The Budweiser Clydesdales Did A Lap Around Churchill Downs Before The Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is just days away, and to celebrate, the Budweiser Clydesdales decided to take a lap around the Churchill Downs racetrack where a new winner will be crowned on May 4.

Up until now, the Clydesdale horses were most famously associated with the Budweiser commercials for the Super Bowl, but the beer company decided to release a new promo featuring America’s favorite horses in time for the country’s most famous horse race.

The heartwarming ad features shots of the iconic beauties galloping around the race track with the tag line, “From one American icon to another.” Filmed a week before the race, this was reportedly the first time that the Clydesdales had stepped foot on the famed racetrack.

budweiser horse photo
Getty Images | Matt Cowan

This year marks the Kentucky Derby’s 145th anniversary. The Derby is sometimes referred to as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” since the race typically only lasts about that long.

Even the most beloved traditions associated with the Kentucky Derby, like flamboyant hats and mint julep cocktails, have nothing to do with horse racing at all but rather the day-long party that goes along with it. Even if you don’t make it to the track, the Derby is a pretty darn good excuse to get out your barbecue grill and have people over for the afternoon.

kentucky derby hats photo
Getty Images | Getty Images

More than 150,000 people are expected to stream into the Louisville race track to watch the race in person, while spectators all over the country will be tuning in on NBC.

This year, the weather is expected to be rainy, and horses named War of Will, Vekoma and Maximum Security are among the favorites to win.

kentucky derby hats photo
Getty Images | Michael Noble Jr.

Meanwhile, the Budweiser Clydesdales, who pull turn-of-the-century wagons, also have a long and storied history.

They have been around since 1933 when the original ones were gifted to Budweiser’s CEO from his sons. August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch III surprised their dad with six horses as a means of celebrating the end of the Prohibition of beer. Not a bad present, eh?

clydesdale photo
Getty Images | Jamie Squire

The company also sent six horses to New York City to mark this day, offering a case of Budweiser beer to Governor Alfred E. Smith to thank him for fighting against Prohibition. As you can imagine, thousands of people gathered to watch the team of majestic horses walk through New York City on their way to the Empire State Building.

Budweiser has continued to breed and care for the horses in the decades since, upping the number of Clydesdales per team to eight horses.

They added a Dalmatian to the mix as the Clydesdale’s official mascot in 1950, to celebrate the opening of the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Newark.

budweiser dalmatian photo
Getty Images | Kevork Djansezian

So, the combination of these two legendary institutions makes for one very powerful commercial! Are you placing a bet on Derby day?

You can watch the whole ad, posted by Budweiser on YouTube, below: