From the mint juleps to the fashions to the celebrities, the Kentucky Derby is about much more than horse racing, which is what makes it an event that is on almost everyone's sports bucket list. Here's a look at everything you need to know about this year's event at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
Trainer Todd Pletcher will saddle a record-tying five horses — Verrazano, Revolutionary, Palace Malice, Overanalyze and Charming Kitten. He first tried it in 2007, when his best finish was sixth. His only win came in 2010 when he entered four and won with Super Saver.
COMING UP ROSIE
Rosie Napravnik rides long shot Mylute in her attempt to become the first female jockey to win the Derby. She’s the sixth woman to try, and she had the best finish in 2011 when Pants On Fire was ninth.
KRIGGER CHASES HISTORY
Kevin Krigger, a 29-year-old jockey from the U.S. Virgin Islands, will ride Goldencents in a bid to become the first black jockey to win since 1902. That’s when Jimmy Winkfield won for the second time. Goldencents is co-owned by Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino and trained by Doug O’Neill, who won last year’s Derby with I’ll Have Another.
SHUG IS BACK
Trainer Shug McCaughey is in the Hall of Fame, but his resume is missing a Derby win. He’s 0 for 6 in the big race. He will saddle Orb, the early 7-2 favorite. His best finish was second with Easy Goer in 1989.
Trainer D. Wayne Lukas and jockey Gary Stevens own a combined seven Derby wins. At 77, Lukas could become the oldest trainer to win with either Oxbow or Will Take Charge. At 50, Stevens is back in the saddle after ending a seven-year retirement earlier this year.
Rosie Napravnik isn’t worried about history. She knows that will take care of itself. Just to hedge her chances, though, the 25-year-old jockey is working on her chemistry with a longshot named Mylute in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Two years after achieving the best finish by a female jockey in the Derby, she will try to become the first woman to win it. Napravnik’s pursuit of the milestone comes a year after she became the first female rider to win the Kentucky Oaks, the second-biggest race on Churchill Downs’ marquee weekend. Read more here
Page 2 of 2 - LATE SCRATCH
Long shot Black Onyx was a late scratch for the Kentucky Derby because of a chip in his left ankle, leaving 19 horses to vie for the roses.
The scratch occurred Friday after early wagering for the race had opened, so Black Onyx’s No. 1 post position will be left empty on Saturday. The remaining horses will stay in their original starting gate positions. Trainer Kelly Breen said the colt looked good training on Friday, but he had some swelling in the ankle, so an X-ray was taken which revealed the chip. Read more here
RACE DAY RECIPES
Kentucky Derby is celebrated the first Saturday in May with visitors from around the world gathering at the racetrack, and all over Louisville. Gather friends and family to watch the race at home in great Southern tradition. You can mix-and-match these Kentucky Derby Recipes to host a Bluegrass-themed party. Read more here
Throughout the years of the Kentucky Derby, the race has had a special appeal to the celebrity set. The rich and famous that mingle among the Derby Day crowd add a unique dimension to the spectacle of the "Run for the Roses." Read more here