The Most Exciting Two Minutes in InfographicsA Visual Guide to the Kentucky Derby
Headquartered in the city that calls itself home to “Run for the Roses”, and sharing a similar name, we at Derby Supply Chain Solutions naturally have a certain affinity for the Kentucky Derby. In honor of the 138th Kentucky Derby this year, we wanted to do something special to showcase the history and tradition of our beloved city’s biggest event.
If not for the fortuitous flip of a coin, the Kentucky Derby may have been named “The Kentucky Bunbury.”
In 1779, Edward Smith-Stanley, the 12th Earl of Derby, and Sir Charles Bunbury attended the Epsom Oaks in England. After seeing how successful the race was, they decided to start a horse race of their own. After disputing for sometime what to name the race, they chose to settle the dispute by flipping a coin. Thankfully (for us all), Sir Charles Bunbury lost.
The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports
Horses in the Kentucky Derby run the length of the 1.25 mile-long race track at speeds exceeding 35 mph. How does that compare against the rest of the animal kingdom?
* Hover over items below to reveal their times
12 MPHAVG. Speed
Slowest Time Ever
33.3 MPHAVG. Speed
Fastest Time Ever
37.8 MPHAVG. Speed
45 MPHAVG. Speed
70 MPHAVG. Speed
Try this on for Size
Weight restrictions on the day of the race, state that Colts and Geldings can’t carry more than 126 pounds, and fillies can’t carry more than 121 pounds on their back…and that’s including equipment. It’s no wonder why jockeys are so small!
Height: 16 Hands
Weight: 1,000 pounds
Weight: 112 pounds
Know Your Derby Lingo
- Furlong - An eighth of a mile. The Kentucky Derby is approximately 10 furlongs.
- Hand - A measurement equaling 4 inches used to measure the height of a thoroughbred.
- Win Bet - A wager on a horse to finish first.
- Place Bet - Wager on a horse to finish first or second.
- Show Bet - Wager on a horse to finish third or better.
- Exacta (or Perfecta) - A wager in which the first two finishers in a race, in exact order of finish, must be finished.
- Trifecta - A wager picking the first three finishes in exact order.
- Superfecta - A wager where you have to pick the first four finishers in exact order.
- Bridge Jumper - A person who bets an unusually large sum on a single horse. Refers to the fact that if they lose they may be jumping off the nearest bridge.
Derby Crowd: By the Numbers
The number of spectators that attend the Derby has grown consistently throughout the years. 2011 marked the largest crowd in the Derby’s 138 year history, surpassing the previous record from 1974 with 164,858 in attendance. With such a large crowd, it takes an entire army to feed their appetite.
- 120,000Mint Juleps
- 800 lbs. Bourbon Balls
- 1,892Sheets of Derby Pie
- 7,800Liters of Bourbon
- 426,000Cans of Beer
- 142,000Hot Dogs
- 13,800lbs. of Beef
Angels in the Infield
Those who have never attended Derby are often surprised by the things they see walking the infield. Part Mardi Gras, and part high society – the crowd is a perfect mixture of class and chaos.
Standing out From the Crowd
Fashion at the Kentucky Derby has undergone its fair share of change. The typical attire we have grown accustomed to today at the Kentucky Derby bears little resemblance to your average spectator’s dress in the early 1900’s. In fact, there have been many points throughout the ages where Derby attire has evolved, but the motivation of standing out from the crowd is still the same.
What are the Odds?
Any experienced gambler knows odds are everything when it comes to betting. The less likely something is, the greater the risk and the larger the payout. This year, when you’re deciding which horse to place your money on, consider these odds:
Odds winner will be a filly 46-1 Odds black horse will win 35-1 Odds derby winner will go on to win triple crown 9-1 Odds winner will go wire-to-wire 6-1 Odds horse will run dead last from wire-to-wire 146-1 Odds the winning margin will be a nose 17-1
The winning Horse of each Kentucky Derby receives a Garland of Roses and an opportunity to capture the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing by winning the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes.
Since 1987, the Kroger Company has been the official florist of the Kentucky Derby. Enthusiasts of horse racing are invited to visit one of Kroger’s local stores on Derby eve to watch the construction of the Rose Garland. The rose’s origins into the Derby celebration date back to the late 1800’s when then president of Churchill Downs, Col. Lewis Clark, witnessed the sensational effect roses had on the ladies that attended a fashionable Derby party.
The owner of the winning horse receives a 2 foot tall Gold trophy embellished with an 18-karat gold horse and decorative horseshoe.
The Kentucky Derby Trophy is made of 56 ounces of 14 and 18 karat gold. If you were to melt it down, it’s raw material value is worth $90,000 in scrap gold. Amazingly, that’s chump change when compared to the overall purse for winning. Since 2005, Churchill Downs has guaranteed a purse of at least $2 million to the owner whose horse first crosses the line.