Kentucky Derby
The Kentucy Derby will take place this weekend Michael Reaves/Via CNN/Getty Images

SEATTLE - For a century and a half, the first Saturday of May has been a special day for sports. With the 150th Kentucky Derby just around the corner, here's everything you need to know ahead of the most famous horse race in sports with a focus on the Latinos involved in this year's " Run for the Roses."

Commonly known as "The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports," the Kentucky Derby has been one of America's most sacred traditions since 1875. Every year, thousands of people flock to the horse racing complex at Churchill Downs to experience the thrilling magic of the Kentucky Derby.

A total of 20 horses are set to compete in the race, which has continued uninterrupted for all these years. If you are not making the trip down to Louisville, Kentucky, you can follow the event on NBC starting at 2:30 p.m. ET. The first leg of the American horse racing Triple Crown can also be streamed via Peacock, YouTube TV and fuboTV.

With 2024 being a landmark year for the race, Louisville is expected to see record revenues. The city estimates that this weekend alone will generate an economic impact of $405 million in the area, $3 million more than the organization's highest estimate for any year.

Out of the 20 horses that secured their spot in his year's Kentucky Derby, Fierceness is the morning-line favorite to win the race at 5-2 odds. The Florida Derby winner will start at the 16th post with Puerto Rican jockey John Velázquez commanding the horse.

Velázquez is a three-time Kentucky Derby winner. Another win on Saturday would tie him with Hall of Famer Bill Shoemaker in third place for most wins at Churchill Downs. Only Eddie Arcaro and Bill Hartack (5) have won the "Race for the Roses" more times.

The second favorite horse to win the traditional blanket of roses is Blue Grass Stakes winner Sierra Leone, entering the race at 3-1 odds.

Latinos in the Kentucky Derby

The history of horse racing cannot be told without acknowledging the impact of Latin America. According to Gabrielle Kuenzli, a history professor at the University of South Carolina, "over 80% of the people on the track throughout the second half of the 20th and into the 21st century are Latino."

Research from the University of Washington also reveals how Latino representation has grown over the years. According to the study, only 25% of jockeys in the 1964 Kentucky Derby had Latin American roots. By 2015, this number more than doubled to 61%.

John Velázquez, Kentucky Derby
John Velázquez has won the Kentucky Derby three times and has collected more than $400 million in earnings throughout his career Via

In the 21st Century, eight different Latino jockeys have won the Kentucky Derby and, combined, they account for 13 wins since 2000. Víctor Espinoza and John Velázquez have been the most successful out of the bunch, winning three races each. In 2015, Espinoza became the first jockey of Latin American descent to win the Triple Crown aboard American Pharoah.

The Puerto Rican Velázquez has also had success outside of Louisville, ranking second on the all-time list with 19 Breeders' Cup wins.

Out of the last four "Run for the Roses," three of them were resulted in wins for Latino jockeys. Javier Castellano made it back-to-back wins for Venezuelan jockeys last year, winning the Kentucky Derby aboard Mage.

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