Racing News

Derby Nation: March Madness in the Bluegrass means hoops and horses

| Derby Nation | 03/23/2010 #

In late March the “madness” sets in for college basketball fans, and that is certainly true in Kentucky.  But the Bluegrass is also the horse capital of the world and the hub of Derby Nation fans.

“It (horse racing) is unlike other sports… Or, to put it in basketball terms, a 16 seed can beat the No. 1 seed,” says Kevin Woodward of Louisville, Ky., when explaining why he is a Derby fan. “For two minutes, from the infield to Millionaires Row, you see each person screaming for a horse.”

After all, the most exhilarating aspect of the sport is the emotional attachment. You don’t have to be a trainer, owner, jockey, or exercise rider to have a connection to a horse on the track.  If you have any equity in the race, whether you place a wager or simply follow the Derby trail, the moment the Derby horses break from the gate, chances are you’re on your feet and totally invested in the exhilarating outcome.  

The Derby Nation of fans continues to grow as more people experience the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.” The memories build and the traditions grow, and geographic boundaries have no meaning when it comes to the “fandemonium.”

Woodward says “My fondest memory is when I invited 12 friends I met in Australia to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby.  A rainstorm and Smarty Jones victory later, they were all hooked, just like I am.”

Speaking of experience, the events surrounding the famous two-minute horse race are full of entertainment, cuisine, fashion, tradition and history. From the new appetizer of the Kentucky Derby, called Taste of Derby™, to the 54th Kentucky Derby Festival, there are more than enough avenues to explore!

“The entire Derby Festival makes our city come alive,” says Woodward. “The weather is beautiful and there is so much to do.”

These are the reasons Derby Nation fans plan the first weekend in May around a variety of festivities, culminating in the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby experience at Churchill Downs.

The time is now to think about your experience and help the Derby Nation grow. Whether you are going to “Stay Put” and throw a party at home, or you are a “Super Saver” and want to go to the Derby by purchasing general admission tickets, there is certainly a horse in the race for you and a Derby experience you can customize for your own nation of family and friends.

As you’re making plans for Kentucky Derby 136, be sure to register for Derby Nation and respond to these stories by letting us know why you’re a fan. Tell us about your fondest Derby memory and your favorite tradition surrounding the experience. Your story may be published next!

Los Alamitos Futurity Added to 2014-15 'Road to the Kentucky Derby' Series

The $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity (Grade I) has been added to the list of races that comprise the 2014-15 “Road to the Kentucky Derby.” The series of 35 select races – 19 “Prep Season” races and 16 “Championship Series” races – will determine which horses qualify to the 141st running of the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby.

Global View Nips Storming Inti at Wire to Win 23rd Running of Grade II American Turf

Glen Hill Farm's Global View caught Storming Inti in the closing strides

Midnight Lucky Romps in 28th Running of Grade I Humana Distaff

Midnight Lucky, making her first start in more than 11 months, took the lead out of the gate

Coffee Clique Catches Dame Marie Late to Win 29th Running of Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile

Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the hedge

California Chrome Wins America’s Greatest Race

164,906 fans pack historic Churchill Downs

Updates Powered by

Visit brisnet.com for expert handicapping, picks and analysis Derby Week and all year long

Derby Stories

Lindsay & Els Chicago, IL

First time at the Oaks so that's why we have these crazy hats on, shaped like cheese hats and painted pink in honor of Bright Pink, which is a great charity.
Paula's picking California Chrome

Kentucky Derby 140 presented by Yum! - The Race

Kentucky Derby 140 - Road to the Derby

Kentucky Derby 140 Intro

Around the Downs - The Stables

The Race

54 Photos

GET TO KNOW THE KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER CALIFORNIA CHROME (PRE-RACE BIO)

California Chrome is attempting to become only the fourth California-bred, Kentucky Derby winner in history and the first since Decidedly in 1962.