Kentucky Derby 2023: What is the fastest time ever run in the Kentucky Derby?

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Each year, the world’s finest Thoroughbreads gather to race in “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” While most horses who achieve winning status do so in a time slightly above two minutes, there is one number that stands above the rest as the fastest in Kentucky Derby history.

See below to learn more about the fastest time ever run at Churchill Downs.

RELATED: What to know about the 149th Kentucky Derby

Which horse ran the fastest time in Kentucky Derby history?

The fastest Kentucky Derby time ever recorded came from Big Red himself, as Secretariat completed the 1973 Run for the Roses in 1:59 2/5. Secretariat’s triumph came in what is believed by most to have been the greatest horse race of all time.

Secretariat’s rival, Sham, led for the majority of the thrilling contest. Big Red, however, promptly narrowed the gap in the finishing stretch and surpassed the leader in the Derby’s final moments with a two and a half length win. Secretariat’s recorded time was a world record.

While there have been 148 victors of the Kentucky Derby throughout history, only two of these winners have officially completed the race in under two minutes.

RELATED: How to watch the 2023 Kentucky Derby: TV channel, live stream

It is commonly believed that Sham cracked the two-minute race time in the 1973 Derby alongside Secretariat, but only the number of the first-place finisher was officially recorded at that time in history.

The other Thoroughbred to have completed the Derby under the two-minute mark was Monarchos. The 3-year-old and his jockey, Jorge Chavez, finished the 2001 Kentucky Derby in just 1:59.97.

What other records did Secretariat break?

Aside from posting the fastest Derby time in history, Big Red still holds a number of records in American horse racing. At the age of three, Secretariat set the record in each of the Triple Crown races, achieving the following times:

  • Kentucky Derby – 1:59 2/5
  • Preakness Stakes – 1:53
  • Belmont Stakes – 2:24

The infamous horse was named the ninth American Triple Crown winner in history, and each of his Triple Crown records still stand to this day.

RELATED: Secretariat at 50: How the Big Red Five have kept the story alive

What is the slowest winning time in Kentucky Derby history?

While today’s Thoroughbreds are constantly seeking to break the two-minute time, the winner of the 1891 Kentucky Derby nearly reached three.

The slowest winning time in Kentucky Derby history came from Kingman and jockey Isaac Murphy, who claimed the Run for the Roses title in 2:52. With just four horses in the race, each jockey was under orders to hold off, running abreast until one would make a move.

Eventually, Murphy caved and allowed Kingman to surpass the field, claiming a Derby trophy in what is believed to be the worst Kentucky Derby of all time.

How to watch the 2023 Kentucky Derby:

  • Date: Saturday, May 6
  • Time: Live coverage begins at 12 PM ET
  • Where: Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky
  • TV Network: NBC
  • Streaming: Peacock,, NBC Sports app

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Watch the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6 on NBC,, the NBC Sports app and Peacock from 12 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET.

Forte works out, waits for Belmont Stakes clearance

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NEW YORK — Forte, the early Kentucky Derby favorite who was scratched on the day of the race, worked out in preparation for a possible start in the Belmont Stakes on June 10.

Under regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr., Forte worked five-eighths of a mile for Hall of Fame trainer Todd Pletcher. It was the colt’s second workout since being scratched from the Derby on May 6.

“It seems like he’s maintained his fitness level,” Pletcher said. “It seems like everything is in good order.”

Forte was placed on a mandatory 14-day veterinary list after being scratched from the Derby because of a bruised right front foot. In order to be removed from the list, the colt had to work in front of a state veterinarian and give a blood sample afterward, the results of which take five days.

“There’s protocols in place and we had to adhere to those and we’re happy that everything went smoothly,” Pletcher said. “We felt confident the horse was in good order or we wouldn’t have been out there twice in the last six days, but you still want to make sure everything went smoothly and we’re happy everything did go well.”

Pletcher said Kingsbarns, who finished 14th in the Kentucky Derby, will miss the Belmont. The colt is showing signs of colic, although he is fine, the trainer said.

Another Pletcher-trained horse, Prove Worthy, is under consideration for the Belmont. He also has Tapit Trice, who finished seventh in the Derby, being pointed toward the Belmont.

Judge grants Churchill Downs’ request for summary judgment to dismiss Bob Baffert’s lawsuit

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal judge has granted Churchill Downs’ motion for summary judgment that dismisses Bob Baffert’s claim the track breached due process by suspending the Hall of Fame trainer for two years.

Churchill Downs Inc. suspended Baffert in June 2021 after his now-deceased colt, Medina Spirit, failed a postrace drug test after crossing the finish line first in the 147th Kentucky Derby. The trainer’s request to lift the discipline was denied in February, keeping him out of the Derby for a second consecutive May.

U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Grady Jennings ruled in a 12-page opinion issued Wednesday that Churchill Downs’ suspension of Baffert did not devalue his Kentucky trainer’s license. It cited his purse winnings exceeding $1 million at Keeneland in Lexington and stated that his argument “amounts to a false analogy that distorts caselaw.”

Jennings denied CDI’s motion to stay discovery as moot.

The decision comes less than a week after Baffert-trained colt National Treasure won the Preakness in his first Triple Crown race in two years. His record eighth win in the second jewel of the Triple Crown came hours after another of his horses, Havnameltdown, was euthanized following an injury at Pimlico.

Churchill Downs said in a statement that it was pleased with the court’s favorable ruling as in Baffert’s other cases.

It added, “While he may choose to file baseless appeals, this completes the seemingly endless, arduous and unnecessary litigation proceedings instigated by Mr. Baffert.”

Baffert’s suspension is scheduled to end on June 2, but the track’s release noted its right to extend it “and will communicate our decision” at its conclusion.