In 1872, Meriwether Lewis, grandson of William Clark of Lewis and Clark fame, visited the Epsom Derby in England and the French Jockey Club in Paris. Inspired, he returned to Louisville and raised money for the Louisville Jockey Club. The Churchill family donated the land which became the home to what is now known as 'the fastest two minutes in sports'.
Other displays show some examples of the hats ladies wear to the proceedings on the day of the Kentucky Derby.
The 30 minute guided tour took us under the viewing stands, over to the padduck, out to the track and over to the place where a horse is retired and on display.
- In the padduck, each horse moves from their stable to the infield and pass by a person who checks their identify. Each horse has a tattoo on their gums for that purpose.
- "My Old Kentucky Home", played when the horses enter the field, has been played by the University of Louisville Marching Band every year since 1936.
- The fastest time (1:59:40) was run by Secretariat in 1973.
- The track started out at 1 1/2 miles in length. It was shortened to its present distance of 1 1/4 miles.
- The infield will hold about 80,000 people, making it Kentucky's third largest "city" after Louisville and Lexington.
- Since 1946, the Kentucky Derby is run on the first Saturday in May.
- The traditional drink served at the Kentucky Derby is the 'Mint Julip' which consists of bourbon, syrup sugar and mint with lots of ice.
That is all for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles. If you ever get a chance to see Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum, I highly recommend it. You will not be disappointed!
Thanks for joining us!