The Kentucky Derby has been an American tradition since the first race in 1875. Ocala, Florida — our hometown — and Lexington, Kentucky share (or dispute) the title of "Horse Capital of the World," and many great horse farms call Ocala home.
The Kentucky Derby is run on the first Saturday in May each year at the Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville. Because the horse industry is such an integral part of Marion County, the Derby is important to many Ocala residents and businesses. Each year, many of the horses running the race can trace their roots back to Marion County in one way or another. Even those who don't own a horse participating in the race may still have some connection to the horse.
Many owners bring their horses to Marion County to train or breed. Marion County also hosts the Ocala Breeder's Sales which often boasts sales of $1 million or more, and the "Horse Shows in the Sun" (HITS) series of events, which brings in horses from around the world to compete for six weeks each February and March.
This year, more than half of the horses in the Kentucky Oaks race, a race for fillies run the Friday before the Derby, have ties to Marion County. The Kentucky Oaks race offers a $1 million purse.
At TJM Promotions, we are proud to call Ocala home. We got our start here and we are active members of our community. We'll be cheering for the Marion County-linked horses in Kentucky Derby and we hope to see another victory for the area. We wish all of the competitors the best of luck, and we can't wait to watch the race!