5 fun facts about the Kentucky Derby

Victor Espinoza rides American Pharoah to victory in the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 2, 2015, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

LOUSIVILLE, Ky. (MEDIA GENERAL) — The 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby will take place Saturday, May 7 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Here are five fun facts about the race.

1. 141 years and counting

The first Kentucky Derby race occurred in 1875 making it the oldest continuously run sporting event in America.

Kentucky Derby 1922 winner
Broker’s Tip, with jockey Don Meade up, is shown covered with roses in the winner’s circle after winning the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky., May 6, 1922. (AP Photo)

2. Derby flowers

The Kroger Company has been the official florist of the Kentucky Derby since 1987.

3. Mint juleps

Kentucky Derby racegoers consume over 120,000 mint juleps each year. The official drink of the Kentucky Derby is the Old Forester Mint Julep. Get more recipes here.

Mint Julep
(Courtesy: Tammy Green via Wikimedia Commons)

4. Lucky letter ‘S’

There have been 19 winning horses in the Kentucky Derby whose names began with the letter “S.” Two horses will be testing that statistic this year: Suddenbreakingnews and Shagaf.

Smarty Jones
Smarty Jones (15), with jockey Stewart Elliott up, drives down the stretch to win the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, Saturday, May 1, 2004, in Louisville, Ky. Lion Heart (3), with Mike Smith up, finished second. (AP Photo/Daniel P. Derella)

5. ‘My Old Kentucky Home’

“My Old Kentucky Home” has been performed by the University of Louisville Marching Band as the horses make their way from the paddock to the starting gate since 1936.

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