Get ready to don your fanciest hat and sip on mint juleps, because the Kentucky Derby 2023 is just around the corner!
This iconic horse race is steeped in tradition and history, and there's a wealth of interesting and quirky facts that you may not know.
The Kentucky Derby is considered the holy grail of horse racing, and it is one of the most wagered horse racing events in the world.
So, while you prepare your betting strategy let’s go through some of the fun facts about the Kentucky Derby and highlight all the things that make this event special.
Fun Facts About the Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby Has Never Been Canceled Due to Weather
Since 1875, the Kentucky Derby has been held every year, even during periods of war and economic crisis.
Despite its long history, the race has never been called off due to inclement weather. In reality, the only time the race was shifted from May to June was in 1945, due to World War II travel limitations.
The Mint Julep is a Signature Drink of the Kentucky Derby
Since the late 1800s, the Mint Julep has been the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. The drink is created of bourbon, sugar, water, and fresh mint leaves and is served in a silver or pewter cup over crushed ice.
Throughout the two-day Kentucky Oaks and Derby weekend, more than 120,000 Mint Juleps are drank, according to the Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby Trophy is Worth More Than $200,000
When it comes to the Kentucky Derby, the prize isn't just about the cash, it's about the gold! The winner of the prestigious race takes home a trophy that's more valuable than most of us will make in a year (or two, or three, or four...).
The Kentucky Derby Trophy is a sight to behold, made of 14-karat gold and 18-karat gold and valued at over $200,000, which is probably more than your entire college education (yikes).
Standing at 22 inches tall and weighing in at a whopping 56 ounces, the trophy is a symbol of true equine excellence. And to make it even cooler, the base of the trophy is made of jade, featuring horseshoes and horseshoe nails, reminding us that horses are the true stars of the show.
And let's be real, if the chance at fame and fortune isn't enough to inspire these horses, jockeys, and trainers to give it their all, then that shiny piece of gold ought to do the trick.
The Kentucky Derby is Known as the "Run for the Roses"
The Kentucky Derby is also known as the "Race for the Roses" because the winner gets wrapped in a blanket of roses following the race.
The tradition began in 1896, when a woman in the grandstand presented the Derby winner with a bouquet of roses. The red rose has been designated as the official flower of the Kentucky Derby.
The Most Popular Bet on The Kentucky Derby
The most popular type of bet for the Kentucky Derby is the "win" bet, where bettors pick the horse they think will win the race. In 2021, the winning horse Medina Spirit had odds of 12-1, meaning bettors who placed a $2 win bet on the horse earned $26.80 in winnings.
And the winner of last year’s Kentucky Derby, Rich Strike, had even bigger odds of 80 to 1, meaning many people have won a lot of money. Who knows what surprises we will get with this year’s race?
The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held sporting event in the United States
The first Kentucky Derby was held in 1875 and has been held annually ever since. That's an impressive streak of 148 years!
The Kentucky Derby is steeped in superstition
Many jockeys, trainers, and owners have their own lucky rituals and charms that they use before and during the race.
For example, some jockeys wear lucky socks, while some owners refuse to change the horse's name, even if it's not very catchy.
So, there you have it, ten fun facts about the Kentucky Derby 2023 that you may not have known. Whether you're a horse racing fan or just enjoy a good Mint Julep, there's something for everyone at this iconic event.
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