The Kentucky Derby is a horse race that is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. NBC currently broadcasts it in its entirely along with pre- and post-show features.
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“The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved” is a seminal sports article written by Hunter S. Thompson on the 1970 Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky, first appearing in an issue of Scanlan's Monthly in June of that year. Though not known at the time, the article marked the first appearance of gonzo journalism, the style that Thompson came to epitomize through the 1970s.
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The article was not widely read at the time, but Thompson did garner attention from other journalists for its unusual style. In 1970, Bill Cardoso, editor of The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, wrote to Thompson, whom he had met on a bus full of journalists covering the 1968 New Hampshire primary. Cardoso praised the piece as a breakthrough: “This is it, this is pure Gonzo. If this is a start, keep rolling.” Considered the first use of the word Gonzo to describe Thompson's work, Thompson took to the word right away, and according to Steadman said, “Okay, that's what I do. Gonzo.”
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