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First Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is a high stakes horse racing event that takes place every year on the first Saturday in May at the Churchill Downs track in Louisville, Kentucky. The racing field is made up of a number of 3-year-old Thoroughbred horses that compete over a distance of 1.25 miles (or 2 km).

The first ever Kentucky Derby was held on May 17, 1875 with a field of 15 Thoroughbreds and an audience of 10,000 people. In its inaugural year, the Kentucky Derby track was 1.5 miles long, but was reduced to the current length in 1876. Aristides was the winning horse that first year, ridden by jockey Oliver Lewis.

The Kentucky Derby has been run every single year since its introduction in 1875, and has come to be known as “The Most Exciting 2 Minutes in Sports” or “The Run for the Roses”, as the winning horse is adorned with a blanket of roses.  Today, the Kentucky Derby draws a crowd of around 150,000 spectators each year.

Sources: Wikipedia, About.com

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