Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., will host the 135th Kentucky Derby this Saturday. The Derby is America’s oldest continuously held major sporting event and occurs on the first Saturday in May.
Did you know?
- In 1875, a horse named Aristides was the first winner of the Kentucky Derby.
- In 1973, Secretariat ran the fastest Derby in history, covering the 1.25 mile race in 1:59.4. No other horse has broken the two minute barrier in the Derby.
- Three fillies have won the Kentucky Derby: Favored Regret in 1915, Genuine Risk in 1980 and Winning Colors in 1988.
- Willie Shoemaker became the oldest jockey to win the Kentucky Derby in 1986. He was 54 when he rode Ferdinand to the Derby win.
- No matter what month a racehorse is born, they all become a year older on New Year’s Day. The Kentucky Derby is limited to 3-year-old horses.
- Richard Nixon is the only sitting U.S. President to attend the Derby.
- A Derby win is the first jewel in the Triple Crown. The other two are the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. Only 11 horses have won the Triple Crown.