Library Updates


150th Kentucky Derby

Saturday, May 4th, marks the 150th Kentucky Derby. Each year, the Derby falls on the first weekend of May, taking place at Churchill Downs, in Louisville, Kentucky. The first Kentucky Derby took place on May 17th, 1875, before Churchill Downs was named the official location. Since 1875, the derby has grown into one of the biggest events in the U.S., marking the start of the transition from spring to summer. Now, the derby is known for not only horse racing, but for betting, luxurious hats and clothes, cocktails, and where celebrities visit the Bluegrass State.

This year, the schedule for the race and its events will start on May 1st with A Day at the Races, which will go through the 3rd. On May 3rd, NBC will cover the 150th Kentucky Oaks. The Oaks is a premiere race for fillies- female horses. Also on May 3rd, coverage of the horses and jockeys preparing for the Derby will start. On May 4th at 10:30am, NBC begins live coverage of the day leading up to the big race. The race does not start until 6:45pm. Many of the events before the race are talking about who is there, the fashion, and most importantly the betting.

In horse betting, the statistics of the horses throughout the season are used to line up the odds each horse has of winning. These odds include the amount of money put into the horse, the more money invested, the shorter the odds. They are usually shown in the form of 7-1 or 3-1.

To learn more about betting on the Derby, the library will be offering a Derby Betting 101 class on Thursday, May 2nd at 6:30pm. Please register for this event. 

The library will also be offering Derby themed Kids Crafts on Saturday, May 4th at 11am. The program is for ages 4-12+. Derby Crafts will go until 5pm, as supplies last.

Interested in learning more about the Derby and its history? Below are some book recommendations for different age groups to help you understand more about the Derby, and even have some of your own Derby events!


The Kentucky Derby: 101 reasons to love America’s favorite horse race By Sheri Seggerman: Long shots and closers. Secretariat, War Admiral, Citation, and Seattle Slew. The astonishing ride of Mine That Bird. The lovable spirit of Smarty Jones. Trainers and owners. A sea of spectacular hats. A classic mint julep in a silver cup. The break from the gate. Photo finishes. Holding the winning ticket. These are only a few of the things that make the Kentucky Derby the most exciting two minutes in sports.
The Kentucky Derby offers a compendium of the legendary horses and rich history, the personalities, and the real-life experience of Derby Day from the backstretch to the winner’s circle. With colorful anecdotes and striking photography, Sheri Seggerman and Mary Tiegreen have captured the rivalries, fanfare, and unpredictability that give the Run for the Roses its allure. The third title in a series that celebrates the nation’s most iconic sporting events, The Kentucky Derby captures the pageantry and the passion of this great American race.

Derby Entertaining: Traditional Kentucky Recipes By Paula Cunningham: Inspired by the greatest two minutes in sports held every spring in Kentucky, Derby Entertaining presents an array of simple recipes with “race day” flair. It features essential dishes for hosting a morning breakfast or brunch, afternoon cocktails or game-watching buffets to sit-down dinners and backyard barbecues.

Kentucky Derby Dreams: The making of thoroughbred champions By Susan Nusser: Author Susan Nusser takes readers inside the excitement and suspense at one of Kentucky’s biggest breeding farms. Every year, two hundred broodmares in the farm’s barns give birth to the next generation of racehorses. In the eighteen months following their births, those foals will meet the world’s most skilled and knowledgeable horsemen — from grooms to veterinary orthopedists — who will shape them into the kinds of yearlings that attract the attention of the sheikhs, moguls, and magnates who prowl the yearling sales, hunting for their next Derby winner. From the carefully calculated birth of the new crop of foals to the horses’ debut at the world’s premier yearling sale in Lexington, Kentucky, this is a rare behind-the-scenes look at the vets, the surgeries, the long hours, and the hard work that it takes to breed a Derby hopeful. Kentucky Derby Dreams follows the lives of foals born during the 2009 foaling season and uncovers the inside drama and heartache that accompany these potential champions from the foaling barn to the sales ring. Compelling, fascinating, and fast-paced, this is a must read for anyone who’s ever watched the Kentucky Derby.



Kentucky Derby By Blaine Wiseman: Every year, spectators flock to Louisville, Kentucky, to watch one of the world’s best-known horse races. Known as the most exciting two minutes in sports, the Kentucky Derby features fast horses, skilled jockeys, and intense competition.

D is for Derby: a Kentucky Derby alphabet By Helen L. Wilbur: The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continuous sporting event in the United States. But don’t call it just a horse race. This annual May event, known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” is steeped in tradition and pageantry far beyond what happens on the track. Following the alphabet, D is for Derby: A Kentucky Derby Alphabet uses poetry and expository text to explain this world-famous event. Topics include famous jockeys, legendary horses, fabled Bluegrass farms and owners, as well as offering a behind-the scenes view of thoroughbred breeding and racing. Readers young and old, along with horse enthusiasts and diehard Derby fans, will enjoy this celebration of one of the most prestigious sporting and cultural events in our country.

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