Horses and Bling: The Ram 1500 Kentucky Derby Edition

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
horses and bling the ram 1500 kentucky derby edition

Once upon a time, special edition vehicles were about added performance or cramming in so much luxury you could probably attach a noble title to your name without anyone batting an eye. “Well, he does drive a Cadillac Seville Gucci Edition. I can probably call him Duke from now on if that’s really what he wants,” they would say outside the strip club you owned.

Of course, there were also gimmicky, just-for-fun special editions like the jean-seated AMC Gremlin by Levi and multi-colored Volkswagen Golf Harlequin. But things have changed. For the most part, those limited trims feel kind of like the McRib or that weird flavor of Doritos you come across once in a blue moon. You’d be hard pressed to identify them as unique upon flavor alone, but there is something about their limited nature and novelty that makes them irresistible to some.

This is especially true of modern day trucks. You can get all the hardware you want by optioning a pickup carefully, but you can’t get the special edition title that kicks it up a notch and helps it stand out in the parking lot. That’s why there are so many limited-run trucks. If you want one that proclaims your love of horses, Ram now has you covered.

The 2019 Ram 1500 Kentucky Derby Edition is a limited-run model offering some very specific aesthetics. But can you haul horses with it as you and the family make your way to the track in ridiculous hats? Absolutely. Since the Kentucky Derby is basically a 1500 Limited, the compulsory 5.7-liter V8 is fit to tug up to 11,540 lbs (depending how the truck is outfitted). A trailer hitch is also standard.

While the bed only comes in the 5-foot-7-inch variety, shoppers can have it as a rear-drive machine or 4×4. Limited trim equipment includes a 12-inch vertical touchscreen, air suspension, blind spot monitoring, and power-operated extendable running boards. The interior seating is leather, with heating and ventilation, while genuine wood and metal adorns the cabin’s trim. But all you really get out of the special edition is some added exterior chrome and a fairly large Kentucky Derby logo on the rear fenders.

If it doesn’t sound like much, it isn’t. However, if it sounds like a bad deal, you’d be wrong. Since the Derby Edition is essentially the 1500 Limited with different paint options, it should cost more than the standard model. But it doesn’t. The Ram 1500 Limited starts at $55,485 but the Kentucky Derby’s MSRP is $53,190 before delivery. That’s rather interesting, especially since the special edition only gets a 2,000-unit production run. We know it’s a pickup appealing to an ultra-specific demographic, but selling it for less than a standard model is quite interesting.

[Images: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Mar 26, 2018

    I believe this is the nicest ever looking US made pickup. I hope FCA built quality and durability into them.

  • DenverMike DenverMike on Mar 26, 2018

    With only 1 or 2 per Ram dealer for the year, I know they're gonna snatch them up themselves to demo "regular" Limiteds, then peel the sticker before the end of the year to sell them at full pop, used Limiteds.

  • FreedMike Well, good to see folks got their five minutes anti-Biden hate on. Glad he didn't do something REALLY hateful, like wearing a tan suit. Meanwhile, speaking of "picket lines," I seem to remember one that the former president - who's running again - attended. Now, the date escapes me...oh, wait, now I remember, it was on January 6th, 2021. But that was locker room talk, I suppose.
  • MaintenanceCosts 0-60 in four seconds and only ~0.65 g of cornering grip are not a good combination.As someone who has been absolutely terrified riding in a "regular" current-gen Escalade with the 6.2 and the most aggressive airport shuttle driver I've ever experienced, what the truck needs is NOT, NOT, more power. It needs better stability in transitions, where it always feels like you are on the cusp of losing the rear end.(We saw 110 mph on I-5 north of San Diego. My company fired the shuttle company after hearing of the experience.)
  • Analoggrotto Another victory for Kia Telluride.
  • MaintenanceCosts No surprise here. A turbocharged inline six is an efficient and smooth engine configuration if you can package it. And packaging isn't an issue in big pickups and SUVs.
  • Oberkanone To V or not to V. If you going to own a Cadillac then you must V.