The 137th Kentucky Derby is scheduled to take place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on May 7th, 2011. The “Run for the Roses” (named for the blanket of 554 roses draped over the winner) is the first leg of the US Triple Crown event and is the most attended and considered the most prestigious of the stake races. It has been labeled as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports”.
We would like to provide some interesting facts and notes that occurred in Derby history:
- The 1905 Kentucky Derby had only 3 horses running.
- Broker’s Tip won the 1933 Kentucky Derby; it was the only race the horse ever won!
- After the 1933 Kentucky Derby, winning jockey Don Meade was suspended for 30 days for engaging in a fist fight with jockey Herb Fisher.
- Dancer’s Image won the 1968 Kentucky Derby but was disqualified for illegal use of the drug phenylbutazone which is now regarded as legal to use.
- Northern Dancer won the 1964 Kentucky Derby in 2 minutes flat.
- Secretariat holds the record by running the 1973 Kentucky Derby in 1.59.4.
- Penny Chenery Tweedy acquired Secretariat by winning a coin a toss! (see The Sports Archives Greatest Moments – Secretariat and the coin toss).
- The traditional drink of the Derby is the Mint Julep served over ice.
- The song “Run for the Roses” was composed by Dan Fogelberg for the 1980 run.
- Persistence pays off; Jockey Eddie Arcaro lost his first 250 races but then went on to win 5 Kentucky Derbys and almost 5,000 races.
- The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978.