//Kentucky Derby the first gem of the Triple Crown
Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby the first gem of the Triple Crown

Kentucky Derby

This race is the first of three races that make up the U.S. Triple Crown.

Over the years it has become a famous race because all the thoroughbreds, three years old, that have passed through it have been amazing.

The setting for this competition is located in Louisville, Kentucky.

The joust takes place on the first Saturday of May.

This 2019 the race was held on Saturday, May 4. Fans were able to see her at 6:50 p.m. Venezuela time.

The competition is circumscribed as part of the two-week Kentucky Derby Festival.

The race takes place on a one-and-a-quarter (2 km) track at Churchill Downs Racecourse.

It is known in the United States as “The Two Most Exciting Minutes in Sports” for its approximate duration.

Although also, it is called “The Run for the Roses” (The Run for the Roses) for the garland of roses that is placed on the winner.

In 2020 the race had to be postponed due to the coronavirus and a virtual Kentucky Derby race was held instead.

This competition is the first date of the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing in the United States and usually attracts about 150 thousand followers.

Not counting those who follow her in the media or social networks.

Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby has also been a place where good horses are bred.

Since the year 1700 there is reference about the quality of the pastures that the Kentucky Derby has.

It is said that they enjoy a grass rich in calcium that influences the good production of racehorses.

Where the idea comes from

In 1872, he started what years later would be one of the most famous races in the world.

Whoever wins the Kentucky Derby always stands still.

That year Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., grandson of the military and governor William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark expedition, travels through England.

And also take the opportunity to visit the Epsom Derby.

This is a well-known race that was held annually since 1780.

From there, Lewis Clark heads to Paris, France, where he would unknowingly find a great idea to move to the United States.

It is the year 1863 when the grandson of the soldier meets a group of fans of horse racing who form the French Jockey Club and organize the Grand Prix of Paris.

Over time the jousting becomes the famous Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Prix of the Arc de Triomphe).

European influence

Back in Kentucky, Lewia Clark organizes the Louisville Jockey Club.

Inspired by everything he had seen in England and France he began to organize the team…

The objective of this is to raise funds to build quality facilities that would allow horse racing on the outskirts of the city.

The man accomplishes his task and then the Churchill Downs track is born, named after Meriwether’s relatives Lewis Clark Jr., John and Henry Churchill, who provide the land for the racetrack.

Subsequently, the racecourse was named Churchill Downs in 1937.

Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby

The first Derby

All of the above results in the first edition of the Kentucky Derby.

The race is initially run on a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) track, the same distance as the Epsom Derby and the Paris Grand Prix.

However, by 1896 they modified the distance to those it has today, full 2019, that is, 1.25 miles (2 km).

It was May 17, 1875, when a group of 15 three-year-old horses participated in the first Kentucky Derby.

The fans do not wait, and the first spectator audience of the race reaches 10,000 people. Not bad for a start.

Winner of the 1st Kentucky Derby

The winner of the first edition of the Kentucky Derby is a colt trained by Ansel Williamson, Aristides.

The specimen was assembled by African-American jockey Oliver Lewis.

Shortly after, rider Lewis rode back on Aristides and took second place in the Belmont Stakes. Second race of the Triple Crown.

Technical problems

Even though the first edition of the Derby is listed as a success, the track presented financial difficulties.

Because of this in 1894 the New Louisville Jockey Club was created with new capitals and improved facilities.

However, the business faltered until 1902.

That year Matt Winn of Louisville brings together a group of businessmen to acquire solvency.

During Winn’s management, Churchill Downs Racecourse prospered.

Which made the Kentucky Derby the most important thoroughbred horse race in the United States.

As it is known today. A race of renown and prestige for the winners.

African-American Horsemen

A curious fact about the so-called Race of roses is that during the period 1875 and 1902, it was African-American riders who won 15 of 28 Derbys.

In fact, by May 11, 1892, 15-year-old Alonzo “Lonnie” Clayton was the youngest rider to win the Kentucky Derby.

The 1904 joust is won by a woman, Laska Durnell, who rode on “Elwood”.

In this section of curious facts we find that the filly Regret is the first filly to win the Derby, this is in 1915.

While by 1917, the English colt “Omar Khayyam” becomes the first overseas-bred horse to win the race.

The best specimens

In order to increase their income, horse owners begin sending the best Derby participants to compete weeks later in the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York.

Let’s remember that these three competitions make up what we know today as the Triple Crown of the United States.

And the fact that the same horse runs and wins all three is incredible, amazing.

This feat was first completed by the horse “Sir Barton”, in 1919.

Origin of the word Triple Crown

Given the importance of the three races, referred to above, the idea of calling it Triple Crown arises, alluding to the fact that they are the most important in the United States.

However, the word began to be used from 1930, when “Gallant Fox” became the second horse to win all three races, and sports journalist Charles Hatton imposed the use of that expression.

Two years later, the day of the race, which had taken place since its inception in mid-May, was changed to the first Saturday in May, in order to set a specific schedule for Triple Crown races.

Kentucky Derby the first gem of the triple crown, accumulation of history and emotions

Gustavo Mirabal as lovers of horses, also loves its history and legacy. That is why it seeks that the historical contribution of horses becomes visible to all people. Preserving that history is a duty for all of us.

In other articles we can learn more about the triple crown and its other careers.