that, but horse racing handicappers breed horses genetically to obtain the qualities and traits from their sires.

Every year, there are hundreds of horse racing tournaments taking place worldwide. Regardless of the rules, the main goal of every colt is to reach the finish line first. Some of the most popular horse racing events coming in the next few months are the U.S. Triple Crown series, opened by the Kentucky Derby.

Popularly known as the Run For The Roses, the Kentucky Derby this year is celebrating its 146th edition. The horses need to pass Derby trails and gain points before making it to the runners’ final list. With the Derby coming right around the bend, here is some more information you might not know about this iconic horse racing event.

Notable Names

There are nineteen past winners of the Kentucky Derby whose name begins with the letter “S.” One of them is Secretariat, the fastest horse in Derby history. This record is left unmatched until today. Secretariat nailed the Derby in 1973, finishing the whole race within two minutes.

Food Consumption

In the whole history of the Kentucky Derby, the food consumption of every event is overwhelming. On an average number of audience, hotdog consumption is around 142,000 pieces. This includes 18,000 barbecue sandwiches, 300,000 strawberries, 9,000 scallops, 8,000 lbs of potatoes,  13,800 lbs of beef, 32, 400 extra-large shrimps, and 30, 000 cookies.

Significant Placement

The Kentucky Derby served as the first jewel of the U.S. Triple Crown Series. The Preakness and Belmont Stakes follow it. In 1892, only three colts competed at the Derby, which was the least in history. When the Derby settles, spectators are toasting the traditional drink called “Mint Julep.”

Exceptional Jockeys

Diane Crump was the only and first female jockey to win the Kentucky Derby. That said, he carried a trophy that weighs 3.5 pounds, which is the same until today. Apart from that, Alonzo Clayton was the most inexperienced jockey to win the race in 1892 at the age of 15. Also, Bill Shoemaker continued to hold the oldest Derby winner when he won the race in 1986 at the age of 54.

Nickname Relevancy

The Kentucky Derby is nicknamed the “Run For The Roses” because the winner is literally draped by a garland of roses that weighs around 40 pounds.  Calumet Farm is a racehorse breeder that won the most number of Derby wins (8).

Colt’s Birthday

The Kentucky Derby is a race of all three-year-old colts. No other ages are allowed in this competition. Also, all thoroughbred racehorses got their birthday as January 1 regardless of the date and month they were born. It is to make sure that handicappers can easily trace the horses, including their bloodlines.

Annual Celebration Date

The Kentucky Derby finds its annual celebration every 1st Saturday of May. There were only two instances that this event got moved. The first one was in 1945 when horse racing games got banned. The second time was last year when worldwide lockdowns were imposed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Lastly, whether it’s hot or humid, the Derby pushes through.

Derby Establishment

The original course of the Derby was only 1 1/2 mile before it was changed to 1 ¼ mile in 1896. Lewis Clark Jr. established this racing competition. In line with that, only three female horses have won in the entire history of the Derby, which includes Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980), and Winning Colors (1988).

Prizes And Scandals

The Kentucky Derby holds a current pot prize amounting to $3,000,000. The winner takes home $1.8 million, $600,000 for 2nd place, $30,000 for 3rd place, $150,000 for fourth place, while $90,000 for 5th place. In 2019, Maximum Security, who won the race, was disqualified due to crossing at the pole violation. It is the most scandalous scene that happened in Derby history.

Final Thoughts

After getting scheduled postponements last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kentucky Derby is back by May this season. Although the audience participation is tentative, the Derby is indeed highlighting another set of racehorses at the dirt track. As stated, no other ages are allowed to participate other than three-year-old colts and fillies.

With the Kentucky Derby happening in the next two months, you should start looking for the horses you can bet for this horse racing tournament. Like what other horse race bettors are doing, you must learn how to understand the form of this year’s entrants to profitably wager and win.