The Kentucky Derby is the world’s premier horse-racing event for three-year-old thoroughbred horses, staged yearly in Louisville, Kentucky on the first Saturday in May. It is a two-week-long Festival. The race currently covers one and one-quarter miles (2.012 km) at Churchill Downs; colts and geldings carry 126 pounds (57 kg), fillies 121 pounds (55 kg). The race, known as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate time length, is the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing in the United States. It typically draws around 155,000 attendees and millions of fans watch from around the world on TV.

The Kentucky Derby is one of the crown jewels of the elusive Triple Crown which includes the Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes.

For over 146 years the Kentucky Derby has been everyone’s race – from the dapper men and beautiful women, all in hats and sipping on frosty mint juleps, to the laid-back infield crowd who picnic on fried chicken and other southern comfort food.

In addition to the race itself, a number of traditions have played a large role in the Derby atmosphere. The Mint Julep, an iced drink consisting of bourbon, mint and sugar, is the traditional beverage of the race. Burgoo, typically a thick stew of lamb and vegetables is served from iron pots sometimes 10 feet in diameter. Legal gambling on the race is done through pari-mutuel betting at the track. The Infield, a spectator area inside the track, offers low general admission chance of seeing much of the race. Instead, revelers show up in the infield to party. By contrast, "Millionaire’s Row" refers to the expensive box seats that attract the rich and famous. Elegant women appear in long dresses, big hats, and carrying fancy umbrellas. Fashion now plays a huge role in the event too, as attendees show off their finest Spring Fashions. As the horses are paraded before the grandstands, "My Old Kentucky Home" is played by the University of Louisville marching band while the crowd stands and sings along. It’s a fun and exciting event to attend or bet on.