A Look at the Origins of the Kentucky Derby

Don’t worry — this isn’t like your old history class where the teacher droned on and on about the same topic. We think that if you’re going to bet on the race, you need to have a little idea of where the race came from in the first place.

The Kentucky Derby is a race so popular that even on bettors know about it. The Derby started in 1875, when Churchill Downs first opened. The event is a mile and a quarter, and the total price money is 2 million USD.

Col. M. Lewis Clark set up three major stakes races, hoping to emulate the major races in England: the Epsom Derby, the Epsom Oaks, and the St. Leger Stakes. So at Churchill Downs, we have the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Oaks, and the Clark Handicap.

Kentucky Derby Horse RacingThe Derby didn’t get popular until 1902 when management turned over to Col. Matt Winn. The track was profitable in 1903, a mere 28 years after it was opened. Winn expanded the track and used major publicity to turn the Derby into an exciting event. It’s a major media event with hundreds of reporters, photographers, and television and radio personalities coming to the track. Millions of people place bets on the race all over the world.

Online wagering services love taking bets on the Derby. Newcomers to the world of horse racing don’t have any idea about the history of the horses, but it’s the Derby — everyone gets really fired up about it.

If you want to stay at home and just pick a winner, you want to get as much data as you can about each and every horse. It really does make a difference. Learning how to handicap your horses properly will make a huge difference in the long run. You might as well figure out how to get things done, and what will be the most profitable bet for you. Thankfully, there are tons of Kentucky Derby forums online. Hang out in a few of them and pick up more gems about the game.

If you want to just make a casual bet so you can talk about it at home with your friends, you can do that too. It gives you something to think about when it’s all said and done. Good luck!