Run for roses

Nytimes.com

Nytimes.com

Every year on the first Saturday in May, a brand new group of horses gathers at Churchill Downs to run the Kentucky Derby, one of the most famous horse races ever. The winner of the race gets the chance to try for the Triple Crown, the most prestigious award in horse racing. It is even known as “the greatest two minutes in sports” according to the derby’s own website.

The derby is so popular because it is step one in becoming a triple crown winner. The three races in the Triple crown are the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. If a horse wins all three, they are considered a triple crown winner.

Only 13 horses have ever done it, the last one being Justify in 2018. The most famous winner is of course Secretariat, who won in 1973 and still holds the record in all three races.

This year was the 147th Kentucky Derby. Although it had to be postponed until September last year, and seating was limited, the derby was able to continue almost as normal this year. There were 19 horses who ran in total, and the winner was Medina Spirit, followed by Mandaloun and Hot Rod Charlie.

Medina Spirit is owned by Bob Baffert, making this his seventh win, a new record. It remains to be seen if Medina Spirit will be able to win the Preakness as well on May 15. He is currently the favorite to win, but many are not sure his luck will hold out.

The whole culture of the derby and horse racing itself is fascinating, with their crazy hats and mint juleps. There is a lot more information than this basic overview if you find the topic interesting.