Pony Up - 5 Things You Need To Know About The Kentucky Derby

Ponies, booze and fashion, oh my! 

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1. The Derby is often referred to as the “most exciting two minutes in sports” because that’s how long it takes for the horses to run the 1¼ mile track. TIME YOUR BATHROOM TRIP RIGHT OR YOU’LL MISS THE WHOLE RACE

2. The favorite horse heading into Saturday’s race, Omaha Beach, was scratched this week before most people could even place their bets. Ever wonder how owners come up with these interesting names? There are a whole slew of rules set forth by the Jockey Club to abide by when naming a horse. Of course, nothing racy is approved but names like Hoochiecoochiemama, Bodacious Tatas and Hardawn (say it aloud) have slipped past the reviewers. WE’D PAY TO HEAR ANNOUNCERS READ THOSE NAMES ON TV

3. The horses are all three-year-old males. You’ll never see a horse win the Derby twice because they’re only allowed to race when they’re three and that’s it. The horses (and their jockey) are competing for the largest-ever guaranteed purse of $3 million, an increase of $1 million from last year. PEAKING EARLY IN LIFE

4. Ever wonder how these high-priced horses get from one race to another? Air Horse One. No, really. They fly on a Boeing 727 cargo plane nicknamed “Air Horse One.” It’s equipped with stalls built around the horse and even inflight snacks. AND YOU THOUGHT BUSINESS CLASS WAS EXPENSIVE

5. We’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the hats. The long-standing tradition started with a goal to have high-class spectators attend the race. The Derby hat as we know it, didn’t come around until the 1960s when fashion norms loosened up and big, bright and festive were socially acceptable. THE BEST CELEBRITY DERBY HATS  

Watch the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4th live from Churchill Downs at 6:50 EST.