What is the Most Thrilling Two Minutes in Sports?

Quck answer

The most exciting two minutes in sports is the Kentucky Derby. This annual horse race takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. It is known as “The Run for the Roses” and is the first leg of the Triple Crown. With a distance of 1.25 miles, the race is a thrilling sprint filled with anticipation and excitement. Spectators gather to watch the fastest thoroughbred racehorses compete for the coveted title and the chance to etch their names in racing history. The Kentucky Derby is a must-see event for horse racing enthusiasts and captures the attention of millions worldwide.

Which is the most exhilarating two minutes in sports? Is it the final two minutes of the Super Bowl? Perhaps those of Olympic gymnastics? Could it be the last two minutes of the Stanley Cup? No, the most thrilling two minutes in sports occur during the Kentucky Derby!

The Kentucky Derby is the most famous horse race in the world. Every year on the first Saturday in May, thoroughbreds line up on the Churchill Downs track in Louisville, Kentucky. Guided by jockeys, they race towards the finish line. The horses run at incredible speed, making the entire race last only about two minutes. The winner is awarded a garland of roses and gains worldwide fame.

How did this event originate? It dates back to 1875. In that year, Meriwether Lewis Clark, the grandson of William Clark, opened Churchill Downs and hosted the first Kentucky Derby. Fifteen horses and 10,000 spectators attended the inaugural Derby. The winning horse was Aristides, ridden by jockey Oliver Lewis.

Over time, the Kentucky Derby became the first leg of the Triple Crown, a series of three races. Thirteen Kentucky Derby winners have also triumphed in the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. The initial Triple Crown winner was Sir Barton in 1919. The most recent winner was Justify in 2018.

However, the most legendary Triple Crown winner was Secretariat. In 1973, he won all three races. Secretariat also holds the all-time records in all three races. He completed the Kentucky Derby in 1:59.4 minutes. Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes by a staggering 31 lengths. The distance on the track was later marked by a blue-and-white pole. In 2010, the film “Secretariat” depicted the extraordinary story of this horse.

Most horses participating in the Kentucky Derby are male. However, 40 fillies have competed in the race. Three of them emerged victorious. Their names were Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980), and Winning Colors (1988). More fillies race in the Kentucky Oaks, which takes place one day before the Kentucky Derby each year.

Since 1875, the Kentucky Derby has undergone several changes. In 1896, the race was shortened from 1.5 miles to 1.25 miles. Its popularity soared after it was first televised nationally in 1952. Consequently, the attendance has increased. As of 2019, the record crowd size is 165,307 fans, which was set in 2012.

Furthermore, the race has been postponed twice in its long history. The first time was due to horse racing restrictions during World War II in 1945. The second time was because of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The 2020 Derby was also the first to take place without any fans cheering from the stands.

Not much of a racing enthusiast? Not a problem! The Kentucky Derby is also a fashion event. Fans arrive dressed in their finest attire. However, their biggest fashion statements are made with their Derby hats. Every year, these hats come in various shapes and sizes, and they seem to get bigger and more colorful.

The Kentucky Derby also attracts many celebrities each year. Mary J. Blige, Kim Kardashian, and Janet Jackson have been spotted at the Derby. You might also see Luke Bryan or Jessica Simpson. Even Queen Elizabeth II joined in on the fun at the 2007 Kentucky Derby!

Would you like to watch the Kentucky Derby? Maybe you aspire to become a jockey or a horse trainer one day! Even if you prefer to dress up and wear a fancy hat, the Kentucky Derby is the biggest event of the year for horse racing fans worldwide.

Give It a Try

Compete to find a companion who can assist you with these activities!

  • Discover more information about all 13 Triple Crown Winners. Explain three of them to a friend or family member. What is the most fascinating aspect about these horses? Which one would you prefer to witness running?
  • Envision yourself attending the Kentucky Derby. What occurs? Do you encounter any of the horses? Do you spot any celebrities? Is it a close race? Who emerges as the victor? Compose a story about your imagined experience.
  • Read further about thoroughbreds. Compose a paragraph elucidating what a thoroughbred horse is. Then, compile a list of any lingering questions you may have and seek assistance from a friend or family member in finding the answers.

Sources of Wonder

  • https://www.kentuckyderby.com/history/kentucky-derby-history (accessed 13 May 2019)
  • https://www.americasbestracing.net/the-sport/2018-get-know-all-13-us-triple-crown-winners (accessed 13 May 2019)
  • https://www.kentuckyderby.com/history/traditions/hats (accessed 13 May 2019)
  • https://www.kentuckyderby.com/uploads/wysiwyg/assets/uploads/Fillies__Kentucky_Derby__2018_.pdf (accessed 13 May 2019)
  • https://www.newsday.com/entertainment/celebrities/celebrities-kentucky-derby-hats-through-the-years-1.11769718 (accessed 13 May 2019)

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