Here is everything you need to know about the Kentucky Derby. Once you get done reading this, check out “A Visual Guide to the Kentucky Derby” as well. It contains interesting facts, horse racing terminology, Derby fashion over the years, and more. View it by clicking here: A Visual Guide to the Kentucky Derby
General Facts About The Race:
Kentucky Derby 138 will be Ran on May 5th
The Kentucky Derby is a the biggest race in America. It is for three-year-old horses only, and held annually in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May. The race is one and a quarter-mile long and open to both males and females. Males carry 126 pounds while females carry 121. The race is known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” or you will also hear it called “The Run for the Roses.” It is the first leg of the Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes. The race is considered an American Classic. It out draws all other races held in the United States each year. This years Derby will mark the 138th time the race has been ran. The race stands as one of the longest continuous sporting events in the United States. Simply put: this is the race every jockey, trainer, and owner dreams of winning.
How Do You Qualify?
Bodemeister Winning the Arkansas Derby. Oaklawn Runs 3 Derby Preps Every Year
The first thing you must do is nominate your horse for the race. Hundreds of horses nominate to the Kentucky Derby every year, and there are only twenty spots open for the race. To earn one of the coveted twenty spots, you must acquire “Graded Stakes Earnings.” As we talked about early in the beginners series, major stakes races are graded 1, 2, and 3. Anytime a horse runs in a graded stakes, those earnings count towards qualifying for the Derby. For example: The Arkansas Derby is a Grade 1 race with a total purse of $1,000,000. $600,000 goes to the winner, $200,000 for second, $100,000 for third, and $50,000 for fourth. So if your horse wins the race, he or she gets $600,000 in graded earnings and is safely in the Kentucky Derby. Usually a horse needs between $200,000 – $250,000 to get into the race. There are several chances to acquire graded earnings throughout the year as almost every track across the United States run at least one Derby “prep race.” Oaklawn Park, Gulfstream Park, Keeneland, Santa Anita, Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, Sunland, and Turfway Park all are known for producing several Kentucky Derby starters. Each of these track major focus centers around prepping horses for the Kentucky Derby. Continue reading