Held in Louisville, Kentucky, each year on the first Saturday in May, the race caps off the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The Festival is Kentucky’s largest event, which includes fireworks, balloon and steamboat racing, parade, marathon and a basketball tournament.
The Derby is a Grade 1 Stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbreds raced over a mile and a quarter [2 K] dirt track. Colts and geldings carry 126 pounds while fillies carry 121. The Kentucky Derby is billed as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” and has been run every consecutive year since 1875.
It is the first leg of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, preceding the Preakness by two weeks and the Belmont Stakes by five weeks.
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