What is the Kentucky Derby?
  • # Horse racing
Find out what is the Kentucky Derby and the horses that can compete in it. Learn how much the prize money is and the most notable horses that won the race.

The Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest races in the world. It is a flat horse race held annually on the first Saturday of May in the United States.


The race has thousands of people all over the world waiting to wager on it. Besides this, there have been thousands of people that come to the track to see the race. In 2017 alone, about 158,070 people came to watch the Kentucky Derby. Additionally, the track had a record-breaking wagering total in the same year when it got $209.2 million bets made.


The Kentucky Derby is also known as the Run for the Roses because a blanket of roses is draped on the horse that finishes in the first place. Additionally, this is considered to be the first leg of the American Triple Crown.


American Triple Crown


The American Triple Crown is a title awarded to a three-year-old horse that won all three top-grade Thoroughbred races in the same year. The races that the horses need to win in order to receive the title and Triple Crown trophy are:

  1. Kentucky Derby
  2. Preakness Stakes
  3. Belmont Stakes

This is a Grade 1 race for all three-year-old Thoroughbred horses. This means that local and foreign-bred and trained horses can participate in the competition. The colts and gelding horses need to weigh 126 lbs or 57.2 kilograms. Fillies need to weigh 121 lbs or 55 kilograms.


Purse of the Kentucky Derby


The Kentucky Derby has one of the highest flat race purses in the United States. This is because it has a $3,000,000 prize money or approximately ¥320,479,500.

First-place winners in the Kentucky Derby can get total prize money of $1,860,000 or approximately ¥198,697,290.


The Race Track of the Kentucky Derby


The Kentucky Derby race is held every year at Churchill Downs race track in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. The three-year-old horses run a distance of 1 ¼ mile or about 10 furlongs in distance. The horses run on a left-handed dirt race track.


Most Notable Horses in the Kentucky Derby


Secretariat This horse was one of the most famous Thoroughbreds in the United States. He won the Kentucky Derby in 1973 and various other major local and international competitions.

Secretariat also received various awards and honours including being a part of the United States Racing Hall of Fame in 1974.

RegretThis was the first filly to have won the Kentucky Derby. She was a three-year-old Thoroughbred horse when she won the race in 1915. She was also the first of four horses to have won the Saratoga Racecourse and other handicap races.

Regret also received various awards and was included in the United States Racing Hall of Fame in 1957.

Sir Barton Sir Barton was an American Thoroughbred horse that won the Kentucky Derby in 1919. He also received the Triple Crown title when he won the second and third leg of the American Triple Crown races.



Where to Wager?


If you are looking for the horse racing sites where you can wager on the Kentucky Derby, then you can check out Gamble.jp’s comprehensive reviews on the best horse racing sites in the industry.



READ MORE: The Biggest Horse Races Around the World