These Kentucky Derby Facts Prove It’s The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports

Sports | 5/3/19

The First Ever Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby Early 20th Century black and white
Bettmann / Contributor
Bettmann / Contributor

At first, the Kentucky Derby was run at 1 1/12 miles, which is the same distance as the Epsom Derby. The distance changed in 1896 to its current 1 1/14 miles.

On May 17th, 1875, in front of an estimated crowd of around 10 thousand people, a field of 14 three-year-old horses contested the first Derby. A colt named Aristides, who was trained by future Hall of Famer Ansel Williamson, won the inaugural race that year.