Grab your floppy hat and fix your mint julep, as people around the world tune into the Kentucky Derby. Held on the first Saturday in May, the Derby attracts more than twice the number of fans as the Super Bowl. NBC will provide live coverage of the event, while thousands of fans will travel to Churchill Downs to take part in this unique experience. Horse fanatics, fashionistas, and celebrities all gather to see who will win the “Run for the Roses.” Here are 10 fun facts about “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports”:
1.) More than 500 red roses are used to create the winner’s garland.
2.) Approximately 120,000 Mint Juleps are served each year during the Kentucky Derby weekend.
3.) Celebrity horse owners have raced their horses in the derby, including M.C. Hammer, Berry Gordy, and Steven Spielberg.
4.) Only 6 women have ridden in the Derby, the first in 1970.
5.) No female trainer or jockey has ever won the Kentucky Derby.
6.) In the first Derby, 13 of the 15 jockeys were African American.
7.) Celebrities now have their own entrance to the Derby. From politicians and royalty to names such as Kim Kardashian, Nick Lachey, Jessica Simpson, Lauren Conrad, and Luke Bryan, this is a star-studded event.
8.) 2 of the first 3 Derby winning horses were trained by former slaves, Ansel Williamson (1875) and Ed Brown (1877).
9.) Secretariat was the fastest Derby horse in history and won the race with an amazing time of 1:59.40.
10.) The winning purse is $2 million dollars, of which the jockey will walk away with less than ten percent.