Kentucky Derby tickets have been delighting crowds in Louisville since 1874, when the racetrack was incorporated as Churchill Downs. The first races were run at one-and-one-half miles, since that was the same distance for the Epsom Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris. By 1896, the distance was shortened by one-quarter mile, which is the distance that is currently run today.
Kentucky Derby Tickets: Event History
The first Kentucky Derby tickets drew a crowd of 10,000 spectators who came to watch 15 thoroughbreds compete. The inaugural winner of the race was a colt name Aristides, under jockey Oliver Lewis. The same horse also took a second-place finish in the Belmont Stakes that same year.
Shortly after that successful first race, the Kentucky Derby ran into some financial trouble and continued to struggle until 1902, when Col. Matt Winn collected a few businessmen to acquire the facility.
During this time, Kentucky Derby tickets became a hot commodity, as the race reached acclaim as the preeminent stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbreds in all of North America.
Memorable Highlights with Kentucky Derby Tickets
Kentucky Derby tickets offer access to one of the top horse races in the world today. Traditions have become a big part of the race experience, from the mint juleps guests sip to the burgoo stew that is served for dinner. Mint juleps are iced drinks with bourbon, mint and sugar syrup, which is often served in a Kentucky Derby souvenir glass. Burgoo is a stew made of beef, chicken, pork and vegetables that has become a tradition at the race.
The Kentucky Derby has become a melting pot of talent, with African-Americans and women joining what was once a gentlemen's sport for Caucasian Americans and Europeans.
Kentucky Derby tickets also tend to attract the rich and famous across the globe, most of whom you can see on Millionaire's Row, the premium seating that brings in most of the famous Kentucky Derby guests. Fashion also takes a front row seat at the derby, with women sporting elegant, stylish hats throughout the event.
Who Should Attend?
Kentucky Derby tickets attract avid horse racing fans and curious first-time visitors alike. Many of the areas of the Derby do have a strict dress code, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules of the event before you attend. Today, Kentucky Derby tickets go to 150,000 visitors every year, making this event one of the most diverse and best attended in sporting history.