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  • Countdown to the Kentucky Derby

    The Twin Spires at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Ky., have become synonymous with The Kentucky Derby. During the expansion of the Churchill Downs clubhouse and grandstand in 2005, the Twin Spires were left untouched.
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  • Countdown to the Kentucky Derby

    The Garland of Roses is presented to the winner of the Kentucky Derby, and making it is a major production in Louisville. Last year, 6,000 people came to watch floral designers sew together the 400 roses that make the garland. It weighs 40 pounds and is more than 10 feet long. Here, Street Sense, the 2007 winner, wears the blanket of roses.
    Amy Sancetta/AP Photo
  • Countdown to the Kentucky Derby

    The tradition of jockeys in colorful silks dates back to the 18th century and was used to tell the horses apart. There is a display of Derby winners' silks at the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville.
    Ed Reinke/AP Photo
  • Countdown to the Kentucky Derby

    Each year, over 120,000 Mint Juleps are served during the Kentucky Derby weekend at Churchill Downs. Almost everyone ends up taking the glass home as a collectible.
    Zuma
  • Countdown to the Kentucky Derby

    There is a long tradition of stylish and sometimes over-the-top hats worn by women during the Kentucky Derby. Women sit in the grandstands before the 135th running of the Derby on May 2, 2009.
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  • Countdown to the Kentucky Derby

    The most moving moment of the race is often the singing of Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home," the anthem of the Kentucky Derby. It is traditionally played by the University of Louisville Marching Band as the horses are led to the starting gate.
    Jaceymon05/Wikimedia Commons
  • Countdown to the Kentucky Derby

    The infield at the Kentucky Derby is like Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Every year approximately 80,000 revelers make the infield the biggest party in town.
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images
  • Countdown to the Kentucky Derby

    Win, Place, or Show: With a minimum two-dollar bet, every fan has a chance to wager on their favorite horse. Sharon Kirchner of Louisville looks over the day's racing program as she waits in line to place a bet on the Kentucky Derby, May 5, 2007.
    Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty Images
  • Countdown to the Kentucky Derby

    "And they're off...." Called "the greatest two minutes in sports," the Kentucky Derby is run by three-year-old Thoroughbred horses. In its 138-year history, only 3 fillies have won the Kentucky Derby.
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  • Countdown to the Kentucky Derby

    A solid gold trophy is awarded to the owner of the winner of the Kentucky Derby. The trainer, jockey, and breeder each win silver half-size replicas. Jockey Calvin Borel, who rode Street Sense to victory in the 2007 race, holds up his trophy in the winner's circle.
    TImothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
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