In-Depth Look at the Kentucky Derby
It’s race day! Who do you like in the Kentucky Derby?
By Margaret Ransom
For the 144th time on Saturday — always the first Saturday in May — 20 of the best 3-year-old thoroughbreds will parade to the gate for the annual running of the Kentucky Derby (GI), quite possibly the world’s most famous horse race. Even people with no knowledge of horse racing acknowledge the Derby’s importance in many things — from pop culture and expressions to clichés and even everyday sayings.
For us racing fans and horseplayers, the Kentucky Derby is our Super Bowl, our Stanley Cup, our World Series, our Indianapolis 500, our Daytona 500 and our mecca all rolled into one. It’s the two minutes that we, as a group, spend 364 days a year waiting with baited breath for. So, by the time the field was drawn four days before post time and the post positions set, the hard work had already been done. All the trainers needed to do was keep their horses and their owners happy and hold their breaths until 6:50 p.m. EDT on Saturday.
This year’s group features a wide variety of accomplishments (or non-accomplishments as the cases may be) — from the undefeated and largely untested trying to make history and break curses, to a champion trying to claw his way back, and a former turf star back in America to test the country’s most famous dirt track.
This year’s field has something for everyone.
Rain has been predicted for the Louisville area on Saturday, but depending on which weather website or news channel you refer to, it could range from just threatening to downpours both in the mornings and afternoons. It’s probably a good idea to handicap based on both wet and dry conditions, as anyone who knows anything about the weather in Kentucky knows that to say it’s unpredictable is an understatement. The highs will reach into the low 70s.
The 1 ¼-mile, $2 million race has been carded as the 12th on Churchill’s 14-race Derby Day card with a post time of 6:34 p.m. EDT.
Live coverage of the day’s events, as well as some of the top-notch undercard races, begins at noon ET and runs through 2:30 p.m. on the NBC Sports Network. Coverage then switches to NBC with the Kentucky Derby show running until 7:15 p.m. (again, all times Eastern).
Please click here to take a look at the field…