Kentucky Derby Schedule and More

Share this page

The Kentucky Derby, or Run for the Roses, loosely referred to as The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports has been thrilling spectators every year since 1875, when the first race was won by Aristedes.

Since that first race, there have been over 140 horses who have been draped in the blanket of roses, these include:  Affirmed, Secretariat, Winning Colors and the 2016 winner Nyquist who was 2-1 favorite for the race. These horses have all run the distance of one and a quarter mile on the dirt track at Churchill Downs.

The Derby has a rich history as one of the oldest traditions in America and it is held close to the hearts of this sport loving nation. Americans love their sport, from baseball to ice hockey, but horse racing beats the lot for a fast paced adrenaline pumping two minutes.

Having a Derby winner in your livery is a real feather in your cap, but preparing a horse to be in perfect condition is not without blood, sweat and tears. The horse needs to have optimal weight, strength and speed.

Getting to this point takes months of training and finding the right jockey who can handle the pressure is a test well worth the effort. There is a huge amount of prestige associated with a win and it affords prime exposure for the breeder, the jockey and the owner.

Betting on the race has become an art form in itself and bets on this race are placed worldwide, where people watch the race live on television or on internet feeds, the punters watch closely as they concentrate on the leader and block out all other sensations. Betting has moved with the times and if you want to wager online you can do it with MyWinners.

If you really know what you are doing, this activity can be extremely lucrative. For most though, it is a hobby for those who love the sport, besides, it is a whole lot of fun.

Handicapping is when details are analysed and outcomes are predicted. There are many angles to look at. Via there is help available from the in-house experts, Lucky Lou, Parlay Paul, Toby Callet, Bob Ehalt & Shawn Rychling.

For the race, colts and geldings must weigh 126 pounds or (57 kg) while fillies may be 121 pounds (55kg). There are 20 thoroughbreds who line up to race the Kentucky Derby.

The race is the pinnacle of all American horse races with a purse of $2 million. 15,000 people from far and wide turn out to fill the clubhouse and the grandstand to enjoy the thrill and excitement of this high stakes race as a split second can change everything.

Racing enthusiasts rate this event as one of the main events of the year and getting a foot (hoof) in the door is a goal in itself.

Horses who line up for The Kentucky Derby always first take part in the Road to the Kentucky Derby which consists of prep races such as The Florida Derby and The Santa Anita Derby. Those horses who are placed as the top four are awarded points, and the twenty horses with the highest scores are the ones who qualify for the Kentucky Derby.

In 2017, Gunnevera has moved up to the top of the leader boards as a result of outstanding performances. He did so well in the Fountain of Youth race at GulfStream that he was even a challenge for The Cracken. All those who are rooting for The Cracken are hoping he will live up to his name and that he will be well on the way to Blue Grass Stakes after the injury he sustained during training at Tampa Bay earlier this year.

Kentucky Derby 2017 Schedule


Kentucky Derby Museum

When the action winds down on the race track, the Kentucky Derby Museum offers plenty of activities to ensure that the excitement continues at Churchill Downs.

Honouring the world-renowned Kentucky Derby, the museum treats visitors to a special behind-the-scenes look at the event’s history and tradition. A day at the museum is as educational as it is entertaining and is the ideal attraction for those wanting to experience the Derby beyond the track.