The First Leg of The Triple Crown Races
The Kentucky Derby is a Grade 1 race for three-year-olds over one and a quarter miles and is staged at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It is traditionally held on the first Saturday in May and is worth over $2 million in prize money.
- Justify is the Kentucky Derby 2018 winner!
The Kentucky Derby is the first leg of the American Triple Crown races, completed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. The race is widely known as “The Run for the Roses” because of the blanket of roses that are draped over the winner afterwards. The Kentucky Derby attracts the highest attendance of any horse race in the United States, including the other Triple Crown events and the Breeders’ Cup.
Who Won The Kentucky Derby 2017
The well-backed favourite Always Dreaming splashed through sloppy conditions at Churchill Downs to win the 2017 Kentucky Derby. It provided trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez with their second win in the race. Always Dreaming was chased home by outsiders Lookin At Lee and Battle Of Midway and became the fifth consecutive winning favourite.
- Kentucky Derby results 2017
1st Always Dreaming 47-10 Fav, 2nd Lookin At Lee 33-1, 3rd Battle Of Midway 40-1
Churchill Downs Race Track
Churchill Downs is located on Central Avenue in south Louisville, Kentucky. It officially opened in 1875, and held the first Kentucky Derby and the first Kentucky Oaks in the same year.
Churchill Downs has also hosted the Breeders’ Cup on eight occasions, most recently in 2011. It is next scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup in 2018. Churchill Downs Incorporated owns and operates the racetrack which has a capacity of 170,000 for the Derby.
In Kentucky you can also taste some fine Whisky in the Kentucky Bourbon Festival
John and Henry Churchill
The track is named after John and Henry Churchill who leased 80 acres of land to their nephew, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. Clark was president of the Louisville Jockey Club and Driving Park Association which formed in 1874 and he was inspired after attending the English Derby at Epsom Downs.
Churchill Downs filled a void in Louisville after Oakland and Woodlawn racecourses were closed. Clark sold the track to a syndicate led by successful bookmaker William E. Applegate in 1893. The new owners shortened the length of the Kentucky Derby to a mile and a quarter and commissioned the famous twin spire grandstand in 1895.
Jockey James Lee
On June 5th, 1907, jockey James Lee rode all six winners on the card at Churchill Downs. The twin spires, designed by architect Joseph Dominic Baldez, are the most recognizable architectural feature of Churchill Downs. The racecourse was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986.
Between 2001 and 2005, Churchill Downs underwent a $121 million renovation. The racecourse is also home to the Kentucky Derby Museum which focuses on the history of the Kentucky Derby and the racetrack. The museum was given a further $5.5 million upgrade in 2010, providing it with a plush new interior.