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This will be the 139th running of the Kentucky Oaks.  May 3rd and 4th the horses, hats, and age old traditions will make their return to Kentucky for another weekend of highly anticipated race excitement. The Oaks and the Derby are the longest running continuously contested sports events in history. They are also the only horse races to be held at their original location since their conception. On average, the race attracts more than 100,000 spectators and race enthusiasts annually.  Some of the most anticipated and important events at the derby are not the races themselves, but rather the traditions.
Garland of Roses
The rose garland, known synonymously with the Kentucky Derby, originally appeared in 1896 when winner Ben Brush received an arrangement of white and pink roses. Initially established as part of the Kentucky Derby celebration when they were presented to the ladies attending a fashionable Louisville Derby party, the Garland of Roses became a sensation. Eventually, the president of Churchill Downs, Col. Lewis Clark, named the rose as the Derby’s official flower.
Mint Julep
Every year, more than 100,000 Early Times Mint Juleps are served over the two day race weekend. The Mint Julep has been a traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby for almost 100 years. The Early Times Mint Julep Ready-to-Serve Cocktail has been “The Official Mint Julep of the Kentucky Derby” for over 18 years.
The Twin Spires
The Twin Spires, constructed in 1895, were the result of a 24-year-old draftsman’s creativity.  Joseph Dominic Baldez was commissioned to draw blueprints for Churchill Downs’ new grandstand. Originally the plans did not  include the Twin Spires atop Churchill Downs’ roofline.  As Baldez continued work on his design, he felt the structure needed something to give it a striking appearance; with that, the traditional Twin Spires were born.
“My Old Kentucky Home”
It is believed to have originated in 1921 for the 47th running of the classic, however, there is no definitive history on when exactly the song became a tradition.  Regardless, in the world of sports, there is not a more poignant moment than when the horses step onto the track, post parade, and the band strikes up “My Old Kentucky Home.” Click HERE to listen to the sing along.
Louisville International Airport hosts an estimated twenty private jets per day, but when the race rolls into town, up to three hundred private jets are expected to arrive. The 2013 Kentucky Derby is just around the corner, so now is the time to book your private charter flight.  Visit, call 888-220-4598 or email with questions, to get a quote, or book your charter flight today.