The Vocabulary of the Kentucky Derby – Learn It and You Might Win Big

The Vocabulary of the Kentucky Derby – Learn It and You Might Win Big

Horse racing in general, and the Kentucky Derby in particular, is chalk full of terms and phrases that will likely be unfamiliar to the uninitiated. Thankfully, you need not be an expert to enjoy the Kentucky Derby. Learning just a handful of important Kentucky Derby vocabulary words is really all you need to enjoy a fun and profitable Kentucky Derby day.

Triple Crown—The Kentucky Derby is the first leg in a series of three races that makes up the Triple Crown. The Kentucky Derby is followed two weeks later by the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Maryland and concludes three weeks after that with the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park in New York. Only 11 horses in history have managed to sweep all three races. The first was Sir Barton in 1919 and the last was Affirmed in 1978.

Run for the Roses—This is one of many nicknames that are often applied to the Kentucky Derby. It refers to the blanket of roses that is draped over the winning horse immediately following the race. The rose garland was first presented to Ben Brush, the 1896 Kentucky Derby winner. According to Churchill Downs, more than 400 roses are hand sewn into the garland each year.

Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports—The Kentucky Derby gained this nickname because it usually takes the winner around two minutes to complete the 1 1/4-trip around the Churchill Downs oval. Only two horses in the history of the Kentucky Derby have ever cracked the two-minute barrier. The legendary Secretariat won the 1973 Kentucky Derby in a time of 1:59.43; and Monarchos, the 2001 Kentucky Derby winner, sped to the wire in 1:59.97.

Graded Stakes—Horses hoping to reach the Kentucky Derby starting gate must first earn enough money in graded stakes races, which are horse racing's most prestigious and important races. Only 20 horses are allowed to compete in the Kentucky Derby and if more than that enters, the horses with the most earnings in graded stakes races get in.

Across the Board—This is a betting term that refers to betting on a single horse to win, place (finish second) and show (finish third). This can be a solid betting strategy for a race like the Kentucky Derby. Horses in the Kentucky Derby are all very accomplished, but because of the large field some will be ignored and their odds will float up. If you make an “across the board” bet on one of these types and they come in second or third you'll still make money. If the horse wins, you'll collect on all three of the bets.

This is just a small sampling of terms that will help increase your Kentucky Derby vocabulary and overall enjoyment of America's greatest horse race. Of course, there is much more to learn and we'll have you covered between now and the 2012 Kentucky Derby.




You may login with either your assigned username or your e-mail address.
The password field is case sensitive.
  • micmac earned 1,000,000 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 1,000,000 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • cavetroll earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • OldFarleyFan earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • OldFarleyFan earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 401,115 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 393,564 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 393,092 Points playing our game.
  • perfectouchnj earned 379,665 Points playing our game.
  • jackpotrace earned 375,804 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 371,085 Points playing our game.
  • oparada earned 338,910 Points playing our game.
  • flyingdaaka earned 327,327 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 318,532 Points playing our game.
  • cavetroll earned 300,000 Points playing our game.
  • cavetroll earned 300,000 Points playing our game.
  • cavetroll earned 300,000 Points playing our game.
  • igor95 earned 291,291 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 264,092 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 254,397 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 254,354 Points playing our game.
  • theJCook earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 241,062 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 239,811 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 238,953 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 237,268 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 237,253 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 236,400 Points playing our game.
  • goldmember earned 231,231 Points playing our game.
  • cavetroll earned 229,515 Points playing our game.
  • hien94 earned 223,509 Points playing our game.
  • doughboy47 earned 223,509 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 222,651 Points playing our game.
  • doughboy47 earned 222,651 Points playing our game.
  • poopzee earned 218,790 Points playing our game.
  • soundofrum earned 215,787 Points playing our game.
  • Junkytown earned 209,352 Points playing our game.
  • ziggyredlag earned 204,332 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 202,410 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 202,059 Points playing our game.
  • ziggyredlag earned 201,630 Points playing our game.
  • cavetroll earned 200,640 Points playing our game.
  • kingsport earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • matcho earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • cavetroll earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • cavetroll earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • OldFarleyFan earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • illtake12 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • OldFarleyFan earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • saratoga95 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • cavetroll earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • matcho earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • saratoga95 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • califokie earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • socalfan earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • soplas_917 earned 199,056 Points playing our game.
  • doughboy47 earned 198,841 Points playing our game.
  • ziggyredlag earned 198,198 Points playing our game.
  • ziggyredlag earned 193,050 Points playing our game.
  • jaycat earned 191,762 Points playing our game.
  • igor95 earned 191,119 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 188,760 Points playing our game.
  • bigdog236 earned 188,116 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 187,902 Points playing our game.
  • doughboy47 earned 186,186 Points playing our game.
  • norbert2464 earned 185,456 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 180,609 Points playing our game.
  • florida joe earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 179,322 Points playing our game.
  • ahijah earned 178,542 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 173,745 Points playing our game.
  • ahijah earned 172,575 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 170,820 Points playing our game.
  • tawee57 earned 170,742 Points playing our game.
  • jaw1755 earned 168,597 Points playing our game.
  • socalfan earned 165,750 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 164,928 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 163,663 Points playing our game.
  • rlparlett earned 163,000 Points playing our game.
  • norbert2464 earned 162,805 Points playing our game.
  • loveagame earned 162,630 Points playing our game.
  • realbadwolf earned 162,435 Points playing our game.
  • natboy earned 161,947 Points playing our game.
  • shelbyjoe earned 156,156 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 154,050 Points playing our game.
  • gosuper earned 115,635 Points playing our game.
  • asmoney earned 107,250 Points playing our game.
  • conleyj@sbcglobal.net earned 104,846 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 100,000 Points playing our game.
  • you again earned 94,688 Points playing our game.
  • cavetroll earned 91,762 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 90,000 Points playing our game.
  • dahghee earned 90,000 Points playing our game.
  • doughboy47 earned 88,836 Points playing our game.