Kentucky Derby betting: then and now

The Kentucky Derby, dubbed as KY Derby, is one of America's oldest and uninterrupted horse races. It is the starting race for the Triple Crown. Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes follow the Kentucky Derby. This historic sport gathers fans and equestrians worldwide to compete and win the Triple Crown Trophy.

For over the years before its 147th year in the upcoming Kentucky Derby 2021, the event went to different paths of entertainment and pleasure. From reforming traditions like the garlands of roses on the foals, the attendants' overwhelming size, and even the shortening of the race's distance.

Consequently, it amassed itself a plethora of names such as "The run for the Roses," "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports," and "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports." With its long line of history, let us take a quick review of this world-renowned gambling arena.

It all started with Col. Meriwether.

Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. was a grandson of William Clark. On his travels, he witnessed various accounts of horse racing in Europe. In England, he witnessed the annual Epsom Derby (another horse racing event held annually in England) held in Surrey.

And in Paris, France, he witnessed a group of horse racing enthusiasts forming the French Jockey Club and subsequently organized the first Grand Prix de Paris in Longchamp.

When Meriwether went home, he had an idea of forming an American jockey club. In creating this, he wanted to replace the bookmaking in America and introduced the French's pari-mutuel betting system – which is still used today.

After finalizing the racetrack plans, his family donated a part of their land, currently the Churchill Downs (named after his mother's relatives). The first race was a hit and garnered 10,000 people. This began the notoriety of horse race betting in America.

KY Derby is the leading sweepstakes race in America.

The numbers that Kentucky Derby garnered over the years are innumerable. The sheer number of bets placed on these thoroughbred horses is downright insane, with the current purse is $3million and the winner gets $1.86 million. The highest they collected for bets and tickets (in just one track) is 209.2 million dollars. That is roughly 9% more than their previous years' collected amount.

The reason for this is the horses. Only thoroughbred horses aged three years old can participate. These horses descended from Derby participants, and their training is closely monitored. This ensures that quality performance is on the top of each race.

The sister event of the KY Derby is the Kentucky Oaks, where the distinguishable difference is the gender of the horses. The Oaks also gathered the same recognition with the Derby for its bets, with the current purse valued at $1,250,000. The winning horse for the Oaks gets $750,000.

Kentucky Oaks and Derby are synonymous with fashion.

Being well dressed is a requirement of both events each year. Fashion for the Oaks and Derby is classified as one that would fit well with Spring Season Haute Couture. This is a secondary requirement that guests must comply with. It may be daunting to don a high-end piece of dress, but it’ll always make a mark for you and the other attendees.

The festivities usually kick-off with a semi-formal program requiring guests to follow the fashion required by the Kentucky Derby – in which it is inspired by the notions of the latest spring season couture.

This then showcases power dressing and is a chance for businessmen and women to secure deals because, as we know, appeal and class bring us up top. This whole festive mood gives everyone the chance to feel powerful with the race and their bets to make their derby experience unforgettable.

The Idea of the KY derby is for betting – sophistically.

Generally, Derby betting is just simple gambling on the horse, but with a classy twist. However, saying that the Kentucky Derby is on a different level is an understatement. Bettors include celebrities such as alike who find thrills in joining the gamble.

Royalty also joined the Derby, with the visit of Queen Elizabeth the II back in 2007. Other notable personalities who attended the Derby are American presidents Richard Nixon, Harry Truman, George Bush, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan.

To Conclude

Throughout history, the Derby is a power move in joining the group of horse race betting worldwide. It may be similar to other derbies witnessed by fans worldwide, but nothing can compete with the rich history.

This event gives a chance for both A-listers and fans to compete and bet on their favorite horses. The Kentucky Derby is also a memorable event in which attendees can look back and reminisce on their tracks' experience. Indeed we can channel our inner lord and lady – for at least a day.

Photo: Joshua Adams, Unsplash