More than 294,200 fans made their way to Churchill Downs over the weekend to revel in the pinnacle of Thoroughbred racing for the 141st Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby! Fans spend all year waiting to witness the "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports," and they made this Derby weekend one for the record books! Clear skies and plenty of sunshine made for two gorgeous and historic days full of racing. There was no other way to be a part of all the magic than with Derby Experiences.
Our Derby VIP guests were able to celebrate the 2015 Kentucky Derby from their prime seating locations throughout the Grandstand and Clubhouse, exclusive access to hospitality areas with complementary food buffets and open bars, and meet & greets with celebrities. It was surely an experience they’ll ever forget.
Kentucky Oaks & Derby Days Shatter Records
This Derby weekend broke records across the board for both days. Attendance for Oaks Day was the highest of all time with 123,763 for the 12-race Kentucky Oaks Day card. The previous attendance record being 116,046, set in 2010. Saturday’s Kentucky Derby set the new standard for attendance bringing a record crowd of 170,513 to witness the 141st Kentucky Derby on a sun-splashed afternoon in Louisville. Breaking it’s previously held attendance record of 165,307 from 2012.
Oh so Lovely (Maria)
Lovely Maria won the 2015 Kentucky Oaks by two and three-quarter lengths against Shook Up on Friday in an emotional finish for her and her jockey, Kerwin Clark, and Larry Jones, the filly’s trainer. Kerwin had not won a Grade 1 race in almost 40 years of competition until Lovely Maria helped earn him his first win in Keeneland Ashland Stakes in Lexington, Ky., four weeks ago. Keeneland proved to be one heck of a practice run for the Kentucky Oaks as Lovely Maria covered the one and one-eighth on a fast track in 1:50.45 and paid 14.60 to win.
As the day passed quickly with each race building more anticipation for the first leg of the Triple Crown – The 2015 Kentucky Derby. The highly awaited 11th race of the 13-race Kentucky Derby card.
Then suddenly it was time. The trumpets signaled for the long awaited race and the music to “My Old Kentucky Home” began playing all over Churchill Downs. In what has to be one of the most awe-inspiring moments I’ve ever witness, everyone, and I mean everyone, sang along in unison providing chills that would last the remainder of the night. The Kentucky Derby draws crowds from around the nation, and even the world, but in those minutes, we were all Kentuckians.
American Pharoah Reigns
Kentucky Derby favorite American Pharoah had been one of the most promising contenders for this year's Kentucky Derby. However, with 16 other horses, this bunch was considered the deepest and most talented in decades.
The race unfolded with Dortmmund setting the pace and Firing Line tracking in second. American Pharoah sat comfortably in third. Turning for home, American Pharoah angled outside the other two and as if Espinoza turned it into high gear, American Pharoah launched into a rally for a one-length victory.
This marks Espinoza’s third Derby victory and his second in a row. He was aboard California Chrome last year.
American Pharoah completed the mile and a quarter in 2:03.02 and paid $7.80, $5.80, $4.20 to win. The 5-2 favorite finished a length ahead of Firing Line and three lengths ahead of previously unbeaten and third-place Dortmund followed by Frosted, Danzig Moon, Materiality, Keen Ice, Mubtaahij, Itsaknockout, Carpe Diem, Frammento, Bolo, Mr. Z, Ocho Ocho Ocho, Far Right, War Story, Tencendur and Upstart. International Star was scratched from the race Saturday morning following earlier withdrawals after Tuesday entries of El Kabier and Stanford.
The next Triple Crown race is in two weeks at the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. The Belmont Stakes follow on June 6 in Elmont, New York.
YOU can be at the 2016 Kentucky Derby!
With Derby Experiences Official Ticket Packages direct from Churchill Downs, you can experience the Kentucky Derby in the most unique way possible! Get access to exclusive parties, prime seating locations throughout the Grandstand and Clubhouse, exclusive access to hospitality areas with complementary food buffets and open bars, meet and greets with legendary jockeys and celebrities.
Get more information on how you can attend the 2016 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs today. Call 1-888-384-7988 to speak to a Derby Experiences representative or visit our website for more information. It’s time to start your 'Derby Experience' and we can help you get there!
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