Congratulations to Nyquist, jockey Mario Gutierrez, trainer Doug O’Neill and owner Paul Reddam on winning the 2016 Kentucky Derby with the 14th best time ever at 2:01.31 minutes.
Legendary Churchill Downs race track delivered another historic performance on the 1st Saturday in May with the running of the 142nd Kentucky Derby. This year’s crowd of 167,227 was the second largest crowd in Derby history, second only to last year’s 170,513 when American Pharoah started his journey toward the first Triple Crown in 37 years.
“It’s unreal. No words can describe it.” ~ Nyquist Jockey, Mario Gutierrez
Back to Back Triple Crown Winners?
In a similar path to American Pharoah, Nyquist entered the 2016 Derby undefeated. Could we be on the way to back to back Triple Crowns? Maybe.
The trio of jockey Mario Gutierrez, trainer Doug O’Neill and owner Paul Reddam have been on this path before. They won the Kentucky Derby in 2012 with “I’ll Have Another.” They went on to win the Preakness Stakes race that year as well. Things were looking good to capture the Triple Crown until “I’ll Have Another” was scratched the day before the Belmont Stakes due to tendonitis. Nyquist has now been moved to Pimlico for second leg of the Triple Crown race.
“He’s a special, special horse. You can see it in his eye on a daily basis. He knows how to bring his ‘A’ game. If he was a human athlete, we’d celebrate him as a super star.” ~ Nyquist Trainer, Doug O’Neill
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2016 Kentucky Derby Photo Gallery
We’ve put together a photo gallery of this year’s Kentucky Derby Day along with a few photos of Oaks winner, Cathryn Sophia, trained by John Servis and jockeyed by Javier Castellano.
As you can see from the photos, the weather for Derby week ranged from cold, to hot, to sunshine, to rain, to wind and even hail two days before. During the playing of the National Anthem the skies opened up and dropped a deluge of rain on Lady Antebellum. (You can see them in the photos and video below.) Thankfully, a few minutes after they were done, the skies cleared and by race time the sun was shining on “My Old Kentucky Home.”
Lady Antebellum Performs the National Anthem in the Rain
Derby Fast Facts
- The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in the United States. It has been staged every year at Churchill Downs without interruption since the inaugural running on May 17, 1875.
- The Kentucky Derby is run at 1 ¼ miles which is equivalent to 2,011.68 meters, 2,200 yards, 6,600 feet or 79,200 inches.
The Mint Julep – It’s Kentucky, Bourbon is Required
- The mint julep has been the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby since the 1930s
- Each year, approximately 120,000 mint juleps are served over the two-day period of Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs.
- Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Juleps require more than 10,000 bottles of Old Forester Mint Julep (the ready-to-serve cocktail made with Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky), 1,000 pounds of freshly harvested mint and 60,000 pounds of ice.
- The $1,000 Mint Julep – A limited number of handmade mint juleps are created and sold to raise funds for a worthy cause. This year’s funds go to PDFF. If that’s not enough, there are a smaller number of $2,500 mint juleps sold in gold cups.
- You can learn how to make the official 2016 $1,000 Kentucky Derby Mint Julep cocktail with Master Distiller Chris Morris in this video.
Mint Julep Glasses
- The tradition of the mint julep glass began inconspicuously with the 64th running in 1938 as the first glasses were actually water glasses. There so popular they “disappeared” from the tables in the track’s dining rooms. Track management decided to charge an additional 25 cents to each meal and allow patrons to keep the glass. In 1939, the Libbey Glass Company was contracted to create the glasses in color, making them attractive for mint julep sales. The idea of allowing patrons to keep the glass increased the sales if mint juleps a reported threefold.
- The Kentucky Oaks received its first-ever glass in 2005 as the Libbey Company produced a limited trial order of 7,200.
- You can learn how to make the official Kentucky Oaks Lily here.
- 3 ½ pounds, or 56 ounces, is the weight of the Kentucky Derby trophy
- The trophy stands 22 inches tall, including its jade base
- The trophy, made by New England Sterling Inc. of Attleboro, Mass., is 14 karat gold
- What sets the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks apart from other sports and entertainment events? First and foremost, it’s the hats.
- In the race’s infancy, a lady without a hat on Derby Day wasn’t just a fashion faux pas; it was considered indecent.
- Large or small, contemporary or old-fashioned, big brimmed, feathered, flowery, simple or sarcastic, women – and men – top off their Oaks and Derby duds with a variety of ostentatious head wear.
- The hat is the main part of a woman’s attire, and is usually paired with a simple matching cocktail dress.
- Men’s hat fashion, such as the traditional fedora, is typically understated.