When is the Kentucky Derby?
When is the Kentucky Derby?– Each spring, the Kentucky Derby falls on the first Saturday of May. Therefore, Kentucky Derby 142 will be held this year on May 7 at Churchill Downs. The scheduled post time is 6:34 p.m. EST.
Racing historians may wonder if the Kentucky Derby ever ran on a different date than the first Saturday of May. After the first Derby in 1875, for several years the Derby fell around the middle of the month.
Once the term “Triple Crown” became popular, officials pushed back the Kentucky Derby to not interfere with the Preakness Stakes, which now takes up the mid-May spot on the calendar.
Some other dates relating to the Kentucky Derby will be important for fans to know.
Derby Week officially kicks off on April 30, when Churchill Downs hosts their opening night card from 5 to 11:30 p.m. with various artists lined up to perform and the Award in the Arts presentation also scheduled to be held. As the description in the website states, both men and women are encouraged to “dress to impress.”
A few days later, Dawn at the Downs will be held from May 3 through 5 at 7 to 9 a.m. each morning, and allows visitors to watch Derby horses train while eating breakfast. ESPN and CNN contributor Gary West will host.
On May 5, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Churchill Down will host Thurby, an event featuring “great horse racing, bourbon, and music!” According to the description, “Enjoy live bourbon cocktail demonstrations by Old Forester Master Bourbon Specialist, Jackie Zykan & local bartenders while you enjoy local Kentucky bands on the Plaza Stage.”
The Kentucky Oaks, a nine furlong race for 3-year-old fillies, is on May 6. Attendees are encouraged “to wear any color as long as it is PINK — from hats to handkerchiefs, suits to sundresses, sunglasses to stilettos!” There will be a Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest on the pink carpet, where contestants can win a time piece.
All of those events will lead up to the Kentucky Derby and the accompanying undercard on May 7, which will be televised all day by NBC Sports from 12 to 4 p.m. and NBC from 4 to 7 p.m. EST.
Around 6:15 p.m., the Derby contenders and their connections will walk from the barn to the paddock.
At 6:25 p.m. the jockeys will be instructed to mount their horses as they come out onto the track.
A few minutes later, everyone will sing “My Old Kentucky Home” and tears will flow.
As mentioned, the race will then start at 6:34 p.m.
The official Kentucky Derby website offers a full schedule for May 7.
Planning the Perfect Kentucky Derby Party at Home