2024 Triple Crown Race Dates

The Kentucky Derby
Churchill Downs - May 4, 2024
The Preakness Stakes
Pimlico - May 18, 2024
The Belmont Stakes
Saratoga - June 8, 2024

The Kentucky Derby

“The First Jewel in the Triple Crown”

“The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”

“The Run for the Roses”

Twin Spires

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 150 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.

Mint Juleps

Kentucy Derby Mint Julep Glass

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
Crushed Ice

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.

2024Mystik DanBrian Hernandez Jr.Kenny McPeek
2023MageJavier CastellanoGustavo Delgado
2022Rich StrikeSonny LeonEric Reed
2021MandalounFlorent GerouxBrad Cox
2020AuthenticJohn VelazquezBob Baffert
2019Country HouseFlavien PrattBill Mott
2018JustifyMike E. SmithBob Baffert
2017Always DreamingJohn VelazquezTodd Pletcher
2016NyquistMario GutierrezDoug O’Neill
2015American PharoahVictor EspinozaBob Baffert

See the full list of Kentucky Derby Winners since 1875.