We thought the only truly successful three year old in this world was Elmo, so you can imagine the surprise when we found out that the Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses. Taking place in Louisville, Kentucky at Churchill Downs on the first Saturday in May (this year, it’s the weekend of May 3 and 4, 2013), the Derby has been run every single year since 1875. This is unique for the Triple Crown races, as the Preakness Stakes took a break from 1891 to 1893, and Belmont Stakes cooled down from 1911 to 1912. Known as the “Fastest Two Minutes in Sports”, attendance for the Kentucky Derby beats attendance of all other stakes races. Think horse racing is boring? Grab a mint julep (or two, or three – we won’t judge), sit back, and watch – this is a high stakes race.

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The Derby is the first race in the Triple Crown, consisting of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes, and a horse must win all three to win the Triple Crown. Many horses and jockey teams have come close, but the last time it was done was 1978 by Affirmed. Not really into racing? That’s fine – there’s another spectator sport that comes with the Derby – the outfits! Women (especially in the high-priced “Millionaire’s Row” boxes) are expected to dress up with lavish, large hats (we’re talking royal wedding status). We prefer our fashion critiques better with a silver cup of bourbon (again, no judgment), so pour a drink, sit back, and relax.

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Kentucky Derby Tickets

Churchill Downs Seating Chart

Churchill Downs Seating Chart