Celebrating Kentucky Derby 150 at 244th Epsom Derby
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With 149 races under its garland of roses, it’s hard to imagine a horse race with more history than the one ran at Churchill Downs the first Saturday of every May.
However, the Kentucky Derby isn’t exactly the trailblazer in that regard. On Wednesday, the Kentucky Derby Museum headed back to where it all started.
In the late 1800′s, Meriwether Lewis Clark opened The Louisville Jockey Club, later Churchill downs.
That only happened after Clark traveled Europe looking for a racetrack after which to model his own. In England, he found the Epsom Derby, where they’d been running nearly 100 years already.
”It was first run in 1780,” Matt Woolston of the Jockey Clun in England said. “The fact that it’s still going today, and isn’t far changed from what it was back then, makes it that historic race.”
This year, for the 244th running of the Epsom Derby, along with members of Louisville Tourism, the Kentucky Derby Museum is bringing its 14-karat gold-plated replica Kentucky Derby trophy across the pond.
It’s part of a celebration for Kentucky Derby 150, taking the race back to its roots.
The Derby at Epsom Downs has strong royal roots. Queen Elizabeth often had horses in the race.
It’s the first Epsom Derby for newly-crowned King Charles.
“We’ll be very hopeful he continues to support us the way his mother did,” Woolston said.
Woolston said he’s hopes to see Charles at the race, but the royal family usually keeps plans to themselves until the last minute.
Copyright 2023 WAVE. All rights reserved.