12 Interesting Facts About Kentucky Derby

12 interesting facts about kentucky derby

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The Run for the Roses is just around the corner and we can’t contain our excitement. Besides the race, there are a lot of fun things about the Kentucky Derby that only seasoned fans know of. Here we have compiled 12 facts about Kentucky Derby that we found the most interesting.

A Thoroughbred can Only Compete in One Kentucky Derby Race in their Life

Only racehorses exactly 3 years of age can participate in the Kentucky Derby race. So a horse can only compete in the race once in its life. Jockeys, on the other hand, can participate and win multiple times with different horses. Bill Hartack and Eddie Arcaro both have won five races.

The Outcome of A Race Can Be Affected By Track And Weather Conditions

The race track can have different conditions depending on the amount of moisture. Different track conditions include fast, sloppy, wet fast, heavy, and good. All horses are affected by track conditions, temperature, and weather. However, some horses may be more handicapped by certain conditions than others, which can affect the outcome of the race.

The Race Has Always Been Held On the First Saturday Of May, With Two Exceptions

The 2020 Derby was held in September because of the outbreak of COVID-19. In 1945, a ban on horse racing due to war postponed the event. These are the only instances when the race wasn’t held on the first Saturday of May.

Post 5 Has 10 Wins While Post 17 Has None

Since 1930 when the starting gate was first implemented, post position 5 has hosted 10 winners, which is more than any other post. Post 17 on the other hand, has never scored a win. We don’t know whether this is due to mere chance or if there’s something about some positions that allows racehorses to finish quicker.

Most Jockeys Are Very Short

Lower weight allows horses to accelerate faster, which is why most jockeys have heights between 4’10” and 5’6″. Jockeys must weigh less than 57 kg along with all their equipment. The tallest jockey to ever win the Kentucky Derby was Johnny Seller with a height of 5’7″.

The Kentucky Derby Has Never Been Postponed Because of the Weather

Even though poor weather affects the performance of horses and may increase the risk of incidents, the Kentucky Derby has always taken place on the planned day. It has never been canceled or postponed due to poor weather.

Kentucky Derby will be broadcast on NBC

The Derby race will be broadcast on NBC and streaming on Peacock. NBC is available with Spectrum Select TV.

All Thoroughbreds Have the Same Birthday

All horses born in a year are considered to be born on the 1st of January of that year. This makes it easy to count the age of horses.

Thoroughbreds have Interesting And Funny Names

Thoroughbreds have had really fun names since the Kentucky Derby first began. Some of the names of the winning horses include Lord Murphy, Assault, Citation, Foolish Pleasure, Orb, I’ll Have Another, Funny Cide, Real Quite, Go for Gin, Genuine Risk, Behave Yourself, Shut Out and Regret.

The Rose Blanket Weight About 40 Pounds

The Kentucky Derby is also called the Run for the Roses because of the rose blanket that’s draped over the winning horse. The blanket weighs around 40 pounds.

The Kentucky Derby Is Almost 150 Years Old

The first Kentucky Derby took place in 1875 when the track length was 1.5 miles. The 2023 race is the 149th and the event will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2024.

Sir Barton had Never Won a Race Before

Sir Barton who was the first jockey ever to win the Triple Crown in 1919 had never won a race before.


The Kentucky Derby has given us some exhilarating moments in its 148-year run so far. We expect nothing less this year.

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