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Running of the Kentucky Derby | © Flickr/Tauck
Running of the Kentucky Derby | © Flickr/Tauck
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Kentucky Derby Facts and Figures

Picture of Michael LoRé
Sports Editor
Updated: 8 May 2017
The Kentucky Derby is the first race in America’s Triple Crown of horse racing. The race, held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, has been run in May each year since 1875.

With the race fast approaching, Culture Trip takes a look at some of the facts and figures behind the historic and popular event:

– The first Kentucky Derby was May 17, 1875 and has been run every year since.

– The race is 1 1/4 miles long.

– The Kentucky Derby has been dubbed “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” due to its approximate run time.

– The Kentucky Derby is the first race in the Triple Crown, which also includes the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

– 1:59.40: Record winning time set by Secretariat in 1973.

– Approximately 120,000 mint juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby race weekend at Churchill Downs Racetrack.

– The winning horse is draped in a garland of more than 400 roses. It’s also why the Derby is nicknamed the “Run for the Roses.”

– Wagering from all-sources on the Kentucky Derby Day program was the second highest in history, totaling $192.6 million in 2016.

– At 91-1, Donerail became the biggest longshot winner in 1913.

– Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack are the race’s winningest jockey’s with five wins apiece.

– The record attendance of 170,513 was set in 2015.

– The Derby has never been postponed due to rain or bad weather.