The 14-karat gold trophy was unveiled in the Directors Room on the fourth floor of the Churchill Downs Clubhouse. The trophy started its journey to the Louisville track after finishing touches were placed on the coveted prize by artisans at New England Sterling of North Attleboro, Mass., which has created each Kentucky Derby winner’s trophy since 1975.
Marc Forbes of New England Sterling delivered the 2013 trophy to Churchill Downs, and donned white gloves to handle the special cup as it was unveiled just a few yards from the famed Twin Spires.Forbes said the trophy takes “about 2,000 man hours” to create the trophy each year. The process to fashion each year’s Derby begins the previous October on a schedule designed for the delivery of the trophy to the Louisville track in late March or early April.
Between now and Kentucky Derby Day, the trophy will be in the care of the Kentucky Derby Museum. It will make public appearances at several events, which include the annual “Taste of Derby” and creation of the Kentucky Derby Rose Garland on Derby Eve, before it is transported to the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle for America’s greatest race on Saturday, May 4.
KENTUCKY DERBY WINNER’S TROPHY QUICK FACTS
* The handcrafted trophy’s standard design was commissioned by legendary Churchill Downs President Col. Matt Winn for the “Golden Anniversary Derby” in 1924;
* The Kentucky Derby Winner’s Trophy is 22 inches tall and weighs approximately 65 ounces, excluding its jade base;
* The trophy is topped by a 14-karat gold horse and rider and horseshoe-shaped wreath handles;
* In 1997 the 18-karat gold horseshoe that adorns the trophy, which had been faced downward since its creation in 1924, was turned 180 degrees. Racing lore holds that the “luck will run out” of a horseshoe that is pointed down.
* The trophy took on added features for the 75th (1949), 100th (1974) and 125th (1999) runnings of the Kentucky Derby. Each of those trophies included a mantle of “roses” fashioned from rubies and emeralds, along with a horseshoe filled with diamonds. Similar additions are planned for the trophy that will be presented at the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby in 2024;
* New England Sterling also creates three smaller, sterling silver replica trophies that are presented to the winning Kentucky Derby trainer, jockey and breeder.
Now we just have to wait and watch the race to see the lucky owner, trainer, jockey and breeder that will take home a trophy on the first Saturday in May!
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