Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby is the most famous and prestigous horse race in the world. It
is the first leg of the United States Triple Crown of horse racing. The race
became the most famous horse race shortly after it started in 1875. The Kentucky

Derby is said to be "The most exciting two minutes in sports." Besides
the race itself, there are many Derby activities in the previous two weeks,
known as the Kentucky Derby Festival. The month of May and the Kentucky Derby is
one of my favorite times of the year. Churchill Downs was started by a group
headed by a man named M. Lewis Clark in 1874. The group built the track on land
owned by the Churchill family of Louisville, Kentucky. The track officially
opened on May 17, 1875 and that was the day of the first Kentucky Derby won by

Aristides. The first races from 1875-1895 were modeled after the English Derby
and were 1 and a half miles long. In 1896 they changed the length of the

Kentucky Derby which would prove to be a good decision because from there on it
became the most popular race in the world. The Kentucky Derby is the first leg
of the United States Triple Crown of horse racing. It is held annually on the
first Saturday of May on the world famous Churchill Downs track in Louisville,

Kentucky. The race itself is run on a 1 and one-fourth mile dirt track. The race
is for the best 3-year-old horses in the world. Most of the recorded times for
the race are just over 2 minutes. Only one horse, Secretariat, in 1973 has run
the Derby in under 2 minutes. The Kentucky Derby usually has attendences of over

120,000 fans, but millions of viewers watch at home on television. The Triple

Crown is the biggest three races in the world. Only eleven Kentucky Derby
winners have went on to win the next races, the Preakness and the Belmont

Steaks. Some of the most notable Triple Crown winners are Sir Barton in 1919,
the first Triple Crown winner, War Admiral in 1937, Whirlaway in 1941, Citation
in 1948, Secretariat in 1973, Seatlle Slew in 1977, and Affirmed in 1978. These

Triple Crown winners are some of the most famous horses in the history of the
sport of horse racing. The fastest Kentucky Derby time was run by Secretariat in

1973, who finished in 1 minute and 59.4 seconds. The slowest Derby winner ever
was Kingman in 1891, who ran the Derby in 2 minutes and 52.25 seconds, when the
race was still 1 and a half mile. The biggest longshot to win the Derby and the
highest paid winner of the Derby was Donnerail in 1913, who paid $184.20 at 91-1
odds. There have been 36 fillies, or female horse who have run in the derby, and

3 of them have won. Fourty-eight favorite horse have won the Derby in 126
runnings, the last favorite to win was this years winner, Fusaichi Pegases. The
largest purse for any winning horse was in 1987 when Alysheba won $618,600 for
winning the race. The largest crowd for the Derby was in 1975, the 100th
anniversary of the Kentucky Derby. Besides the race itself, the two week period
before that known as the Kentucky Derby Festival is a favorite time for people
in Louisville. For the past several years the Festival has been kicked off 2
weeks before the Derby with Thunder Over Louisville. Thunder Over Louisville is
one of the biggest displays of fireworks in North America. Once Thunder Over

Louisville has started, the Derby activities begin. There are too many to list,
but here are some of the most notable events. The Balloon Glow happens on the
next Friday after Thunder, where the balloon are blown up and displayed for
families to see. The next morning is the Great Balloon Race if the weather
permits it. There are many famous hot air balloons which trail the winner of the
event from the previous year and try to hit a target placed somewhere different
every year. In the week before the Derby, there is one of the 5 top 13.1 mile
races in the United States, the Mini-Marathon. A few famous runners from all
over the world race and usually a famous runner wins, but a lot of amatuer
runners from Louisville run the Mini for fun. The Great Steamboat Race is
another big event. The Belle of Louisville and The Delta Queen race down the

Ohio River every year for bragging