horse racingThe Kentucky Derby is sometimes called the “Most exciting two minutes in sports”. That’s because it lasts just about two minutes. But what a two minutes it is! Here’s a bit of trivia to help you understand and enjoy “The run for the roses” even more:

* The idea for the Kentucky Derby was thought up by explorer Meriwether Lewis. In fact, the land where it is run was donated by his relatives, the Churchills– thus the name Churchill Downs.

* The fastest Derby ever was run by Secretariat in 1973. He ran the race in 1:59.4 and is the only horse to have ever come in faster than two minutes.

* Although most Kentucky Derby winners have been males –geldings and stallions– three fillies have won the race. They were Favored Regret in 1915, Genuine Risk in 1980 and Winning Colors in 1988.

* Willie Shoemaker was the oldest jockey to ever win the Derby. He was 54 when he rode Ferdinand to win in 1986.

* On May 2, 1970 Diane Crump became the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby.

* No matter when they are actually born, race horses are considered a year older on January first.

jockey* Horses running for the roses lose an average of fifteen to twenty-five pounds during the race.

* An amazing total of eight Kentucky Derby winners have been bred by Calumet Farms in Kentucky.

* Racing rules hold that no racehorse may have a name that contains more then eighteen letters, so as to fit legibly on the racing forms.

*Presidential candidate Richard Nixon was in the house when the only Derby winner to be disqualified for cheating was busted in 1968.

These ten facts are only a tiny portion of what there is to know about the Kentucky Derby. Print this out and save it and who knows– it might help you win a little side bet with your friends.