Since 1875 when Aristides won the Kentucky Derby with a time of 2:37 minutes, the tradition continues in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Kentucky Derby is always the first Saturday of May. Tune in beginning at 12 p.m., Saturday, May 1, on channel NBCSN.
The Kentucky Derby, presented by Woodford Reserve, is a top rank, Grade I stakes race for 3-year-old Thoroughbred horses. The race distance is 1¼ miles long, and it is run on the dirt racetrack at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Twenty horses will compete.
The Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May every year, and typically draws a crowd of 155,000 people. It is the longest continually held sporting event in America, and it is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. Often called “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.”
Garland of Roses
The rose garland, now synonymous with the Kentucky Derby, is the source of the nickname “Run for the Roses” and has a history almost as long as the Derby itself.
Each year, a garland of more than 400 red roses is sewn into a green satin backing with the seal of the Commonwealth on one end and the Twin Spires and number of the race’s current renewal on the other. Each garland is also adorned with a “crown” of roses, green fern and ribbon. The “crown,” a single rose pointing upward in the center of the garland, symbolizes the struggle and heart necessary to reach the Derby Winner’s Circle.
My Old Kentucky Home
In the world of sports, there is not a more moving moment than when the horses step onto the track for the Kentucky Derby post parade and the band strikes up “My Old Kentucky Home” and 160,000-plus people sing along.
Part Southern tradition, part spectacle, the Kentucky Derby hat parade is much of what makes “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” one of the greatest people-watching events in the world.
The Mint Julep has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby for nearly a century. Each year, almost 120,000 Mint Juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack. This requires more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail, 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.
The Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe
3 oz. Old Forester Mint Julep
0.75 oz. Simple Syrup
8-10 mint leaves
3 mint sprigs, far garnish
Pack mint julep cup with crushed ice. In a mixing glass, combine bourbon, syrup, and mint leaves. Lightly bruise mint leaves with a muddler, strain contents into julep cup. Garnish with 3 generous sprigs of mint. *Make sure to slap mint and insert straw into ice near mint.
2020 Kentucky Derby winner
Jockey: John Velazquez
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Owners: Spendthrift Farm LLC, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables LLC and Starlight Racing.