It’s the oldest continuing sporting event in the country and this weekend is the 137th edition of the Kentucky Derby featuring the world’s best 3-year old thoroughbred horses.  Nicknamed the “Run For the Roses” and the “Fastest Two Minutes In Sports” the Kentucky Derby is always held on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville.  It’s the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. 

There’s plenty of tradition at the Kentucky Derby.  The winning horse gets a blanket of 554 red roses draped over its back with the governor of Kentucky making the formal presentation of the winning trophy. 

The traditional beverage at the Derby is the mint julep – an iced drink mixture of bourbon, mint and sweet syrup. 

One of the popular foods at the Derby is burgoo – a thick stew made of beef, pork, chiken and vegetables.

As the horses are paraded before the grandstand the University of Kentucky Marching Band plays the Stephen Foster song “My Old Kentucky Home”.

Secretariat in 1973 set and still holds the fastest time ever run in the Derby – 1:59.4.

1968 winner Dancer’s Image was disqualified after illegal drugs were found after a post race test.

Affirmed in 1978 was the last horse to win the Triple Crown.  There have been a total of 11 Triple Crown winners.

Second place winner Eight Belles was the only horse ever to die at the Kentucky Derby.  She broke both front ankles on the cool down and had to be euthanized on the track. 

Jockeys Eddie Arcaro and Bill Harack have the most Kentucky Derby wins each with five.

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