The 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby will be run tomorrow, Saturday, May 2, and for the third consecutive year, a tiered point system in select races will determine who qualifies to America’s greatest race. Each year 20 horses have the once in a lifetime chance to run in the Kentucky Derby. To earn a spot in the starting gate, they must travel along the Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series of 35 designated races at tracks across the country and around the world. Points are awarded to the top four finishers in each race. The 20 horses with the most points will earn a spot in the starting gate on the first Saturday in May.
The series includes 16 significant events that comprise the “Kentucky Derby Championship Series” which takes place over the 10 weeks that precede the first Saturday in May. A sliding scale of points will be awarded to the Top 4 finishers in each of the 35 races, to determine preference for the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field.
Some of the traditions at the Kentucky Derby that I remember from attending over the years include but not limited to:
Garland of Roses – first appeared in the 1896 when Winner Ben Brush received a floral arrangement of white and pink roses. It was such a sensation from the start, that the president of Churchill Downs, Col. Lewis Clark, adopted the rose as the race’s official flower.
Music – in the world of sports there is not a more moving moment than when at the Kentucky Derby the Horses step onto the track for the Post Parade and the band strikes up “My Old Kentucky Home!”
Twin Spires – constructed in 1895 these were blue printed for Churchill Downs new grandstand. The final Twin Spires are hexagonal spires exemplifying late 19th century architecture.
Signature Beverage – why Mint Julep of course, this has been a traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby for over a century. The Old Forester Mint Julep ready to serve cocktail is the Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky Derby!
Hats – OH the Hats! Kentucky Derby is a chance for every female to express her inner self Southern Belle take note that wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby is believe d to bear good luck! This long-established fashion was started by women however many men have started taking part in this tradition as well. I must note that Southern Belle were wide-brimmed hats and all hats are best worn decorated whether feathers, bows, ribbons or flowers just express your creativity and individuality!
As my family heads to West Virginia this weekend, know that this year will not be a year we attend as family comes first but we ALL will be watching as Daddy has already informed us. I also attached a copy of the Official 2015 Magazine so hope you watch and enjoy this Southern Tradition that our family enjoys year after year!
Until next time … make it FUN … REAL FUN that is and maybe you will make your own hats this weekend as a crafty project! Brenda 🙂