Kentucky Derby 2025

RACE INFO

NEXT RACE

WHEN IS THE NEXT KENTUCKY DERBY?

3rd May 2025

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AMERICA'S BIGGEST RACE DAY

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KENTUCKY DERBY

ODDS & RUNNERS 2025

Antepost odds: No horse is guaranteed a position in the race until the final declaration stage. Check the odds with your Bookmaker before placing a bet, as fluctuations occur. Full Terms and Conditions for the promotional bet offers can be found on the respective websites – read them before you sign up. Important to Remember: Please be aware that when you place a bet on a horse in the ante-post market and your chosen horse is subsequently withdrawn from the race for any reason, your ante-post bet is considered lost. In such cases, the bookmaker will retain your stake.
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Sierra Leone

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Fierceness

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Forever Young

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Catching Freedom

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Just A Touch

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Stronghold

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Endlessly

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Honor Marie

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Mystik Dan

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Domestic Product

KENTUCKY DERBY

RACE OVERVIEW

The Kentucky Derby, known as "The Run for the Roses," stands as one of the most iconic horse races globally.

The race unfolds at Churchill Downs, a legendary racetrack nestled in Louisville, Kentucky. This venue is instantly recognizable for its iconic twin spires.

The race itself covers a challenging distance of 1 1/4 miles, or approximately 2 kilometers, tracing a circuit on a dirt track.

What makes the Kentucky Derby particularly enticing is its substantial prize fund, with the winning horse earning connections $1.8 million.

This robust purse places the Kentucky Derby among the most financially rewarding horse races in North America.

Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sport

Beyond its sporting significance, the Kentucky Derby holds a special place in American culture. Often referred to as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports," it lives up to its name with its thrilling, fast-paced nature.

However, the event transcends the racetrack, evolving into a vibrant celebration of southern culture, fashion, and tradition.

Steeped in time-honored traditions, the Kentucky Derby is distinguished by the singing of "My Old Kentucky Home" before the race, the presentation of the coveted garland of roses to the winning horse.

Historic Roots

Its historical roots date back to 1875, making it one of the oldest horse races in the United States.

Over the years, the Kentucky Derby has borne witness to legendary horses, jockeys, and trainers who have etched their names into the annals of horse racing history.

Furthermore, the Kentucky Derby serves as the inaugural leg of the coveted Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, a triumvirate of races that also includes the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.

Achieving the elusive Triple Crown is a rare and prestigious feat in the realm of horse racing, adding an extra layer of significance to the event.

With a vast audience both in attendance at Churchill Downs and through global television broadcasts, the Kentucky Derby's popularity is undeniable.

It captivates viewers worldwide, attracting enthusiasts and casual observers alike.

Moreover, the Kentucky Derby is a betting extravaganza, with spectators eagerly placing wagers on their favored horses, contributing to the event's substantial betting handle.

In essence, the Kentucky Derby is not merely a horse race; it is a beloved American tradition that seamlessly combines sportsmanship, fashion, and a profound sense of history.

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KENTUCKY DERBY NEWS

WINNER

TRENDS & STATS

It's a race where trends and statistics often provide valuable insights into predicting success on the track.

Kentucky Derby Favourites

In recent Kentucky Derby history, the starting favorite has often found success on the two-kilometer dirt track.

Over the last 20 races, the favourite claimed victory nine times, and in the past 11 years, they consistently finished on the podium. This trend indicates that pedigree and pre-race reputation play a significant role.

However, horses priced outside the top three in the betting have faced challenges, with a staggering 91% finishing fourth or lower.

It's worth noting that this trend has seen some exceptions in recent years, like Rich Strike's surprising 80/1 victory in 2022, making him one of the biggest long shots to triumph since 1913.

Jockeys at the Kentucky Derby

Jockeys also contribute to a horse's Kentucky Derby success. Flavien Prat, a French rider, has demonstrated remarkable consistency, finishing in the top three in four out of five starts.

Another French rider, Florent Geroux, boasts a strong record with two podium finishes in six attempts. Hall of Famers Mike Smith and John Velazquez have multiple Kentucky Derby winners in the last two decades, showcasing their experience and skill.

Trainers' Impact

Trainer Bob Baffert stands out among likely participants in the 2025 Kentucky Derby. With records tied for the most all-time victories, including three in the last 20 years, Baffert's expertise is evident.

Notably, his horses like American Pharoah and Justify achieved Triple Crown glory. While Baffert leads the way, younger trainers like Brad Cox, Doug O'Neill, and Chad Brown are also making their mark.

Post Positions

The importance of post positions becomes evident when the starting gate opens for the Kentucky Derby. While the inside posts may offer a shorter route to the first turn, it can be challenging to secure racing room in a large field.

