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.
  • Flying Circus earned 4,000,000 Points playing our game.
  • everwild earned 2,500,000 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 1,000,000 Points playing our game.
  • vikinggod28 earned 1,000,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 810,000 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • ccoupe earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • savagepaw earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • lynchd75 earned 500,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 467,713 Points playing our game.
  • harrylan earned 401,544 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 374,330 Points playing our game.
  • tentpeg77 earned 361,691 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 360,000 Points playing our game.
  • dustyla2 earned 360,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 360,000 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 360,000 Points playing our game.
  • harrylan earned 349,250 Points playing our game.
  • scorpion56 earned 338,266 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 331,237 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 325,611 Points playing our game.
  • califokie earned 300,000 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 300,000 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 281,688 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 260,832 Points playing our game.
  • icemanfirst earned 258,522 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 250,266 Points playing our game.
  • xanadu77 earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • scorpion56 earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • starzagazin earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • jaycat earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • kingsport earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • scorpion56 earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • jaycat earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • perfectouchnj earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • vikinggod28 earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • Flying Circus earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • starzagazin earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • jobby1958 earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • rero0517 earned 250,000 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 245,388 Points playing our game.
  • Vicodo earned 243,672 Points playing our game.
  • jaycat earned 236,593 Points playing our game.
  • ratelic earned 236,379 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 223,080 Points playing our game.
  • flyingdaaka earned 221,793 Points playing our game.
  • rero0517 earned 219,862 Points playing our game.
  • jimmycroker earned 219,378 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 218,880 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 218,880 Points playing our game.
  • ahijah earned 218,880 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 212,355 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 212,355 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 204,804 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 201,415 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 200,640 Points playing our game.
  • gerimack earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • blackcaviar007 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • saratoga95 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • califokie earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • m1illion earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • Makbule earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • Makbule earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • califokie earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • jerrygates earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • saratoga95 earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • califokie earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • califokie earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • danielcakes earned 200,000 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 198,198 Points playing our game.
  • jimmycroker earned 195,624 Points playing our game.
  • jimmycroker earned 194,980 Points playing our game.
  • harrylan earned 193,270 Points playing our game.
  • blackghost earned 193,050 Points playing our game.
  • sleepers earned 192,535 Points playing our game.
  • kinglilman earned 191,664 Points playing our game.
  • bigdog236 earned 191,334 Points playing our game.
  • mysongforyou earned 190,047 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 187,888 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 186,829 Points playing our game.
  • micmac earned 182,957 Points playing our game.
  • harrylan earned 182,520 Points playing our game.
  • duss860 earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • duss860 earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • duss860 earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • miheee earned 180,000 Points playing our game.
  • duss860 earned 180,000 Points playing our game.