Now in its 140th year, the Kentucky Derby thoroughbred horse race is known as the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.” Everything about the Derby — including the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival that precedes it — is steeped in history, tradition, style and fine Kentucky bourbon. Here’s a look back at the Kentucky Derby over the years.
On May 3, 1952, jockey Eddie Arcaro got a kiss from his mother Josephine after winning the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Arcaro celebrated his fifth Derby win that day.
Willie Shoemaker waves his cap from the horse Swaps after winning the Kentucky Derby on May 7, 1955.
A jubilant Katherine Price of Miami, Fla., leads her horse Carry Back from the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs after winning the Kentucky Derby on May 6, 1961.
Then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy excitedly follow the progress of a horse running in the sixth race of the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 1969. Then-President Richard Nixon and first lady Pat Nixon can be seen alongside the Reagans in first row of the box.
Female jockey Diane Crump sports mud on her face and cap after riding the horse Right Sean in the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 1970. Diane Crump was the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby
A happy fan in a fetching hat watches the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 1988.
Spectators are riveted as they watch the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 7, 1988.
This image provides a sweeping view of the Kentucky Derby on May 7, 1988.
Jockey Pat Day greets the crowd after riding Lil E. Tee to victory at the 118th Kentucky Derby on May 2, 1992.
Fans talk, eat and rest on blankets at the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 1, 1993.
Academy Award-winning actress Jessica Lange watches the early races of the Kentucky Derby from Millionaires Row at Churchill Downs on May 6, 1995.
Linda Medley (left) of Birmingham, Ala., and Joy Ostrowski of Cleveland sport eye-catching headgear as they wait for the start of the Kentucky Derby in the paddock area at Churchill Downs on May 4, 1996.
Singer Jessica Simpson wears a colorful hat during Kentucky Derby festivities on May 1, 2004.
Jim and Irene Levenberger of Shawano, Wis., look over a racing program in the paddock area at Churchill Downs on May 7, 2005 during the 131st Kentucky Derby.
Ernie Trent wears his personally designed Kentucky Derby hat at Churchill Downs on May 5, 2007.
Angela Baker of Wellington, Fla., shows of a special hat at the 136th Kentucky Derby horse race on May 1, 2010.
Madelynne Myers of Louisville, Ky., sports a bold derby hat and enjoys time with her friends on the eve of the 137th Kentucky Derby on May 6, 2011.
Desirae Masterson of Indianapolis, Ind., covers her hat in a plastic bag to protect it from the rain and enjoys a mint julep with her husband Ray before the running of the 139th Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2013.