Since its formation in 1875, The Kentucky Derby has grown into so much more than just a horse race. It is an annual event rich in history and tradition, known as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports."
After witnessing the memorable derbies in Paris, such as the Grand Prix de Paris in the middle of the nineteenth century, Col. Merriwether Lewis Clark Jr. (grandson of the famous American adventure explorer William Clark) returned home to Kentucky and created the Louisville Jockey Club. The Club was established for the purpose of creating a derby in America to rival those in Paris.
The Club raised the money to build Churchill Downs, named for relatives of Merriwether Lewis Clark, and the first Derby was held there in 1875, with fifteen horses competing and 10,000 spectators.
As the Kentucky Derby grew in popularity and influence, horse owners decided to send their winning horses over to two other important races: the Preakness Stakes in Maryland and the Belmont Stakes in New York. Together, these three events are now known as the "Triple Crown," a term coined by sports writer Charles Hatton in 1930.
Today, the race is attended by some 150,000 people each year, including the wealthy, the influential, the famous, and royalty. The event has also inspired some wonderful food and drink and some fun and quirky traditions. From the legendary Mint Julep, Hot Brown Sandwich, and Burgoo, to the Kentucky Derby Hat Parade, you can find out all about these traditions and fun ways to celebrate the Derby yourself in the articles below!
Traditional attire, food, and decorations have formed, transforming this two-week event into the affair that it is today. Here are a few basic recipes and traditions to help make your Derby celebration a bash to remember!
Get into the Derby Spirit with these delicious, traditional meals and desserts. With so many details to consider while planning your Derby Bash, choosing the perfect foods that are both tasty and festive can be easy with these great tips! Read More
Keep your guests occupied and having fun at your Kentucky Derby themed party with these exciting betting games! Start up your own betting pool among your guests, so that they will feel truly engaged with the racing action. Or, leave it all up to chance with the Horse in a Hat Betting Game. To recreate the feeling of being at the races with verisimilitude, you can set up a betting window at your party too! Read More
Here's a simple recipe for this iconic cocktail without which no Kentucky Derby party is complete. It may seem like a tough drink, but any home bartender can whip up their own Mint Julep in no time. All you will need is a batch of simple syrup, a few fresh mint leaves, and the best Kentucky bourbon you can buy. Read More
Need a sweet treat to pop in your mouth as you watch the game? Indulge in these easy to make Bourbon Balls. Crunchy and sweet, in these truffles he nuttiness of pecans merges with the bite of Kentucky bourbon and the sweetness of vanilla wafers. Read More
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