History Of Kentucky Derby

Did you know the Kentucky derby is the longest running sport in the United States dating back to 1875, celebrating the “Run for The Roses”

Imagine you are in 1875, headed to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The only way to get there was by horse drawn buggy, pedal bike, or walking, what a fine sight it must have been, if only time travel was possible, the first public outing of an automobile was invented by Carl Benz powered by gas in 1886 which was a three-wheeler.

Nevertheless, Kentucky Derby is the greatest two minutes, the competition is for three-year-old thoroughbreds one and a quarter mile, a blanket of roses is placed over the winner, oh the excitement of all these horses running together in a pack is really a sight to see.

The fastest running time at the Kentucky Derby was set by Secretariat in 1973 at an astonishing 1;59.4 minutes. Kentucky Derby hats has been a long tradition, many in 1875 would dress up and ride out to the derby in their horse drawn buggies sporting their best dresses, suits, and hats, “the bigger the hat, the better the luck.”

We have come a long way since 1875 with the expansion of Churchill downs, a 76-million-dollar hotel, redesign of the storied paddock area, and other areas of Church Hill Downs, set to be completed sometime in 2024.

In the early 1800s the population in Louisville, Kentucky was around 375 people. Today the beautiful city is just over 1,100.000.

Louisville, Ky famous Galt House Hotel, the first of three downtown buildings was completed in 1834. in 1839 a forerunner to the modern Kentucky Derby the old Louisville’s racecourse, it was a two horse race, Wagoner won the race against Grey Eagle, this race took place over 36 years before the Kentucky Derby, famous outlaws Jesse James and Frank James from the 1800s were huge fans of horse racing, they were always on the run from the law with their fast horses, when they were not robbing banks, the brothers would often go in disguise to mingle with the high rollers, robbing stage coaches, trains, banks in the Midwest, in the year 1868 they joined up with Cole Younger and became the James Younger Gang to rob a bank in Russellville, KY.

The Pinkerton Detective Agency began in 1874 to hunt down the famous outlaws but they avoided capture, during 1878 in Minnesota the James Younger Gang was torn apart during a robbery then went wrong, but as usual the famous out laws Jesse James and Frank avoid capture.

Both outlaws resurfaced in Nashville, Tn and had a strong interest in Racehorses.

As the story goes Jesse James took on partners in Racehorses while at his home in Tennessee, his horses name was Jim Malone, the governor of Missouri put out a 10,000.00 reward for him and his brothers arrest, the funny part is no one knew they were wanted by the Pinkertons, sadly in 1882 Jesse James was shot in the back by Bob Ford while Jesse James was looking at picture of his favorite horse Sky Rocket, believe it or not but soon after Jesse James death, Frank James was caught but blamed his brother for the crimes and did not serve any time.

Frank being a free man in 1889 travelled to the Kentucky Derby, being involved in fair races in multiple states including Kentucky before he moved back to Missouri.

These two outlaws lived a life gun slinging, turf running, racing from the law, Frank died in 1915.

A good movie to watch is The American Outlaws staring Colin Farrell, portraying Jesse James.

Kentucky Derby is the greatest sports and one of the most running in history, many will partake, well-known Actors, Celebrities and Music Artist will attend, and all will need a place to stay. The earlier you  list your home for Kentucky Derby the better your chances of getting it rented out.

If you miss this year’s event there is always any time of the year.