Thunderstorms, which produced intense lightning, thwarted scheduled morning practice at the Kentucky Derby and forced the track superintendent at Churchill Downs to cancel practice.
The main dirt track At Churchill Downs, named for Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr.’s relatives, was labeled sloppy at 8 a.m. so Butch Lehr made the decision early in the morning to cancel as crowds were beginning to lineup outside the Louisville track.
Saturday marks the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby.
Celebrities as well as hundreds of thousands of race fans are expected to attend the popular event which was attended by over 164,000 people last year, the New York Post reported.
The Kentucky Derby is an annually held Grade I stakes race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses which is held in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. Race day arrives on the first Saturday in May. The Kentucky Derby Festival lasts for two weeks and is known as The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports, The Run for the Roses, and The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.
The winner of the derby is adorned with a blanket of roses. The derby is the first leg of the U.S. Triple Crown and is followed up with the Preakness Stakes, and later the Belmont Stakes. In order to win the Triple Crown, a horse must win all three races.
Ten furlongs, 1.25 miles, is the total distance covered in the race. The winner takes home $1,425,000 out of the $2 million purse.
Don’t forget to drink your traditional mint julep – an iced alcoholic beverage consisting of bourbon, mint, and a sugar syrup – while attending the race. If you find yourself famished, try the burgoo!
Who do you think will win this year’s 138th Kentucky Derby?