Kentucky’s most prominent occurrence is the Kentucky Derby-one of North America’s most famous horse racing festivals held at Churchill Downs, outside Louisville. This spectacular race still draws a large amount of visitors every year.


Horse racing in North America is a major money-gathering” industry worth tens of millions of dollars. Racehorses in North America typically start racing when they’re just 2 years old. The main leagues in North America are Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. All three awards are for three-year-old ponies, “The Triple Crown” together.

Horse racing in Kentucky is rich in tradition, beginning in 1789 when the first race took place in Lexington. It was almost 100 years later, though in 1875, that Churchill Downs formally opened its doors and started its history with the name “Home of the Kentucky Derby”

Churchill Downs was founded in 1872 when Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark arrived in England and France in 1872. Clark was present at the Epsom Derby in England, which inspired his passion to create a horse racing festival. Similar to those of America. Upon his return, Clark started to create a track with the intention of introducing Kentucky’s livestock industry and gradually became known as the “Churchill Downs”

Churchill Downs saw its first official race date, which opened on 17 May 1875

In this first tournament, Meriwether Lewis Clark created three major races, Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Clark Handicap. They are modeled after the top three races in England-the Epsom Derby, the Epsom Oaks and the St. Leger Stakes. 

Churchill Downs is currently managed and run by Churchill Downs Incorporated and holds the record for the longest continuous sporting occurrence in the United States. In 1875, the race paved the way for nearly 10,000 fans and set the scene for a world-renowned festival with a record attendance of more than 170,000 people. Although there have been several improvements over the three decades, Kentucky Derby is regarded as the most interesting two minutes in a sports tournament because each race lasts just around that length of time.