Horses and hats. Hats and horses.
Plus a rose or two thrown in.
The 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, will be Saturday at approximately 5:34 p.m. at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
It will also be celebrated at horse racing tracks around the nation, including Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. Gates open at 11 a.m. at Lone Star Park. The first live race begins at 2:05 p.m. The simulcast of the Kentucky Derby is at 5:34 p.m.
Hundreds of hat contests will be held in conjunction with “The Run for the Roses.”
Here are some angles, facts, and figures on the Kentucky Derby:
The race itself
The Kentucky Derby is a Grade 1 stakes race for 3-year-old thoroughbred horses. The race distance is 1 1/4 -miles long, and is run on the dirt racetrack at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Colts and geldings in the race carry 126 pounds (57 kg); fillies carry 121 pounds (55 kg). A maximum of 20 horses run in the Derby. The winner’s purse is nearly $1.7 million.
The Derby is often called “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” The nickname comes from the approximate time it takes for the winning horse to run from the starting gate to the finish line.
One of the greatest feats in sports is winning the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing. It begins with the Kentucky Derby, followed two weeks later by the Preakness, which is followed three weeks later by the Belmont Stakes. This year, the Preakness Stakes is May 21 at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. The Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., is June 11.
In Grand Prairie, Real Housewives of Dallas reality show star LeeAnne Locken will be one of three judges for the hat contest Saturday at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie. KVIL personality Leigh Ann Adam and America’s Sassiest Lifestyle Guru Steve Kemble are also set to be judges. The judging will be at 3 p.m. in the Courtyard of Champions. Participants must be 18 or older. Two prizes of $500 each will be awarded, one for the most stylish and the other for the most creative.
One of the Derby favorites, Exaggerator (8-1 odds, post position 11), is owned by the families of Matt Bryan of Flower Mound and Ronny Ortowski of Fort Worth. Also, Gun Runner (10-1, post position 5) and Creator (10-1, post position 3) are trained by Arlington’s Steve Asmussen, who was recently elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame. Asmussen, ranks second all time in career race wins (7,287) and fourth in earnings (more than $241 million). He’s had 13 horses compete in the Kentucky Derby, but has not won the event.
Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr.’s vision for the Derby was an event that the upper class would attend, which mandated full-morning dress for men and women. For the first running of the Kentucky Derby, he used women from society’s elite to recruit his target clientele to attend the race. The event quickly became just as much about the fashion as the racing. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the hats became a staple of the event.
The estimated value of the Kentucky Derby trophy is $200,000. The trophy includes an 18-karat-gold horse and rider, 350 rubies and 12 emeralds.
A record total of $194.3 million was officially wagered on the 2015 Kentucky Derby, with $154.3 million being paid on winning tickets.
Dollars and cents
If 20 horses start the Kentucky Derby, the overall purse will be $2,391,600. First place will receive $1,691,000, second $400,000, third $200,000, fourth $100,000 and fifth $60,000.
Remember who won the 2015 Kentucky Derby? It was American Pharoah, who went on to become the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. Only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown.
Nyquist, at 3-1 odds, is the favorite to win the Derby. Nyquist will start from post position 13. Last year’s winner, American Pharoah, began in the No. 18 position.
Secretariat still holds the Derby record with a time of 1 minute, 59.4 seconds set in 1973. Secretariat also won the Triple Crown that year.
Price is right
General admission will be $5 at Lone Star Park. It’ll cost $60 at Churchill Downs.
The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Derby. It consists of crushed ice, mint, sweet syrup and bourbon.
Sources: Kentucky Derby, WalletHub, Lone Star Park