Kentucky Derby 2011: A Brief History of the Race in Photos

Kentucky Derby
Hulton / Corbis

Run for the Roses
The first Derby was run on May 17, 1875. Founded by Col. M. Lewis Clark — a descendant of William Clark, the famous explorer of the American interior — after noticing that Louisville lacked a top-notch racetrack. The "most exciting two minutes in sports," as its known, is a 1.25 mile race for three-year old horses. The Derby is also known as the "Run for the Roses" — a name given to the event in 1925 by a New York sports columnist — for the wreath of 500-plus red roses that is placed around the winner's neck (above is Brokers Tip, winner of the 1933 Derby); the rose tradition began in 1896.

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