A Woman Turns $18 Into $1.2 Million in Kentucky Derby
It’s called the sport of millionaires — and horse racing just added a new one. A Texas woman was able to get $1.2 million on an $18 bet on a series of Kentucky Derby day races. The Austin woman, who wished to stay anonymous, made a Pick 5 wager at the Retama Park racetrack in Selma, Texas, on Saturday and watched as each of the ponies she picked ran on a rainy, muddy day at the Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky, some 1,100 miles away.
Once in a lifetime event
The spokeswoman for Retama park, Rachel bagnetto, went on to mention that not only did she pick Justify to win the Kentucky Derby, but she also selected the winners of all four races leading up to the main event. She goes on saying that the fact she only bet only $18 and then comes out with $1.2 million is unheard of. She cannot confirm nor deny if this has happened before, but it’s definitely the first time it’s happened at Retama Park.
The woman’s winnings nearly matched the $1.24 million prize Justify won in the famed thoroughbred Run for the Roses. Her hot streak had started with the eighth race on Saturday at Churchill Downs when the 6-year-old gelding Limousine Liberal won the Churchill Downs Stakes. She picked Maraud to win the American Turf Stakes in the ninth race, and Funny Duck to take the Pat Day Mile race despite the 39-1 odds. Her selection in the 11th race was 9-1 longshot Yoshida, who beat was able to our favorite Beach Patrol by a nose in the Old Forester Turf Classic.
The woman’s easiest bet was Justify, who was the favorite at 3-1 odds and won the 144th Kentucky Derby by 2 1/2 lengths. Despite being over a thousand miles away, the woman was still overcome with joy when she found out that all five of her bets were able to win.
History of the Kentucky Derby
There are very few sporting events that have a history and popularity the same as the Kentucky Derby. It’s rich traditions, which include sipping a mint julep, donning a beautiful hat, and joining fellow race fans in singing My Old Kentucky Home, have gone evolved the Kentucky Derby from just a sporting event, and has, made it a celebration of southern culture and a true icon of Americana.
The Kentucky Derby is the longest running sporting event in the United States, going back as far as 1875. The race is often referred to as The Run for the Roses, and has continuously produced one of the most exciting two minutes in sports; The race is often referred to as The Run for the Roses and has continuously produced one of the most exciting two minutes in sports;
The Kentucky Derby’s long history began in 1872, when Meriwether Lewis Clark, the grandson of William Clark, went to Europe. While there, he attended the Epsom Derby in England, a popular horse race that has run since 1780. While there he also rubbed elbows with the French Jockey Club, a group that developed another popular horse race, the Grand Prix de Paris Longchamps. Clark was inspired by his experiences, and when he got back, was determined to create a spectacle horse racing event in the States.
With the help of his uncles John & Henry Churchill and by formally organizing a group of local race fans to be named the Louisville Jockey Club, Clark and his new club raised funds to build a permanent racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky.
On May 17th, 1875, the racetrack opened its gates, and the Louisville Jockey Club sponsored the very first Kentucky Derby. A total of fifteen three-year-old Thoroughbred horses raced one and a half miles in front of a cheering crowd of approximately 10,000 spectators.
Kentucky Derby through the years
The Kentucky Derby has undergone various changes over the course of three centuries. From shortening the distance of the race to the growing size of Derby crowds, the Kentucky Derby has embraced the change of time, while honoring the integrity of the spectacle race set by Meriwether Lewis Clark.
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