Since their construction in 1894-95, the Twin Spires of Churchill Downs have stood watch over the famous racetrack as the home of the Kentucky Derby.
Over the years, they have become one of the most recognized structures in all of sports. Designed by 24-year-old Joseph D. Baldez, the Twin Spires were created basically for ornamental purposes as part of the grandstand. The Spires now serve as an icon for all of Thoroughbred racing.
The 2018 Kentucky Derby marks the 122nd consecutive year that the race has been carded at the classic distance of 10 furlongs. For its first 21 runnings from 1875-95, the race was contested over 12 furlongs miles. The distance was changed in 1896.
The distance is the equivalent to 2,011.68 meters, 2,200 yards, 6,600 feet or 79,200 inches.
The length of the stretch from the head of the lane to the finish line is 1,234.5 feet.
The late legendary Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray once penned: “The homestretch is 1,234 feet of heartbreak. Trainers swear it’s uphill.”
|Flat Course Direction|
|Jump Course Direction|
|Jose L. Ortiz||11||3||4||27%|
|Julien R. Leparoux||7||2||4||29%|