March 23, 2017
NASHVILLE, Tenn (RFD-TV) The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in the United States. It has been staged every year at Churchill Downs without interruption since the inaugural running on May 17, 1875 – the first day of racing at the track then known as the Louisville Jockey Club. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, first staged on May 8, 1877, is the second oldest. In addition to the Derby, the Kentucky Oaks and Clark Handicap have been staged every year at Churchill Downs without interruption since 1875.
To have a horse draped in the garland of roses while raising the solid gold trophy high atop the Kentucky Derby winner’s stand is the Holy Grail for horsemen around the world. Restricted to 3-year-old Thoroughbreds, horses only have one chance to win the Kentucky Derby, and it’s quite an accomplishment just to receive a berth in the starting gate.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby is a 35-race series that awards points to the Top 4 finishers in each race. The top point earners will earn a spot in the starting gate for the 143rd running of the $2 million Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) on Saturday, May 6, 2017. The Kentucky Derby field has been limited to 20 starters since 1975. At least 20 horses have entered the 1 ¼-mile race for 3-year-olds every year since 2004, and 16 of the last 18 years.
Watch the video for a preview of a few notable contenders for this year's Run for the Roses!