Kentucky Derby Tips

We have tips and predictions ahead of the 2019 Kentucky Derby, which takes place on Saturday 4th of May.

2019 Kentucky Derby Preview

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Kentucky Derby Betting Tips & Predictions

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Kentucky Derby Festival

Synonymous with horse racing in the United States, the Kentucky Derby Festival is the annual festival of racing held each year in May, at the Churchill Downs racecourse, Louisville, Kentucky. Plenty of both racing events and non-racing events are held, including the Kentucky Derby itself – one of the richest races in the USA, and certainly the most well-known.

Other events include the impressive ‘Thunder Over Louisville’ fireworks display, the Kentucky Derby Marathon and miniMarathon, the Pegasus Parade and the Great Balloon Race. While the Kentucky Derby itself has been run since 1875, the associated festival has only been a regular event since 1935.

The Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby actually has its origins in England. Colonel Merriweather Lewis Clark Jr was visiting Epsom in Surrey in 1872, where he witnessed the Epsom Derby. Later, Clark visited France and spoke with members of the newly-formed French Jockey Club. Once back home in Kentucky, Clark formed the Louisville Jockey Club and financed the building of Churchill Downs racetrack. He then helped organise the first Kentucky Derby in 1875.

The Kentucky Derby has now been run on a continual basis since then, even without interruption for either World War.

The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports

Over its history, the Kentucky Derby has become known as The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports. The race is run over a short course of only ten furlongs (one and a quarter miles), meaning that the leading horses cover the distance in as little as two minutes. The speed record is held by the legendary Secretariat, who broke the two-minute barrier in 1973.

Stage One of the Triple Crown

The Triple Crown in US racing is awarded to any three-year-old thoroughbred horse who wins three of the leading flat races in the Unites States each year. The Kentucky Derby is the first of these races to be held, in May. The Preakness Stakes is also held in May, and the Belmont Stakes is held in June. As of 2018, thirteen horses have achieved the Triple Crown.

Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs racecourse was expressly conceived and built for the running of the Kentucky Derby. Land was purchased by the Louisville Jockey Club for the course in 1873 from John and Henry Churchill, after whom the track is named. Churchill Downs has a staggering capacity of 170,000, and is habitually brimming with people for the running of the Derby.

Notable Kentucky Derby Winners

As the Kentucky Derby is a race for three-year-olds only, no horse has ever won the Kentucky Derby on more than one occasion. As mentioned above, the course record was set in 1973 by possibly the most famous horse in USA racing history, Secretariat. Justify broke a ‘hoodoo’ in 2018 by winning the Derby having never run as a two-year-old – something not achieved since Apollo in 1882.

The record margin of victory is eight lengths, set by Old Rosebud in 1914 and since equalled by Johnstown (1939), Whirlaway (1941) and Assault (1946).

Upcoming Festivals

There are three more big festivals on the horizon, including the next leg of the Triple Crown, see what our experts are predicting in the next big races.