Kentucky Derby is a horse race in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May. Kentucky Derby Festival lasts the whole month. The race is a Grade I stakes race at a distance of one and a quarter miles at Churchill Downs. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds and fillies 121 pounds.
The race is known in the United States as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” or “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” for its duration, and is also called “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses draped over the winner.
It is the first leg of the American Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness Stakes, then the Belmont Stakes. Kentucky Derby has been run every consecutive year since 1875. A horse must win all three races to win the Triple Crown.
Kentucky Derby tied with the Whitney Handicap as the top Grade 1 race in the United States of America outside of the Breeders’ Cup races.
The attendance at the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America and usually surpasses the attendance of all other stakes races including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes.
The 2017 Kentucky Derby will be the 143rd running, and is set for Saturday, May 6, 2017 with a $2 million guaranteed purse.