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Of all the exhilarating and seductive American traditions held, none rivals the annual Kentucky Derby event for its head-turning, dramatic appeal. The notorious horse race event that began in 1875 customarily features 3 year old racing champions, a practice dated back to the early English racing days, because it is believed that the horses are able to offer more athletic ability before their 4th year of physical maturity. The Kentucky Derby is the first challenge in the American Triple Crown mission, having the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes as the proceeding steps. A horse must win all three in order to be honored the American Triple Crown.