Mint juleps, big hats, roses, and of course, horses – all are a part of the most exciting two minutes in sports. Set for Saturday, the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby has an expected post time of 6:24 p.m.
Here are some random facts to get you excited for the big day.
- The garland draped on the winning horse contains 554 red roses, each with a tiny vial of water attached to it to keep them fresh. (Source: Mental Floss)
- The traditional Derby drink is the mint julep – a mix of bourbon, mint, sugar and crushed ice. And they’re really popular – each year more than 120,000 mint juleps are served during the Derby. (Source: Mental Floss)
- The Derby is run at Churchill Downs with its iconic twin spires watching over races since they were constructed in 1895. (Source: Kentuckyderby.com)
- Ever wonder how on earth the horses get their names? The short answer is by following a strict set of rules. Here’s the long answer: (Source: Mental Floss)
- The name cannot have more than 18 characters (including spaces).
- It must consist of more than initials.
- It must be in good taste and not have commercial significance.
- Want to use the name of a living person? Owners have to get permission in writing.
- The Jockey Club tracks all the names and maintains the American Stud Book, a record of all the thoroughbreds born and imported to the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. More than 430,000 names still are active. So what are some of the names? Animal Kingdom, Super Saver, Big Brown, Secretariat, Seattle Slew and Clyde Van Dusen to name a few from throughout the years. (Source: Mental Floss)
- The derby trophy is no small token: The solid gold trophy sits atop a jade base and is the results of hundreds of hours handcrafting almost every part of it. The trophy stands 22 inches tall, excluding its base. (Source: Kentuckyderby.com)