50 Kentucky Derby Quotes That Every Horse Racing Fan Will Love

These Kentucky Derby Quotes are perfect for horse racing fans everywhere!

The Kentucky Derby is a famous horse race held annually on the first Saturday of May in Louisville, Kentucky.

The race is the first of three races that comprise the “Triple Crown” of horse racing.

The Derby is open to three-year-old thoroughbred horses, and the race is a distance of one and a quarter miles long.

The Kentucky Derby is much more than a horse race.

It is the most attended horse race in North America.

It is known for the tradition of elaborate hats and well-dressed people.

Also known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” or “The Run for the Roses,” the Derby awards the winning horse a purse of over $1.8 million dollars.

Take a look at these Kentucky Derby Quotes to learn more about the famous horse race.

Best Kentucky Derby Quotes

Take a look at the best Kentucky Derby Quotes.

1. “A derby is different; it is not to be played, it is to be won!” — Filippo Inzaghi

2. “I’d rather have a bad day at the track than a good day off it, somewhere else.” — Johnny Nerud

3. “Come Derby Day, there’s four years that have gone into the preparation of that horse.” — John Sosby

4. “If Jack Nicklaus can win the Masters at 46, I can win the Kentucky Derby at 54.” — Bill Shoemaker

5. “You hear about the Kentucky Derby. You hear that it’s the greatest race in the world.” — Laffit Pincay Jr.

6. “I tell you waiting for the Derby to start is the longest day of your life… It’s just a unique time of thrill and tension and worry.” — Penny Chenery

7. “The best thing about the Kentucky Derby is that it is only two minutes long. It is the quickest event in sports, except for Sumo-wrestling and Mike Tyson fights.” Hunter S. Thompson

8. “If you ask any rider in the country that hasn’t won the Derby, ‘What would you like to do best?’ I guarantee you they are going to tell you they want to win the Kentucky Derby.” — Laffit Pincay Jr.

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9. “That is why, no matter how desperate the predicament is, I am always very much in earnest about clutching my cane, straightening my derby hat, and fixing my tie, even though I have just landed on my head.” Charlie Chaplin

10. “To win the Kentucky Derby is the goal of every trainer, every hot-walker, every backside person. They may be just rubbing on a horse or hot-walking a horse, but they wonder if they could win the Kentucky Derby.” — Bob Lewis

Iconic Kentucky Derby Quotes

Here are some of the most iconic Kentucky Derby quotes about the famous horse race.

11. “You can’t run a mule in the Kentucky Derby.” — Jim Leyland

12. “The race was great. He broke well and put me in the right spot.” — Flavien Prat

13. “Twilight is to vampires what My Little Pony is to Kentucky Derby winning horses.” — Dennis Sharp

14. “I’m still a horse that can run. I may not be able to win the Derby, but what do you do when you retire?” — Mel Brooks

15. “I didn’t think I could win necessarily, but I knew if he got it, they’d know who he was when the race was over.” — Eric Reed

16. “Half-brights consider it comedy gold to congratulate anyone they dislike for ‘winning the Kentucky Derby!’” — Ann Coulter

17. “My favorite Saturday, outside any Saturday that Louisiana State University plays football, is the Kentucky Derby.” — James Carville

18. “This is the day for anyone involved with horse. The dream is to win the Kentucky Derby because there’s nothing like it.” — Billy Turner

19. “A horse is only three once. His opportunity is only going to occur once when he sets foot into that gate, and he is only going to have two minutes and a little bit of extra to pull it off.” — John Sosby

20. “As a young boy, I won a few dollars in 1972 when Riva Ridge won the Kentucky Derby. I had overheard someone say he was going to win, and I guess that made an impression on me.” — Matt Gonzalez

Kentucky Derby Quotes About The Horses Themselves

Enjoy these Kentucky Derby quotes about the animals that make the race.

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21. “He’ll have better days to shine.” — Joe Bravo

22. “No horse can go as fast as the money you bet on him.” — Nate Collier

23. “You can’t win the Kentucky Derby unless you’re on a thoroughbred.” — Joe Torre

24. “It’s bred into them to run. The heart and determination is bred into them.” — John Sosby

25. “I wasn’t nervous; I was excited. Nobody knows my horse like I know my horse.” — Sonny Leon

26. “A horse gallops with his lungs, perseveres with his heart, and wins with his character.” — Federico Tesio

27. “We were pretty far back early, but he made a huge run. We’re very proud about the effort.” — Antonio Sano

28. “A horse doesn’t know whether the rider on his back wears a dress or pants away from the track.” — Diane Crump

29. “Once the foal is on the ground, the next morning we put a halter on him, and really that’s day one, the first day of preparing him for the rest of his life.” — John Sosby

30. “My horse was good in the beginning, but somehow his tail got trapped in the gate, and he started acting crazy. He tried to flip out, and then they had to back him out.” — Rafael Bejarano

Kentucky Derby Quotes From The Secretariat Movie

Secretariat is a 2010 film about a well-known winner of the Kentucky Derby.

31. “Talent is often uniquely packaged.” — Lucien Laurin

32. “You got what no one else wanted.” — Hollis Chenery

33. “I will not live the rest of my life in regret.” — Penny Chenery

34. “Our lives are one phone call away from changing forever.” — Penny Chenery

35. “It’s not whether they think we won. It’s whether we think we won.” — Chris Chenery

36. “And you about to see something that you ain’t never even seen before.” — Eddie Sweat

37. “Entering the final turn, Secretariat is moving like a tremendous machine.” — Pancho Martin

38. “Do you give the horse its strength or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?” — Penny Chenery

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39. “He leans back against the starting gate like he’s in a hammock in the Caribbean.” — Lucien Laurin

40. “This is not about going back. This is about life being ahead of you, and you run at it!” — Penny Chenery

More Kentucky Derby Quotes

Out of all horse races, the Kentucky Derby is one of the most well-known.

41. “Derby born and bred, mate.” — Lauren Socha

42. “I never thought I could get that nervous in my life.” — Angel Cordero Jr.

43. “You have to learn how the horses would like to be ridden.” — John Velazquez

44. “My horse didn’t really like the track. I asked him to keep up, and he just could not.” — Irad Ortiz Jr.

45. “If you don’t dream of winning the Derby, you have no business training Thoroughbreds.” — Bennie Woolley Jr.

46. “I don’t know how anything could be bigger than the Kentucky Derby. If you hear of something, let me know…” — J. Paul Reddam

47. “When you touch the dirt on the track, you have the feeling, at that moment, that you are on the center stage of the universe.” — Steve Cauthen

48. “Hopefully, you can catch that lightning in a bottle again. 44,000 registered foals, and only 16 or 18 of them make it to the Derby.” — John Sosby

49. “Until you go to the Kentucky Derby with your own eyes, behold the Derby, you ain’t never been nowhere, and you ain’t seen nothing.” — Irvin S. Cobb

50. “You want to see the greatest, and the greatest of all races, is the Kentucky Derby. That is the race, the Kentucky Derby, the Run for the Roses.” — John Sosby

History of the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby was a race started by Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. in 1875.

Since then, the Derby has been run at the famous Churchill Downs every year, making the upcoming race in 2024 the 150th Kentucky Derby!

Please share these Kentucky Derby Quotes with your family and friends and post any comments about the race in the comment section below.

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