Kentucky Derby 2017 - History Continues on May 6, 2017

Are you ready for the most exciting two minutes in sports? The tradition continues on May 6, 2017 with the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Since its inception, the race has thrilled millions of people. Officials made some changes to the qualification process this year that will make the Derby even more exciting.

Before the big race, a two week Kentucky Derby Festival takes place with events for the whole family. Then, as usual, the race will take place on the first Saturday in May 2017. On the big day, the contenders will line-up to race around a 1.25 mile track. Only one horse and jockey will win. The stakes are high this year, but it is set to be one of the best races yet.

Whether you want to learn more about the Kentucky Derby schedule or how to buy tickets, we have you covered. We also have information on placing bets on Kentucky Derby 2017, including odds and a list of current contenders. We even have a page on real life horse racing stories, ten tales of true luck.

Qualification Process

Before we get into more information about the race, we need to talk about the qualification process for the 2017 Kentucky Derby. This qualification system is in its second year after debuting in 2013 to mixed reviews. The number of qualifying stakes races has been lowered from 185 to only 36, which should create a more competitive starting field. The move has generated a lot of buzz online and in the media and so far the 'jury is still out' as to whether or not it's good for the Kentucky Derby and the sport as a whole.

Additionally, a new points system was implemented in 2013 as part of the qualification redesign. Now, the top 3-year-olds will take on more challenging assignments leading up to Derby Day. Like the other elements of the new qualification system most horse betting experts are taking a 'wait and see attitude' as to the significance of the changes and especially if it will change the odds for some of the top contenders.

Placing Bets on the 2017 Kentucky Derby

The first thing you need to know is that there are many different types of bets you can place on horses in the Kentucky Derby. From choosing the winner to picking the top three horses who finish, you have a lot of options when it comes to Kentucky Derby betting. Of course, the easier bets are going to pay less. The good news is you can wager as much as you like as many times as you want before the big race. If you have more than one favorite horse, you can spread your money around a little and wager on different horses.

Kentucky Derby 2017 Tickets

As always, getting tickets to the Derby early is important. People from all walks of life are welcomed to the festivities, but the better seats - like Millionaire's Row - are going to cost a lot more money. Prices for licensing good seats may range from $2,000 to $60,000 or more - and this doesn't even include the price of the actual tickets. This shows how much people are willing to pay to be a part of this event. Fortunately, a lot less expensive Kentucky Derby tickets also exist.

2017 Kentucky Derby Schedule

Whether you plan to go to the Kentucky Derby or just watch it or read about the results online, you need to know the complete schedule this year. On Saturday, May 6th, gates will open at 8 a.m. The post time for the first race is set at 10:30 AM. The post time for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby will be 6:24 PM - approximately. If you are not going to be there in person, we also have a complete television schedule for the Derby so you can make sure you catch all of the action wherever you are in the world.

History of the Kentucky Derby

The first Kentucky Derby was held on May 17, 1875 on a track Meriweather Lewis Clark built in 1874. Aristides was the first horse to win. Jockey Oliver Lewis was one of thirteen African American jockeys (out of sixteen total) who raced in the first Derby. Records indicate around 10,000 people gathered for the first Kentucky Derby. (Compare that with over a hundred thousand people who attend today - and the millions who watch the event around the world.)

Another interesting fact is that the first track was 1.5 miles long. It was later shortened to 1.25 miles, the length of the race today. The quarter mile difference really makes a difference believe it or not. The changes in 2017 to the qualification process may also be bigger than some people realize as well. The more you know about the history of the Kentucky Derby, the more you will be able to enjoy the race.

Kentucky Derby Traditions

Over the years, many different traditions have developed around the Kentucky Derby. From fancy hats to mint juleps, if you are going to participate fully, you need to know as much about the entire history of the Derby, including fashion trends that have popped up over the years. Knowing more about the race can enhance your enjoyment - almost but not as much as placing bets on the results of the race. Keeping on top of proper Kentucky Derby etiquette is also recommended.