“The First Jewel in the Triple Crown”
“The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”
“The Run for the Roses”
The Kentucky Derby is known by many names but one thing is certain… to have a shot at the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Horse Racing YOU MUST win the Kentucky Derby.
For most horse racing fans the derby is a day long affair of mint juleps, classy to crazy hats, and celebrating the beginning of May. But for the horse owners, the Kentucky Derby is the first step to see if their 3 year olds can go all the way.
Location: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
Distance: 1 1/4 miles (2km)
Date: 1st Saturday in May
Kentucky Derby Traditions
With over 140 years of history there has been plenty of time to develop a few traditions.
The Garland of Roses
Roses have been a part of the Kentucky Derby since 1896. In 1925 the race received the nickname “Run for the Roses”. Today the winning jockey is presented with a bouquet of 60 roses and the winning horse is draped in a garland of roses made with over 400 red roses on a backing of green satin.
Hats at The Kentucky Derby
The ladies of Churchill Downs have taken the southern tradition of wearing fancy hats to the next level. From simple to outrageous and everything in between the wearing of festive hats is synonymous with the Kentucky Derby.
For over 100 years the Mint Julep has been the traditional cocktail of the Kentucky Derby. More then 100,000 are served at Churchill Downs each derby weekend and probably millions more are served at derby parties around the world (I know I’ve had my share :).
Woodford Reserve is currently the official bourbon of the Derby Julep although we prefer Maker’s Mark for our Juleps.
2 oz. Woodford Reserve
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
3 Fresh Mint Leaves
Express the essential oils in the mint and rub them inside the glass. To the same glass, add simple syrup, bourbon and crushed ice. Stir. Garnish with more ice and fresh mint.
Recent Kentucky Derby Winning Horses
Here are the 10 most recent winners of the Kentucky Derby.
|2022||Rich Strike||Sonny Leon||Eric Reed|
|2021||Mandaloun||Florent Geroux||Brad Cox|
|2020||Authentic||John Velazquez||Bob Baffert|
|2019||Country House||Flavien Pratt||Bill Mott|
|2018||Justify||Mike E. Smith||Bob Baffert|
|2017||Always Dreaming||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher|
|2016||Nyquist||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O’Neill|
|2015||American Pharoah||Victor Espinoza||Bob Baffert|
|2014||California Chrome||Victor Espinoza||Art Sherman|
|2013||Orb||Joel Rosario||Claude McGaughey III|
See the full list of Kentucky Derby Winners since 1875.