Run for the Roses
April 30, 2014
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.
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: