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Run for the Roses

April 30, 2014

The Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest horse races in the United States and marks the first race of three that make up the Triple Crown. Do you know the name of the Texas horse that won the Triple Crown? Did you know that the Library has many resources about thoroughbred horses?

The Kentucky Derby, the most famous horse race in the United States, is also known as the Run for the Roses because of the blanket of roses placed on the neck of the winning horse. Traditionally held on the first Saturday in May, the Derby marks the first of the three races that make up the Triple Crown. The average attendance for this event draws a crowd of 150,000. Run continuously since 1875, this year marks the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby.

At a length of 1.25 miles, the Derby is run by three-year-old thoroughbreds in about 2 minutes. The record for the fastest run in the Derby was set in 1973 at 1minute 59 2/5 seconds by Secretariat.

Only 11 horses have ever won the Triple Crown, which includes the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes. This includes 1946 winner Assault who was foaled at King Ranch in Texas. Assault is the only Texas horse to win the Triple Crown.

Use your RamPort login and Password to see Assault win the Kentucky Derby in 1946 (skip to 6:36) or learn about the life of Seabiscuit.

For more about thoroughbred horses: please look at some of our great resources that can be found in the library.

The Sport of Kings: Kinship, Class, and Thoroughbred Breeding in Newmarket / SF293.T5 C338 2002

Fine Texas horses; their Pedigrees and Performance, 1830-1845 / SF335.U6 T35 1966

The Right Blood: America’s Aristocrats in Thoroughbred Racing / SF293. T5 C338 2002

Seabiscuit: An American Legend / SF355.S4 H55 2001

Gambling in American: an Encyclopedia of history, issues, and society / GV1301 .T47 2001

Here are some movies about famous race horses:

Secretariat DVD 4111

Seabiscuit DVD 1967