What's With All Those Strange Kentucky Derby Traditions?!

Kayla Palesky About The Author

Thu, May 03, 2018 @ 09:20 PM

Eagle Express, Warehousing and Distribution DallasSo far this week, news in sports has been incredibly discouraging.


Jason Witten is retiring. The Golden State Warriors are winning their series 2-0. Drake got a slap on the wrist for starting some beef with a Cavs player.


Is there anything great about sports this week!?


Our warehousing and distribution Dallas couriers are pretty good at finding the positive points amongst the negative. That might be why we’re going strong with 35 plus years in the transportation and logistics business here in the Metroplex.


So instead of focusing on the letdown that is the NBA or the tear jerker that is the NFL, let’s quit horsing around and talk about some horses. This weekend is the Kentucky Derby.


A spectacle of one of the oldest sporting events in history, the Kentucky Derby has occurred annually since 1875. That’s nearly 150 years of racing! (And we thought we had it all figured out after 35 years of business…)


Like most everything we have in America, we owe our love of the sport of horse racing to Europeans. Meriwether Lewis Clark, the grandson of William Clark, as in explores Lewis and Clark, travelled to Europe and witnessed his first horse race. He returned to America, found funding for his own race track, called it Churchill Downs, and held the first ever Kentucky Derby on May 17th, 1875.


Since then, we’ve developed some interesting traditions regarding this specific race. Just for fun, our DFW warehousing and distribution couriers will explore some of the most popular ones. Hey, it sure beats watching the Golden State Warriors crush another playoff game!


Roses- This race is actually known as “The Run for the Roses” because a blanket of over 500 roses is draped over the winning horse each year. This tradition dates back to the first Derby, when Meriwether Lewis Clark used them as decorations.


Mint Julep- Since 1938, the Mint Julep has been promoted at Churchill Downs racetrack and served in a souvenir glass. Made with bourbon, spearmint, simple syrup, and ice, legend goes that a Polish actress visiting the park ordered the drink and sparked its popularity.


Elaborate Hats- Larger and wilder than any royal wedding, the hats the Kentucky Derby got their start at the very first race. The promotors wanted the race to be a social event. They asked the local ladies club embers to attend in their finest clothes and accessories. At that time, hats were a status symbol, and would have been worn by any lady who could afford them.


Gambling- Betting on the horses was not initially part of the Kentucky Derby. While gambling had its place in America long before the horse races, the tracks initially tried to separate themselves from the process of gambling. However, in the 1920s, gambling became an official part of the race.


The Song- The theme song for the Derby is the state of Kentucky’s official song, "My Old Kentucky Home". Penned by Stephen Foster in the late 1800s, the song didn’t become an official part of the Derby until around 1930. Since then, though, spectators in their big hats and suits sing along while the participants parade on the field.


Traditions run deep ‘round these parts!


One of the greatest traditions our Eagle Express team has is being the number one provider of Warehouse logistics in DFW for over three decades. If you’re in need of storage, crossdocking, or warehousing distribution in Dallas, Eagle Express is your go-to team for all your transportation and logistics needs.


From refrigerated deliveries to healthcare transportation to long and short-term storage, our customers know us for our commitment to quality service, friendly couriers, and a mission to be on time, every time. That's tradition!