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  Category: Articles » Arts & Entertainment » Music » Article

The Kentucky Derby: IXS

By Heidi Grumm

The popular Kentucky Derby is source of great entertaining enjoyment for its exciting spectators.Actually, It is a Grade I stakes race with three-year-old thoroughbred horses which is being held annually in Louisville, Kentucky always on the first Saturday in May, covering the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival.
The distance of of the race is one and one-quarter miles (2.012 km) at Churchill Downs. The colts as well as geldings of the race weigh about 126 pounds (57 kg), fillies 121 pounds (55 kg). The Race is popularly known as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in as well as "The Run for the Roses" . The reason of the first given name is "its estimated time length" and for the second name is "the blanket of roses awarded to the winner". Its popularity can be judged by the jubilation and excitement of its 155,000 fans.

The Horse breeding and racing has been one of Kentucky's specialty tradition since the late 1700s. Kentucky thrives on the Ordovician fields of the Bluegrass region that produces higher amounts of calcium which results in the production of superior race horses. Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., grandson of William Clark were the greatest lover of the horse racing.They used to travele ( ) to Paris, France and enjoyed watching thrilling horse racings organised by the the French Jockey Club.
Clark was that leading man who established the Louisville Jockey Club for generating money to build a high quality racing facilities just outside of the city. He was lucky enough that the track was later known as Churchill Downs, named for Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr.'s relatives, John and Henry Churchill, who had supplied the land for the racetrack. Formally in 1937, the racetrack was incorporated as Churchill Downs.

The First race of The Kentucky Derby was run at 1.5 miles (2.4 km), similar distance as the Epsom Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris. Later, this distance was altered to its present 1.25 miles (2.01 km) in 1896. On May 17, 1875, the race loving crowd of 10,000 people witnessed a field of in total 15 three-year-old horses contested the first Derby.
From 1875 to 1902, African-American jockeys won 15 out of 28 runnings of the Kentucky Derby. On May 11, 1892, African-American jockey Alonzo "Lonnie" Clayton, age 15 became the youngest rider to win the Derby on 11th May, 1892. Elwood won the race, the first Derby starter plus winner to be owned by a woman, Laska Durnell in 1904. Regret was the first filly to win the Kentucky Derbyin 1915 whereas and in 1917, the English bred colt "Omar Khayyam" was the first foreign-bred horse to win the race.
In order to earn huge chunk of amount, the horse owners started sending their victorious Derby horses to compete a few weeks after in the Preakness Stakes at the Pimlico Race Course, in Baltimore, Maryland, followed by the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York. All three races provided the largest purse and in 1919 Sir Barton was the first horse to win all three races. Moreover, the term Triple Crown didn't come for about another eleven years. Later Gallant Fox became the second horse to win all three races and the public loved referring these horses as Super horses.
For more information about The Kentucky Derby visit:
About the Author
Heidi Grumm hosts and expresses her passion for events through writing and discussion. She works for Less Corporation at Copyright Heidi Grumm

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