Fillies are welcome to run, thirty-nine have started, although the ladies have only beat the boys three times in Derby history: Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980) and Winning Colors (1988).
|Secretariat and his jockey Ron Turcotte|
Eleven Derby winners have gone on to win the Triple Crown, a series of three races consisting of the Kentucky Derby (Louisville, Kentucky), The Preakness (Baltimore, Maryland), and The Belmont (Elmont, New York).
Triple Crown Winners:
1919 Sir Barton
1930 Gallant Fox
1937 War Admiral
1943 Count Fleet
1977 Seattle Slew
Why so few? Well, the races are run close together and they get progressively longer. The Derby is 11⁄4 miles, then in two weeks comes the Preakness at 13⁄16 miles, and the Belmont finishes the trifecta just three weeks later at a distance of 11⁄2 miles.
Next week I'll tell you about the traditions surrounding the Derby including sights, sounds and tastes. We'll make fun of some of those crazy hats too.
I'll be doing a special post featuring my Kentucky Derby Contest Of Awesome on Saturday because I want to give you a whole week to enter. You won't want to miss it.