If one is a horse racing fan, then it is very unlikely that they wouldn’t have heard about the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the American Triple Crown that is held at Churchill Downs, Louisville every year on the first Saturday in May. The racing event provides one of the greatest sporting spectacles in the United States.
Kentucky Derby is known as ‘the most exciting two minutes in sports’ as nowhere else do can one get such an amazing sporting experience. An enormous crowd gathers at Churchill Downs every year, making the atmosphere quite lively. That is the time when many start looking at the Twinspires Rhode Island review trying to decide which bet they should select.
The famous race can boast of a long and prosperous history. As a visitor, one can experience the amazing atmosphere, and get to see plenty of fascinating traditions.
1- Secretariat’s memorable victory
Secretariat is widely regarded as the greatest Triple Crown winner of all time. He was awarded Horse of the Year in 1972 when he was only two years old. Claiming such an honour at such a young age was absolutely phenomenal. However, many began to doubt his abilities when he finished third in the Wood Memorial, the last race he competed in before the 1973 Kentucky Derby.
Despite the poor performance, Secretariat still entered the race as a favourite. He pulled off a stunning performance at Churchill Downs and shocked all the spectators.
In the beginning, Secretariat was the last but his pace increased as the race deepened. He not only won the race by two and a half lengths but set a new record of 1:59:40 which stands to this day.
Secretariat went on to win the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes that season and thus became the 9th Triple Crown winner.
2- Fighting Finish
Spectators at the 1933 Kentucky Derby witnessed a very unusual incident. In what later became famous as the ‘Fighting Finish’, two jockeys Don Meade and Herb Fisher fought their way to the finish line while riding their horses. The two jockeys grabbed and whipped each other as their horses ran side by side down the stretch.
3- Bill Shoemaker’s mistake
One should never celebrate early. That is true for horse racing as it is for any other sport. The most famous athletes and even the best strikers in Premier League history understand this and one can see that in their attitude.
Legendary jockey Bill Shoemaker made this mistake in the 1957 Kentucky Derby and it cost him very heavy. Shoemaker, who was riding Gallant Man, mistook the 16th pole for the finish line and started celebrating. By the time he realized his blunder, Willie Hartack, aboard Iron Liege, had overtaken him. Bill resumed driving his mount but ultimately went on to lose by a nose.
You can read more interesting articles like this in our section on Horse Racing.