The Brock Talk

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Why The Funny Name? And Other Derby Fun Facts

Have you wondered why in the world somebody would spell the name of a horse like Pioneerof The Nile? Horse-racing regulations state that no race horse's name may contain more than eighteen letters. Had to take out a space to make it fit.

Only two horses have run the mile and one-quarter in less than two minutes. The great Secretariat ran the fastest Kentucky Derby in 1973 with a 1:59.40 time. In 2001, the suprising Monarchos stopped the clock in 1:59.97.

A racehorse looses an average of 15 to 25 pounds during the running of the Kentucky Derby.

Think you have problems parents? Thoroughbreds can wear out a set of shoes in the roughly two minutes it takes to run the Derby.

The first woman to ride in the Derby was Diane Crump on May 2, 1970. She finished 15th on Fathom. Dust Commander was the winner.

Texas and Louisiana racing enthusiast will be interested to know that jockey Jimmy Nichols finished 6th on Admiral's Shield that day. After his riding career ended in 1979, Jimmy Nichols went on to become the regular exercise rider for 1989 Preakness and Belmont winner Risen Star. Nichols was 62 at the time. He rode many champions as a jockey including the great Graustrak. He later became a track steward in Texas, Louisiana and West Virginia. Lone Star Park jockeys still honor the late Nichols with a photo that hangs prominently in their jockeys' quarters.

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