what horses are racing at the kentucky derby

The Kentucky Derby is an iconic horse race renowned for its thrilling spectacle and prestigious status in the equestrian world. The race features thoroughbred horses, meticulously bred for speed and endurance. These equine athletes are typically three years old and undergo rigorous training to reach their peak performance. As they charge down the legendary 1 1/4-mile track at Churchill Downs, the horses display their exceptional athleticism and determination, captivating audiences with their speed, agility, and the intense competition that unfolds on the racetrack.

What’s at the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world, and it’s a major social event. But what exactly goes on at the Kentucky Derby? Here’s a look at some of the highlights:

  • The horses. The Kentucky Derby is all about the horses, and there are some of the finest thoroughbreds in the world competing for the coveted trophy.
  • The jockeys. The jockeys are the ones who ride the horses, and they’re some of the most skilled athletes in the world.
  • The fans. The Kentucky Derby is a huge event, and it attracts fans from all over the world. The atmosphere is electric, and the fans are always excited to see the horses race.
  • The fashion. The Kentucky Derby is also known for its fashion, and many attendees dress up in their finest clothes.
  • The food and drink. There’s no shortage of food and drink at the Kentucky Derby, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
  • The entertainment. There’s always plenty of entertainment at the Kentucky Derby, including live music, DJs, and other performances.

Here’s a table summarizing some of the key things to expect at the Kentucky Derby:

CategoryWhat to Expect
HorsesSome of the finest thoroughbreds in the world
JockeysSome of the most skilled athletes in the world
FansA huge crowd from all over the world
FashionAttendees dressed in their finest clothes
Food and drinkSomething for everyone to enjoy
EntertainmentLive music, DJs, and other performances

Breed Standards

The Kentucky Derby, the most famous horse race in the United States, is open only to three-year-old Thoroughbreds. Thoroughbreds are a breed of horse developed in England in the 17th and 18th centuries by crossing Arabian, Barb, and Turkoman horses with native English mares. They are known for their athleticism, speed, and stamina.

To be eligible for the Kentucky Derby, a horse must be sired by a registered Thoroughbred stallion and out of a registered Thoroughbred mare. The horse must also be foaled in the year two years prior to the race. For example, the horses racing in the 2023 Kentucky Derby were foaled in 2021.


In addition to meeting the breed standards, a horse must also meet certain eligibility requirements to race in the Kentucky Derby. These requirements include:

  • The horse must be nominated to the Kentucky Derby by its owner by the end of January of the year of the race.
  • The horse must earn enough qualifying points in prep races to make the field of 20 horses.
  • The horse must pass a veterinary examination before the race.

Table of 2023 Kentucky Derby Contenders

Racing Lineage and Pedigree

The Kentucky Derby is a prestigious horse race that is held annually at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The race is open to 3-year-old Thoroughbred horses, and it is considered to be one of the most important races in the world.

The lineage and pedigree of a horse can have a significant impact on its performance in the Kentucky Derby. Horses that come from a long line of successful racehorses are more likely to be successful themselves. Additionally, horses that have a strong pedigree (i.e., they are closely related to famous racehorses) are also more likely to be successful.

Factors that Contribute to a Horse’s Racing Lineage and Pedigree

  • The horse’s sire (father)
  • The horse’s dam (mother)
  • The horse’s grandsire (sire’s father)
  • The horse’s granddam (sire’s mother)
  • The horse’s great-grandsire (grandsire’s father)
  • The horse’s great-granddam (grandsire’s mother)

How to Research a Horse’s Racing Lineage and Pedigree

There are a number of ways to research a horse’s racing lineage and pedigree. One way is to use the Jockey Club’s website. The Jockey Club is the official registry for Thoroughbred horses in the United States, and it maintains a database of all registered horses. You can search the database by horse name, sire name, dam name, or any other criteria.

Another way to research a horse’s racing lineage and pedigree is to use a commercial database. There are a number of commercial databases that provide information on Thoroughbred horses, including their racing records, pedigrees, and sale prices. These databases can be a valuable resource for handicappers and breeders.

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Here are the Kentucky Derby qualifiers

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world, and it’s held every year at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The race is open to 3-year-old Thoroughbred horses, and it’s one of the most challenging races in the world to win.

In order to qualify for the Kentucky Derby, a horse must earn enough points in a series of qualifying races. The points system is designed to ensure that the horses that qualify are the best in the world.

  • The Road to the Kentucky Derby is a series of 35 races that are held throughout the year.
  • The races are divided into two categories: prep races and points races.
  • Prep races are races that are not part of the points system, but they can help a horse earn a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby.
  • Points races are races that are part of the points system, and they award points to the top finishers.

The top 20 horses in the points standings at the end of the qualifying period will qualify for the Kentucky Derby.

Florida Derby100
Santa Anita Derby100
Louisiana Derby100
Arkansas Derby100
Wood Memorial Stakes100

Well folks, that’s all for our roundup of the top steeds hitting the track at this year’s Kentucky Derby. Remember, the race is still up for grabs, so don’t forget to tune in on race day to see who crosses the finish line first. And hey, while you’re here, be sure to check out the rest of our site for more horse racing news and updates. Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll catch you next time!