The Greatest Two Minutes In Sports Is This Weekend!
The 145th Kentucky Derby is Saturday!
Coverage on Saturday begins at Churchhill Downs on NBC Sports Network at 1pm, and continues on NBC at 3:30 p.m. The race is set to go off around 7:50 p.m.
Interesting facts about the Kentucky Derby:
1. Nineteen past winners have had names beginning with the letter “S,” including Secretariat, the fastest horse in Kentucky Derby history, who completed the 1973 race in just under two minutes.
2. The amount of food consumed at the Derby is pretty astounding. On average, spectators will eat 142,000 hot dogs, 18,000 barbecue sandwiches, 13,800 pounds of beef, 32,400 jumbo shrimp, 9,000 scallops, 8,000 pounds of potatoes, 30,000 cookies and 300,000 strawberries.
3. Only three horses raced in the 1892 Kentucky Derby.
4. The traditional drink of the Derby is the mint julep, and over 120,000 are said to be consumed at the race each year.
6. The Kentucky Derby trophy only weighs 3½ lbs.
7. The youngest jockey to win the esteemed race, Alonzo “Lonnie” Clayton, was just 15 come derby day in 1892. Bill Shoemaker continues to hold the title as the oldest winner; he was 54 when he took home the 1986 title.
8. Bill Shoemaker has also ridden the most Kentucky Derby horses (26) in history.
9. The record low temperature at the race (held on the first week of May every year) was 47 degrees in 1935 and 1957. The record high was 94 degrees in 1959.
10. Churchill Downs founder and president Col. M. Lewis Clark might have made the rose the official flower of the race after attending an 1883 post-derby partywhere socialite E. Berry Wall was handing the flower out to the ladies in attendance.
11. The Derby is also referred to as ‘The Run for the Roses’ because the winner is awarded a blanket sewn with over 400 roses post-race. This blanket weighs about 40 lbs.
13. Post No. 1 has become known as “the dreaded rail.”
14. 1919 champion Sir Barton was the first Triple Crown winner, however he hadn’t won a race before arriving at the Derby.
15. Over $150 million in wagers have been placed over the last several Kentucky Derby races.
16. Horses must be three years or younger in order to compete.
17. The Derby has never been cancelled or postponed due to inclement weather.
18. The historic 1¼-mile race was originally 1½ miles before the current distance was established in 1896.
19. The Kentucky Derby was started by Lewis Clark Jr.—grandson of William Clark, half of the famous explorer duo Lewis and Clark—after he saw England’s Epsom Derby.
20. Only three fillies (female horses) have won the Derby: Regret in 1915, Genuine Risk in 1980, and Winning Colors in 1988.
21. The 2018 event set the record for the wettest Kentucky Derby in history, with over 2.31 inches of rainfall.
22. The race was first televised in 1952.
23. The purse for the 2019 Derby will be $3 million, with the winner taking home $1.86 million, $600,000 for second place, $300,000 for third place, $150,000 for fourth place, and $90,000 for fifth. This marks a significant increase in the prize money: from 2005 to 2018, the purse was only $2 million.
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Source: Kentucky Derby