Derby Days

Friday, May 4, 2012

The greatest two minutes in sports takes place tomorrow, the Kentucky Derby thoroughbred horse race. Its 137-year history is marked by a number of traditions which are an important part of the Derby atmosphere and experience:

The Mint Julep, an iced drink made of bourbon, mint and a sugar syrup is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. The historic drink can be served in a silver julep cup but most attendees sip theirs from a souvenir glass printed with all previous Derby winners.

I don’t think people wear hats so much anymore these days but the Derby is one of the main hat fashion events of the season for women. Believed to bring good luck at the races, hats of all sizes, colors and designs can be seen on the day, ranging from the stylish to the ridiculous. However, it is all for fun.

The Derby is frequently referred to as "The Run for the Roses," because a garland (or blanket) of over 400 red roses is awarded to the Kentucky Derby winner each year. The red rose is the official flower of the event.

The racetrack, Churchill Downs, is located in Lousiville, Kentucky (pronounced
LOOW - evel). Kentucky, known as the “Bluegrass State”, got its name from the fertile soil which promotes growth of a bluish-green grass that is common in many pastures throughout the state. Kentucky dominates Thoroughbred breeding thanks to this special grass and water.

The traditions, excitement, glamour, and history together make the first Saturday of May, the Kentucky Derby, the most exciting two minutes in sports. Have you ever seen it?

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