Part of the buzz that surrounds the Kentucky Derby is the not knowing whether or not we may have a true Triple Crown champion about to be unleashed on the Downs.
By the time the Kentucky Derby is run two weeks after the Derby, we are usually put out of our misery and resign ourselves to waiting another year for a superstar like Seattle Slew or American Pharoah to come around and sweep all before them, but on Derby day anything remains possible.
The first leg of this unique championship, along with the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes, is the biggest one as hopes are still alive for all owners, jockeys and trainers that they may possess in their barn that one special horse who could go all the way.
Aside from a basic turn of foot, an important attribute any horse looking to win the Triple Crown must have is versatility though only certain types are allowed to enter.
The Derby is run over a 10 furlong (mile-and-a-quarter) distance, testing speed and stamina along the way while the Kentucky Derby is shortened just a bit to 9½ furlongs. The Belmont really tests stamina with its mile-and-a-half trip but the best middle distances horses are usually judged over the Derby distance.
This race is only open to the three-year-olds, the ‘classic’ generation if you will, and that means we have not yet seen the very best of them and so part of the race day buzz is formed out of people exchanging opinions on who they think is the best animal in the field.
Future Triple Crown winners (Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Preakness Stakes) such as Citation, Affirmed and Secretariat have romped home to victory here and have had to use a combination of an early turn of speed and a good kick for the line to outwit their opponents.
Louisville has been the home of the Derby since day one; Churchill Downs opening in 1875 and hosting the Kentucky Derby and Oaks the same year to create one of the greatest traditions in sport.
One of Churchill Downs’ key features is its sheer size, with the infield open on Derby day the track can host up to 170,000 on the big day giving it one of the highest attendances of any sporting event in the world.
As is the case with a lot of horse racing events around the world, such as at the Pegasus World Cup and Breeders’ Cup, tradition plays a big part on Derby day and this means drinking mint julep, eating burgoo and listening to the marching band lead the crowd in a rendition of “My Old Kentucky Home”.
Race history, current form and times and looking at trends of past winners are all good ways to make sure you don’t go into the Derby under informed. Being armed with this information and checking the latest odds are paramount in attempting to bet the winner of this race and that can all be done by visiting right here.
As a bettor, you should never go into any big race without the relevant knowledge so make sure you check back here at race time for all the latest information regarding one of America’s biggest races.
Remember you can bet right here on TVG and make sure you check in with us nearer post time for a more in-depth analysis from our experts. Check out the history of the Kentucky Derby.