HOW FAST CAN A HORSE RUN? Even if you don’t follow horse racing at all, the chances are that you’ve heard of the Kentucky Derby. This quintessential equestrian event is one of the most American sporting events of all, drawing in hordes of people and even making its way to Hollywood. Held every year in Louisville, Kentucky, this race has millions of people from around the world betting on winning horses. Interestingly, this iconic race only lasts for about two minutes.

The short duration of this race has given it the names “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” and “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports.” An event that gets so many people excited and requires months of preparation is over in just the blink of an eye. and evokes the questions: “How fast can a horse run?” and “How fast does a horse run?” If you get too caught up in the pre-race festivities, you might miss the most important part, the race itself. 

The two-minute duration isn’t an exaggeration either. From start to finish, the entire race takes roughly two exciting minutes. Those two minutes can mean a lot to racehorse owners, jockeys and the people betting on them. The race is only about 1.25 miles long, so you might be asking yourself, “How fast can a horse run?” or “How fast may a horse run?”


Historically, every horse that won the Kentucky Derby finished the race in under 125 seconds. If we do the math with these averages, the average speed for Kentucky Derby winners is about 37-38 miles per hour. Of all the 146 races held to date, only two victors completed the Derby in less than the two iconic minutes. Namely, Secretariat in 1973, who clocked in at 1:59.40, and Monarchos in 2001, who clocked in at 1:59.97. Both horses pushed the envelope on how fast a horse can run and “How fast does a horse run?”

To put some perspective to this, the average horse usually runs at 30 miles per hour. Humans have loved to competitively racehorses for centuries, marveling at how fast a horse can run and “How fast may a horse run?”.

The Guinness Book of Record holder for the fastest racehorse speed ever recorded was around 43.97 miles per hour. While we can get excited just by how fast a horse can run, the Kentucky Derby is a great example of how fleeting things can be. We often busy ourselves with the smaller details in our daily lives, letting the bigger things getaway. It’s important to enjoy the little things but also to not let the race be over before we could appreciate it while pondering, “How fast does a horse run?”


Let’s begin with a question. How many of your thoughts go towards thinking of the present? How often do you think over your plans or what you should have done in the past? It’s safe to say that most of us dwell on a time gone by and times to come more than whatever is happening in the present. This may sound like a cliche, but all cliches are born from truth. The sad reality is that we tend to focus our energy on parts of our life that we can’t help. Not at the moment, at least. 

We concern ourselves with things we could have done, should have done, or wish that we hadn’t. Sometimes we torture ourselves thinking of every possible outcome and the consequences of our present actions in the future. We try desperately to outsmart time and be one step ahead of our fate by thinking carefully. In all this chaos, we ignore the only time we have control over the present.


The actions that we take now will affect our future. Any choices we make now are votes we cast for the life we want to lead years down the line. That’s okay to worry about. We all want to do things right and make decisions that people will pat us on the back for when they finally pay off. What happens in the meantime is a massive amount of stress and anxiety. We’re unable to enjoy ourselves in the time that we have truly. We waste away our youths, concerned about being the best and doing enough. We forget that this time won’t wait for us to get our thoughts in order or get our life plans together. Time is passing us by right now, and the only thing we can do is follow it.

Worry less about having it all figured out right now. Instead, focus on what you do have figured out. Revel in the fact that you’ve made it this far, and you’re only getting started. We have our lives to live, no matter how long. So why should we worry about the time we might not get to see? That too, at the expense of the time and experiences we have been granted in the present. The saddest realization is that they didn’t enjoy themselves when they could have because they were waiting for something. Waiting for a job that pays better, waiting until after they graduate, waiting until after they get married. Don’t wait. You have nothing to lose from being happy now.

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