Kentucky Derby

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noun Trademark.
a horse race for three-year-olds, run annually since 1875, on the first Saturday in May, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.: the first race in the Triple Crown.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is a famous annual horse race at the Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Kentucky Derby is limited to 20 three-year-old horses and is run on a dirt racetrack that is 1 ¼ miles long.

It is the first and most famous race in the three-race series that also includes the races known as the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. Winning all three races in a single year is known as winning the Triple Crown.

When is the Kentucky Derby?

The 2023 Kentucky Derby will be held on Saturday, May 6. The 2024 Kentucky Derby is scheduled for Saturday, May 4.

The Kentucky Derby is traditionally held each year on the first Saturday in May, weather permitting.

More information and context on the Kentucky Derby

The first Kentucky Derby was held in 1875, making it one of the longest-running sporting events in the U.S.

Today, the race is usually run in around two minutes. For this reason, it is popularly referred to as “the greatest two minutes in sports.” Legendary racehorse Secretariat set a Kentucky Derby record of 1:59.4 in 1973 on the way to becoming one of the few horses to win the Triple Crown (by winning all three races). Other notable Triple Crown winners include War Admiral and Seattle Slew.

The Kentucky Derby is nicknamed “the Run for the Roses” because the winning horse is awarded a blanket of red roses.

The Kentucky Derby is often considered a symbol of Southern culture in the U.S. Among spectators, there are many traditions associated with watching and attending the event, including the wearing of old-fashioned attire and fancy hats and the drinking of mint juleps (a cocktail made with bourbon, sugar, and mint).

What are some terms that often get used in discussing the Kentucky Derby?

How is the Kentucky Derby discussed in real life?

The Kentucky Derby is the most famous horse race in the U.S. It’s associated with its many traditions and is seen as an emblem of Southern culture.

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True or False?

The Kentucky Derby is always held at the Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky.

How to use Kentucky Derby in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

a race for three-year-old horses run annually since 1875 at Louisville, Kentucky
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby

The most famous American horse race, held each spring at Churchill Downs racetrack in Kentucky.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.