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It’s Derby Week! Here’s Some Interesting Derby-Related Facts

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The first Saturday in May is the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, okay, we all know that, but here are some other things you may not know about the Derby, thoroughbreds, and horse racing in Kentucky (courtesy of the Kentucky Department of Travel and Tourism).

*This year’s Derby is the 138th “Run for the Roses” at Churchill Downs, a thoroughbred racing venue since 1875.

*Each May, up to 20 3-year-old thoroughbreds answer the call to the post for the Kentucky Derby. The majority of the highly-trained horses ared Kentucky-bred; they are the best of more than 8,000 registered thoroughbred foals born every year in the state, by far the leading state in the US for producing this breed of horse. Florida comes in a distant second with about 2,000 foaled.

*There are about 450 thoroughbred farms in Kentucky, with the largest concentration found in the Bluegrass region around Lexington, Midway, Paris, and Georgetown.

C. G. P. Grey/Flickr

*Thoroughbred racing has been a favorite sport in Kentucky since it became the 15th US state in 1792.

*According to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, Kentucky-bred horses have accounted for 76 percent of Kentucky Derby winners, 75 percent of Breeders’ Cup winners, and eight of the eleven Triple Crown winners.

*When top thoroughbreds retire from the track, they often stand at stud on Kentucky Farms. Fees to breed with top stallions range from $1,150 to as much as $150,000, depending on the sire’s lineage and racing history, according to the thoroughbred association.

For more information on thoroughbred farms or if you would like to visit one, check out the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau website.

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