The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds, held annually on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. The race is one and a quarter miles at Churchill Downs. The race is known in the United States as "The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports" or "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports" for its approximate duration, and is also called "The Run for the Roses" for the blanket of roses draped over the winner.
It is the first leg of the American Triple Crown and is followed by the Preakness Stakes, then the Belmont Stakes. Unlike the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, which took hiatuses in 1891-1893 and 1911-1912, respectively, the Kentucky Derby has been run every consecutive year since 1875.
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