It’s the greatest 2 minutes in sports. The Run for the Roses. The first Saturday in May. The rite of spring in the Bluegrass.
It’s the Kentucky Derby.
On Saturday, the 147th race will take place at Churchill Downs as it does every year. It’ll be a lot different than in the past, but still more normal than the last.
Here, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the biggest event in Louisville:
Each year, 20 horses compete in the Kentucky Derby.
The morning line favorite was Essential Quality. The favorite as of 2 p.m. on Friday was Hot Rod Charlie, but was back to Essential Quality by evening with 2-1 odds.
As of Friday afternoon, one horse has scratched: King Fury, leaving only 19 for Saturday’s race. Click here for a look at all the remaining horses.
Make your bet
Now that you know the horses, time to make your bet. If you’re going, you can bet at Churchill Downs. You can also place bets online, by clicking here.
Not sure what you’re doing? This page includes expert tips and a betting calculator.
How to watch
The big race is at 6:57 p.m.
The race is open to fans again this year, but at reduced capacity — so you can go to the track. Click here to find tickets.
It can also be watched on NBC Sports, and of course, we’ll have all your highlights on WLKY.com.
Important traffic notes
As usual, several roads are closed and traffic patterns are different around Churchill Downs.
The big full closure is 4th Street from Heywood Avenue to Oakdale Avenue from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Changes due to COVID-19
Churchill Downs limited seating to 40-50%, up to 60% in certain private areas that allow social distancing.
At its peak, 170,000 attended. Churchill Downs officials anticipate about 50,000 people for Oaks and Derby.
Masks will be mandatory — which should come as no surprise with a statewide mandate still in place.
Churchill Downs says it has implemented a “Compliance Ambassador program” to drive awareness and adoption of public safety measures. Signage is placed throughout the facility, including the Infield, to remind guests to wear masks and practice social distancing.
Messaging also will be programmed on television monitors including on the “Big Board.”
Sunny, and gorgeous. Not much else to say, thank goodness. Mostly sunny and highs in the 70s. Updated weather.
Half the fun of the Derby is the fashion, of course! And with fans back in the stands, there is sure to be plenty of it.
Need help with style?