Historically, posts one to three have seen limited success since Ferdinand's victory in 1986, though the 2024 winner, Mystik Dan, came from draw 3, so it can't be discounted entirely.

Kentucky Derby trends highlight that post five is an advantageous position, producing the most winners and the highest win percentage since 1930.

However, recent years have seen an increasing number of winners starting from outside posts, emphasizing the significance of unencumbered trips over saving ground.

These trends and statistics offer insights into the factors that often lead to success in the Kentucky Derby. While horse racing can be unpredictable, these patterns help bettors and enthusiasts make informed choices when picking their favourites.

ENTRY

TICKETS & PRICING

For the 2025 Kentucky Derby, the ticket pricing and options vary significantly depending on the seating and amenities. The event is scheduled for Saturday, May 3, 2025. Here's a breakdown of the different ticket options and their respective prices:

  1. Winner’s Circle Suites: These suites offer full-service hospitality, including a premium open bar, in-suite catering, and in-suite wagering stations. They provide easy access to the trackside winner’s circle, racetrack, and Paddock​​.

  2. Pre-sale Tickets: During Churchill Downs' annual fall pre-sale, various options like grandstand boxes and bleacher seating will be available​​.

  3. Seating Experiences: The more premium seating options include:

    • First Turn Reserved Seating: Starting at $1,495, offering a "media-worthy angle of the Kentucky Derby Walkover."
    • Grandstand Box Seating: Priced at $1,617.
    • Homestretch Club Reserved Seating: Starting at $2,595, this option offers a view of the key moment in the race​​.
  4. VIP Tickets Package: A VIP package for the Kentucky Derby is priced at $9,568. The average ticket price is around $1,528. The grandstand seats, which are located at the finishing stretch of Churchill Downs’ first and second levels, are also part of the offerings​​.

  5. General Admission Tickets: General admission options include first-floor grandstand seats with prices starting at:

    • $150 per person for certain sections.
    • $1,100 per person for first-floor grandstand seats (Section: 128, Row: TBA), with food and drinks included.
    • $1,150 per person for first-floor grandstand seats (Section: 128, Row: K – T), also including food and drinks​​.

Each of these options offers a different experience and view of the race, and the prices reflect the level of access and amenities provided. For detailed information on the admission policy and to purchase tickets, you should visit the official Kentucky Derby website or contact their ticketing office.

KENTUCKY DERBY

VISITOR TIPS

Visiting Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby and exploring the surrounding area in Louisville can be an exciting experience. Here are some visitor tips for Churchill Downs and attractions nearby:

Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby Tips:

  1. Fashion vs. Comfort: While dressing up is part of the Derby experience, remember to prioritize comfort, especially since you'll be on your feet for long periods​​.

  2. Weather Preparedness: The Kentucky Derby is held rain or shine. Many seating areas are outdoors and uncovered, so come prepared for all weather conditions​​.

  3. Crowd Size: Expect a crowd of over 150,000 people. This is significantly larger than most sporting events, so plan accordingly​​.

  4. Security Measures: Bags may be searched, and attendees may undergo security screening. Familiarize yourself with the list of permitted and prohibited items​​.

  5. Digital Tickets: Tickets are non-refundable and must be accessed digitally, so ensure you have your digital ticket ready for entry​​.

  6. Disability Accommodations: Efforts are made to accommodate persons with disabilities, but note that wheelchairs are not available for rent or storage​​.

  7. Parking and Transportation: On-site parking is limited. Free off-site parking with shuttle service is available for Frontside Reserve Seating ticket holders at the Kentucky Exposition Center. Rideshare and taxi pick-up/drop-off points are designated, and ADA-accessible parking and shuttles are also available​​.

  8. Churchill Downs App: It's recommended to download the Churchill Downs app for access to tickets, facility maps, and more​​.

  9. Derby Week Events: There are daily events at the track during Derby Week, which can be found listed on the official website​​.

Nearby Attractions in Louisville:

  1. Kentucky Derby Museum: Located at Churchill Downs, this museum is dedicated to the history of the Kentucky Derby​​.

  2. Louisville Mega Cavern: A unique underground adventure featuring zip lines and tram tours, ranked as the top thing to do in Louisville​​.

  3. The Speed Art Museum: A major art museum in Louisville, offering a diverse collection and exhibitions​​.

  4. Conrad-Caldwell House Museum (Conrad's Castle): A historic home showcasing the opulence of the Gilded Age, located near Churchill Downs​​.

  5. Stitzel-Weller Distillery: Known for its bourbon, this distillery offers tours and tastings​​.

  6. Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory: A must-visit for baseball fans, featuring the history of the famous baseball bat​​.

