American Pharoah Emerges the Winner of the 141st Kentucky Derby

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KD2This past Saturday was an exhilarating time for equine enthusiasts around the United States and even, for some, international aficionados. Perhaps the shortest actual sporting event in the wild world of sports, the highly groomed and trained horses race the Kentucky Derby for only a mere two minutes. Excited and devoted fans flock to Louisville, Kentucky to spend a weekend of thoroughbred horse chatter and admiration at the famous Churchill Downs.KD3

This year, Jockey Victor Espinoza atop champion horse American Pharoah (notice the spelling… it is not spelled the same way as an ancient Egyptian king) won a hard-fought close 141st Kentucky Derby. Attendees, dressed to the nines in over-sized hats and colorful suits, sipped mint juleps as they placed bets on their favorite jockey/horse combos.

KD4The famed Churchill Downs racetrack is 1¼ miles long. Every year, the town of Louisville fills up with eager and animated tourists. Luncheons, teas, and parties pack the weekend schedule.  This region, which has been the center of horse breeding and training since the late 18th Century, becomes the center of attention around the nation during the 48 hours leading up to the actual race.Here They Come(c) Dave Blackwww.daveblackphotography.com

The Kentucky Derby is the first of three races in the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing set. It will be followed by the Preakness Stakes on May 16 in Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, and the Belmont Stakes on June 6 in San Diego. The cycle of breeding and identifying winning horses for grooming has existed for generations.

Click through and read the captions about the Kentucky Derby: Facts and history from Jacksonville, Florida’s WJXT News Station. Continue with The History of Kentucky Derby's Garland Of Roses Goes Way Back To 1896 (Bustle). Have you noticed the somewhat strange names for the horses? Take a look at the Kentucky Derby winners from 1875 through 2015 (Asbury Park Press).

138th Kentucky DerbyRead more about the exciting events surrounding this year’s Kentucky Derby:KD7

KD6The Kentucky Derby offers an exhilarating alternative way to enjoy a sport while also learning about horses and the culture that is behind horse racing. The races are enjoyed by all and every year, one horse emerges to wear the Garland of Roses.

Newspaper Activities:

As you read the local newspaper, follow the story of the horses and jockeys that participated in this year’s Kentucky Derby. Look for news about the upcoming Preakness and Belmont Races as well. Conduct online research to learn more about the characteristics of a champion horse. Find out about the training that each horse requires to prepare him/her for the big races.


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