Every year, the first Saturday in May is focused on the "most exciting two minutes in sports." If you're from KENTUCKY, you may have never ridden a horse, but you have seen thousands and feel connected to the industry in some form or another !! Plus, the TRADITION of the KENTUCKY DERBY is reason enough to get excited this time of year!
Here are a few Derby facts:
- The first Kentucky Derby was ran on May 17, 1875
- The original race was 1.5 miles, but was changed to 1.25 miles in 1896.
- The field is made up of 3 year old (or younger) Thoroughbred horses
- The Kentucky Derby is ran at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
- It is the first of three races in the Triple Crown (second: Preakness Stakes, third: Belmont Stakes)
Here are a few long standing traditions:
- The traditional drink: MINT JULEP (made with Kentucky Bourbon, of course). The recipe can be found HERE.
- The traditional meal: Kentucky Burgoo. The recipe can be found HERE.
- My Old Kentucky Home: (My personal favorite tradition) As the horses are paraded in front of the grandstands, a band plays the Kentucky State song, My Old Kentucky Home. Honestly, EVERY time I hear this song (especially on Derby Day) I have tears.
- The most well known tradition: Hats and elegant attire! The bigger, the better!!
Yep, that's right, even the men sport hats!!
- Millionaire's Row is another intriguing tradition of the Derby. Everyone want to know who will be there.
A few former attendees include Jack Nicholson, Puff Daddy, Jessica Simpson, Dennis Hopper, Toby Keith, Travis Tritt, Steven Spielberg, Alice Cooper, Robert Duvall, Bob Hope, Muhammad Ali (of course, he is a Kentuckian), Walter Cronkite just to name a few (For an extensive list click HERE). Not only celebrities, but the Derby has been attended by many politicians and royals. Queen Elizabeth II made her first appearance in 2007.
The Kentucky Derby is also known as:
- THE RUN FOR THE ROSES!! Why? Because the winning horse receives a blanket of red roses.
- THE MOST EXCITING TWO MINUTES IN SPORTS.
It is common on Derby Day to also enjoy:
- Derby Pie. The recipe can be found HERE.
- Kentucky Hot Brown. No one ever said we were the healthiest. I'll be making this mini hot brown recipe on Saturday.
There are many more traditions, but those are the most prevalent minus the Infield, but I won't talk about that here.
HAPPY DERBY DAY EVERYONE!!