The History of the Kentucky Derby
Oregonsportshall.com – The Kentucky Derby is the longest continuously running annual sporting event in the United States. It has been held annually since 1875 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The Kentucky Derby is part of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, which also includes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. It is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world.
Early History of the Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby was first run on May 17, 1875, and was won by a three-year-old bay colt named Aristides. The race was organized by Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., the grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Clark wanted to create a race that would rival the Epsom Derby in England. The first Kentucky Derby was attended by an estimated 10,000 people and was a huge success.
Evolution of the Kentucky Derby
Throughout the years, the Kentucky Derby has evolved in many ways. The track was lengthened to 1 1/4 miles in 1896, and the purse was increased to $2,000 in 1904. In 1924, the first radio broadcast of the race was aired on the Louisville radio station WHAS. Television coverage of the race began in 1952, and the event was first broadcast in color in 1961. In 1984, the race was designated a Grade I event and in 2018, the purse was increased to $2 million.
The Kentucky Derby Today
Today, the Kentucky Derby is attended by an estimated 160,000 people and is broadcast to over 200 countries. The race is preceded by a week of festivities, including the Kentucky Derby Festival, which includes a parade, a marathon, and various other events. The Kentucky Derby is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world and is one of the most anticipated events of the year.
The Kentucky Derby has been held annually since 1875 and is one of the most significant annual sporting events in the United States. Throughout the years, the race has evolved and grown in popularity, and it is now a globally recognized event. The Kentucky Derby is the longest continuously running annual sporting event in the United States, and it continues to be a highly anticipated event year after year.