May 3, 2019 in Uncategorized
They call it the ‘greatest two minutes in sports’. After weeks of anticipation and speculation, the actual Kentucky Derby is over and done with in just two minutes. But, for those two minutes, the majority of the sporting world is focused in on the fast dirt track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky for the biggest thoroughbred horse race of the year, the Kentucky Derby.
For the past six years running, the pre-race favorite has ended up winning the Derby. Justify in 2018, Always Dreaming in 2017, Nyquist in 2016, American Pharoah in 2015, California Chrome in 2014, and Orb in 2013 were all picked by oddsmakers to win the race, and they did.
Churchill Downs is one of the largest venues in sports with a capacity of around 160,000 fans for big events. Of course that counts all the campers and parties going on in the center grounds before, during and after the race.
The track serves an impressive 127,000 Mint Julips, the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, during the two day event of the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby. That’s a lot of bourbon, a lot of mint and a lot of folks. As always, brisket after brisket of tantalizing Bar-B-Que roasts on grills all over the grounds giving the air a smoky and festive allure.
Last year over 157.000 showed up to watch the ‘Run for the Roses’. Most were there to watch the ponies run, but many showed up simply to strut their stuff as the Kentucky Derby is also one of the world’s great fashion shows with ladies hats drawing most of the attention. Some go to the derby and never see a horse.
This year’s odds-on-favorite, Omaha Beach, which is owned by Tom Hanks, has been scratched from the Derby and the rest of the Triple Crown events due to a repertory problem. Horse lovers everywhere wish Omaha Beach a speedy recovery for he is truly a magnificent animal.
Since 1946 the Kentucky Derby has been run on the first Saturday in May and is the oldest continuously run sporting event in the USA running annually since 1875. Last year bettors wagered a record $225,671,089 on Kentucky Derby day. Overall, over eleven billion dollars are wagered on horse racing in the US annually.
With Omaha Beach out of the race, the dubious honor of being the favorite falls to Game Winner at +250, followed by Improbable at +385, Maximum Security at +400, Tacitus at +475 and Roadster at +485.
Which one will be there in the winners’ circle to receive the traditional garland of 400 red roses that is presented to the winner of each year’s Kentucky Derby? We will find out in two minutes!