The Kentucky Derby
Gold Cup is the only solid gold trophy still awarded in American sports and has been an annual tradition since the
running of the 1924 Derby, when the standard design of the cup was first commissioned.
The Gold Cup is made of 14-karat gold, with an 18-karat gold horseshoe adorning the side and a 14-karat gold horse
and jockey topping it. The total weight of the 22-inch high cup is almost 60-ounces, not including the heavy jade base
on which it rests. With the exception of the horse and rider that top it, which were cast using a lost wax
process, this year's
trophy was entirely handmade by New England Sterling of Attleboro, Massachusetts. New England Sterling has been
producing the trophies since 1975, maintaining the high standard of quality that has been required for the more
than 80 years of the presentation of the trophy. The trophies always remain blank until after the race has been run,
when they are engraved with details such as the date and the name of the winning horse.
The current value of the 2004 trophy is listed at $90,000, though
the significance of the one-of-a kind trophy makes it priceless.