  7. Evan Williams Bourbon Experience: Another excellent bourbon experience in Louisville, offering tours and tastings​​.

  8. Kentucky Kingdom: An amusement and water park near Churchill Downs, offering rides and attractions for all ages​​.

  9. Louisville Zoo: A great family-friendly attraction with a wide variety of animals and exhibits​​.

These tips and attractions should help make your visit to the Kentucky Derby and the surrounding area in Louisville both enjoyable and memorable. Remember, planning ahead and being prepared for the large crowds and diverse weather conditions will enhance your experience.

EARLY YEARS

HISTORY

The Kentucky Derby, one of the most storied and prestigious horse races in the world, began its journey in 1875. Inspired by European horse racing events, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. established the Kentucky Derby at the newly formed Churchill Downs racetrack, named after his relatives, John and Henry Churchill, who provided the land.

From its inaugural race won by Aristides, the Derby has evolved, both in terms of distance and stature. Initially a 1.5-mile race, it was shortened to 1.25 miles in 1896. This event quickly became a cornerstone of American thoroughbred racing, known as the first leg of the United States Triple Crown, followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Achieving victory in all three races is a rare and celebrated accomplishment in thoroughbred racing.

The Derby has also witnessed extraordinary tales of equine excellence. Secretariat's record-breaking win in 1973, with a time of 1:59.40, remains unbeaten, symbolizing the epitome of horse racing performance. Years later, in 2015, American Pharoah captured the Derby crown and went on to secure the Triple Crown, ending a 37-year drought for Triple Crown winners.

Such champions, along with others like Affirmed, Seattle Slew, and War Admiral, have shaped the Derby's legacy. Their stories are not just of victory but of athleticism and spirit emblematic of the finest in thoroughbred racing. Each Derby, a chapter in its ongoing saga, continues to enchant fans and reinforce its status as a pinnacle of horse racing excellence.

The cultural impact of the Derby extends beyond the racetrack. Known as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports," it's celebrated for its fashion, particularly the extravagant hats worn by attendees, and its traditional mint julep.

The event attracts celebrities, royalty, and horse racing enthusiasts from around the world, becoming a symbol of American culture and the enduring allure of horse racing.

QUESTIONS

FAQs

1. What is the Kentucky Derby? The Kentucky Derby, often called the "Run for the Roses," is a prestigious horse racing event held annually on the first Saturday in May. It is one of the most famous horse races in the world and is the first leg of the American Triple Crown.

2. Where is the Kentucky Derby held? The Kentucky Derby takes place at Churchill Downs, a historic racetrack located in Louisville, Kentucky.

3. When does the Kentucky Derby happen? The Kentucky Derby is held on the first Saturday in May each year. It marks the culmination of the Kentucky Derby Festival, a two-week-long celebration.

4. How long is the Kentucky Derby race? The Kentucky Derby is run over a distance of 1 1/4 miles (about 2 kilometers).

5. What is the significance of the Kentucky Derby's nickname, "Run for the Roses"? The nickname "Run for the Roses" refers to the blanket of roses draped over the winning horse. This tradition dates back to the late 19th century and is a symbol of victory and excellence.

6. How can I attend the Kentucky Derby? Tickets to the Kentucky Derby can be purchased through the official website of Churchill Downs. There are various seating options and packages available to suit different preferences and budgets.

7. What should I wear to the Kentucky Derby? The Kentucky Derby is known for its fashion, with attendees often wearing elegant and stylish outfits. For men, a classic suit or sports jacket and tie are customary. Women typically wear colorful dresses and fashionable hats.

8. Can I bet on the Kentucky Derby? Yes, betting on the Kentucky Derby is a significant part of the experience. You can place bets at the track or through various off-track betting facilities and online platforms. There are different types of bets to choose from, including win, place, show, and exotic bets like exactas and trifectas.

9. What are some Kentucky Derby traditions? The Kentucky Derby is rich in traditions, including singing "My Old Kentucky Home" before the race, the mint julep cocktail, and the extravagant hats worn by attendees. Additionally, the garland of roses presentation to the winning horse is a cherished tradition.

10. Who are some famous Kentucky Derby winners Some legendary Kentucky Derby winners include Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Affirmed, American Pharoah, and Justify, who all went on to win the Triple Crown.

11. Can I bring children to the Kentucky Derby? Yes, children are allowed at the Kentucky Derby, and there are family-friendly areas at the track. However, keep in mind that it is a large and crowded event.

12. Are there special events during the Kentucky Derby weekend? Yes, the Kentucky Derby Festival includes numerous events leading up to the race, such as the Thunder Over Louisville airshow and fireworks display, the Pegasus Parade, and live music concerts.

13. How can I watch the Kentucky Derby if I can't attend in person? The Kentucky Derby is broadcast live on television, and many online streaming services provide coverage. Check with your local TV listings or streaming platforms for availability.

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