More Than Mint Juleps

The Kentucky Derby is much more than horses, hats and mint juleps. It’s an institution in American culture, dubbed ‘The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports’ for good reason. After all, where else do celebrities, heads of state and collegiate debauchery mingle at a single event? So what makes the Kentucky Derby so special? Let us count the top five ways:

5. Every jockey in the race gathers for a ‘team photo’ of sorts before the running of the race. Afterwards, they go back to fist-fighting and stealing each other’s upcoming mounts. But it is a cool, Kumbaya-kind-of-moment recorded in picture.

4. Bourbon is Kentucky’s second-finest export next to the Thoroughbred, though you may find some who argue the order to be reversed. And, rest assured, it flows Derby Week — 80,000 mint juleps will be served Derby Day.

3. Horses. It’s all about the horses. A total of 37,572 newly born Thoroughbreds were registered in 2004. Three years later, only one will be remembered for all-time.

2. Wagering on this year’s Kentucky Derby racing action should exceed $160 million. That’s a lot of souvenir tickets for Aunt Edna.

1. Infield revelry makes the Derby experience part-Animal House and part-Woodstock for many attendees. Sneaking in bottles of booze in hollowed out loaves of French bread once was considered creative. That’s sooooo ’70s now!

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