In the 1680s, someone got the bright idea of breeding large English mares with the fast and agile Arabian stallions. The result was the Thoroughbred breed of today, used almost exclusively for racing.
The word thoroughbred is a word often used to denote something, usually a horse, of high quality. However. technically, Thoroughbred is an actual breed of horse.
All Thoroughbred horses on the face of the earth today trace their lineage back to only three British stallions (brought from the Middle East): Byerley Turk (1680s); Darley Arabian (1704); and Godolphin Arabian (1729.) A descendent of one of these three horses will win the Kentucky Derby today.
With the late scratch of Uncle Mo, the favorite will probably be Dialed In. My pick is a medium long shot (probably 10-1) by the name of Midnight Interlude. He only has 4 races under his belt, and lost the first two. And... no horse has ever won the Kentucky Derby in the last 128 years who didn't race at all as a 2-year-old, but long shots sometimes come in, right? Or maybe not. None of the horses in the field have ever done a mile and a quarter before, but this big boy will eat it up. I say.
As usual, the field is huge - so maybe the favorites will be blocked out of it. You never can tell. I don't particularly like horse races which start 20 horses. Midnight Interlude has drawn the number 15 slot, which has produced only 3 Derby winners over the years. He can do it. Think positive.
Fun fact: The British mispronounce the word derby. :)
Princes Margaret liked to attend the Kentucky Derby. The queen herself attended in 2007.
The 137th running of the Kentucky Derby will unfold at Churchill Downs late this afternoon. Distance: mile and a quarter. Track record: 1:59.40 (Secretariat in 1973.) Weather: 60% chance of thunderstorms. Lady's hats: second to none in outlandishness, not even second to the royal wedding.