The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America's Premier Sporting Event

The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America's Premier Sporting Event

Each year on the first Saturday in May, the world turns its attention to the twin spires of Churchill Downs for the high-stakes excitement of the "greatest two minutes in sports," the Kentucky Derby. No American sporting event can claim the history, tradition, or pageantry that the Kentucky Derby holds. For more than 130 years, spectators have been fascinated by the magnificent horses that run the Louisville track. Thoroughbreds such as Secretariat and Barbaro have earned instant international fame, along with jockeys such as Isaac Murphy, Ron Turcotte, and Calvin Borel. The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America's Premier Sporting Event calls this great tradition to post and illuminates its history and culture.

Rising from its humble beginnings as an American variation of England's Epsom Derby, the Kentucky Derby became a centerpiece of American sports and the racing industry, confirming Kentucky's status as the Horse Capital of the World. James C. Nicholson argues that the Derby, at its essence, is a celebration of a place, existing as a connection between Kentucky's mythic past and modern society. The Derby is more than just a horse race -- it is an experience enhanced by familiar traditions, icons, and images that help Derby fans to understand Kentucky and define themselves as Americans. Today the Kentucky Derby continues to attract international attention from royalty, celebrities, racing fans, and those who simply enjoy an icy mint julep, a fabulous hat, and a wager on who will make it to the winner's circle.

Nicholson provides an intriguing and thorough history of the Kentucky Derby, examining the tradition, spectacle, culture, and evolution of the Kentucky Derby -- the brightest jewel of the Triple Crown.

Title:The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America's Premier Sporting Event
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780813135762
Format Type:

    The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America's Premier Sporting Event Reviews

  • Tracey

    Received from Netgalley for review, thank you. Sports mean nothing in my life (unless you count jousting, which I do). I have watched part of one World Series – because I really, really wanted to se...

  • Wendy

    I have a split recommendation on this book. If you are a die-hard horse racing fan who cannot get enough of it (and by that I don't mean someone who bets a lot but otherwise doesn't care; nor do I mea...

  • Bethany Michelle  Planton

    The Kentucky Derby by James C. Nicholson is an interesting and enjoyable exploration of the history of the Kentucky Derby from the traditions of "My Old Kentucky Home", big hats, and mint juleps to th...

  • Krystle

    This is the perfect book to read seeing as how the Kentucky Derby is coming up this weekend. It sure gets you in the right mood and amps you up for it.There is a ton of information in this book. It re...

  • James

    Nicholson seeks to answer how the Kentucky Derby became the prominent horse race in the United States, by arguing that Kentucky’s dualism helps make it appeal to people across classes and races. Nic...

  • David Campbell

    University Press of Kentucky's definitive, 2012 history of the Kentucky Derby by Lexington-area lawyer and educator James C. Nicholson. After emerging from a half-century collision of late 19th and ea...

  • Christine

    I got an ARC from Netgalley.In 1986, I watched my first Kentucky Derby. What I knew about horse racing at that time was what was in the Black Stallion novels and the true stories related in the magnif...

  • Bea

    The Kentucky DerbyTitle: The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America’s Premier Sporting EventAuthor: James C. NicholsonGenre: Nonfiction, history, horses, racingPublisher: The Unive...

  • Rebecca Graf

    Too often, we don’t know the history of an event that we are extremely familiar with. The Kentucky Derby is an annual event enjoyed across the country the first Saturday of each May. People from eve...

  • Bap

    Went to Louisville and ended up at the Kentucky Derby museum where I bought this book. Anyone who has never been to a horse race and knows nothing of the Derby, this is a great introduction. Kentucky ...