How Much Can You Win Betting on the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most famous horse races in the world and this year’s running will be held on May 5th at Churchill Downs. With the weather getting warmer, more and more people are considering spending their weekend in the great city of Louisville for the occasion. This year will mark the 117th running of the Kentucky Derby and the event attracts hundreds of thousands of race fans every year.

The most watched and anticipated horse race in the world, the derby has been a part of Louisville life for more than a century. The first running of this prestigious event took place in 1887 and since then, the race has always been held in May, just weeks before the city’s favorite holiday, Memorial Day. With the weather getting warmer and the time slowly ticking away, now is the perfect opportunity to brush up on your Derby knowledge.

What Is The Meaning Of The Derby?

The term ‘derby’ is actually a short form of ‘Derby Day’ which is named after the legendary ‘Derby’ race track located in the English city of Derby. The first running of this prestigious horse race took place on March 5th, 1866 and the term ‘Derby’ is generally used to signify this particular event. On derby day, men would wear stylish hats and coats and women would wear bright, colorful dresses, often with white flowers in them. The celebrations involved dancing, parading and drinking! Today, the derby is still played on March 5th but since 2000 it has been dominated by online and mobile betting due to the increasing ease of placing bets from the comforts of home.

The History Of The Derby

The most prestigious horse race in the United States, the Kentucky Derby is actually one of the original ‘Grand Slam’ races. The term ‘Grand Slam’ was first used to describe a tennis player who won four consecutive singles titles before the turn of the 20th century. The first running of the Grand Slam was in 1889 and since then the race has been played annually, except in World War I and II. The only exception to this rule was when the race was postponed due to bad weather. In 1940, after the devastation of World War II, the organizers of the Kentucky Derby decided to wait until the following year to hold a race in order to give the city and the horses a chance to recover.

How Do You Win The Kentucky Derby?

Since the inception of the Kentucky Derby, there has only been one way for a horse to win the race and that is by a lengthy process of ‘stepping up’ through the betting rings. A horse that wins the Kentucky Derby is known as a ‘Stepper’, hence the term ‘Stepper Up!’ Today, horses can also win the race through a lottery scheme, but for the vast majority it is the old-fashioned way: by stepping up.

The Future Of The Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby has always been dominated by English and European horses, with the exception of a few American winners in the 20th century. Since the early 1960s, horses from the ‘Commonwealth’ have been steadily improving and in recent years, several Kentucky Derby-winning horses have come from this category. One of the most impressive winners from this breed was Spectacular Spud, who captured the hearts of horse lovers around the world in 2015 when he won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in that order.

The Kentucky Derby attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year and the 2018 edition promises to be no exception. While there will always be excitement surrounding the race, with all the betting and socializing that goes on, it is fair to say that the traditional ‘family’ day out may be a thing of the past. This is certainly a shame as the Derby is a great day for the city and its inhabitants. Still, as the old saying goes: “You can’t put a price on class, or on family, or on friendship.”