Here is all the things you want to know concerning the 144th Kentucky Derby.
When: Post time is scheduled for six:46 p.m. Eastern.
How to watch: Race protection begins at midday on NBC Sports Network, and at 2:30 on NBC. Bob Costas and Mike Tirico will host NBC’s protection. The protection may even be streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
Length: The race is 1 1/four miles lengthy.
Weather: On Friday, the National Weather Service forecast a 50 percent chance of rain in Louisville on Saturday, primarily after 11 a.m., with a excessive close to 72. Precipitation quantities between a tenth and quarter of an inch are doable. The Derby has been run over a sloppy or muddy monitor 15 times, together with final yr.
The favourite: Justify, a son of Scat Daddy skilled by Bob Baffert, opened as the favourite after profitable the Santa Anita Derby by three lengths over extremely rated Bolt d’Oro. Justify additionally was the No. 1 horse within the remaining Kentucky Derby Media Poll launched Monday by HorseRacingNation.com, receiving seven of the 17 first-place votes.
But Justify was unraced as a 2-year outdated, which might be vital. According to Churchill Downs, 61 horses who had been unraced as 2-year-olds have entered the Kentucky Derby since 1937, when such information had been first stored. Only one horse — Apollo in 1882 — is understood to have gained the Derby after being unraced as a 2-year-old.
Picks and handicapping: There are loads of alluring candidates. Baffert, a four-time Derby winner who gained the Triple Crown in 2015 with American Pharoah, is again with two horses, Solomini and the favorite, Justify. Todd Pletcher will saddle Florida Derby winner Audible, Arkansas Derby winner Magnum Moon, Wood Memorial winner Vino Rosso and Louisiana Derby winner Noble Indy. Chad Brown’s colt Good Magic, who gained the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, is coming off a win within the Blue Grass. Plus, there’s Mendelssohn, who destroyed the competitors in Dubai by 18 half of lengths. The UAE Derby winner is a freak, with victories in 4 international locations over three surfaces in seven lifetime begins.
Since Andrew Beyer debuted his speed figures 26 years in the past, 24 Derby winners earned a Beyer determine of no less than 95 or higher earlier than the primary leg of the Triple Crown. Horses that haven’t proven sufficient giddy-up embody Hofburg (94), Combatant (94), Flameaway (93), Solomini (93), Bravazo (93), Instilled Regard (92), My Boy Jack (90), Free Drop Billy (90) and Firenze Fire (90).
Audible has the velocity to contend, whereas Bolt d’Oro has a horny mix of velocity and stamina and is the decide of The Post’s Neil Greenberg.
Long pictures: Five straight favorites have gained the race, however there was a time when lengthy pictures reigned supreme — and a few of these supplied large pay days. There are causes to be optimistic about every of the 50-1 pictures within the discipline.
Exotics: Hitting a trifecta or superfecta chilly in a 20-horse discipline with all entrants attempting an extended distance for the primary time could be robust, so right here’s how you could possibly create trifecta and superfecta tickets utilizing these contenders whereas additionally holding ticket prices down.
Justify trains throughout morning exercises in preparation for the Kentucky Derby. (Michael Reaves/Getty)
Experts: With a pair favorites who would wish to buck some long-standing tendencies (Justify, Mendelssohn) plus a lot of different contenders who all appear worthy (Audible, Bolt D’Oro, Good Magic), skilled picks are all around the map.
Rain: Bolt d’Oro stays a strong decide to win, however he isn’t the one horse who may have success on Saturday if it does certainly rain.
Horses with real-life expertise over a moist monitor embody the favorite, Justify, who gained by 6 half of lengths in an allowance race at Santa Anita in March 11 over a muddy monitor. Firenze Fire gained the Jerome Stakes at Aqueduct in January over a muddy monitor by a half-length, setting his second-best profession Beyer Speed Figure (86) in that race. Flameaway gained each the Skidmore Stakes at Saratoga and the Grade III Bourbon at Keeneland within the slop, and a number of different contenders even have historical past in mud.
Previews and historical past
For the primary time in 95 years, one sire has produced 4 entrants at one Derby, together with the highest two favorites. But that horse, Scat Daddy, died unexpectedly at 11 simply as his line was being established.
For a sport alleged to have spent a lifetime languishing, horse racing has yielded a Derby chockablock with contenders and stardom. There’s a Bill Mott factor, a Bob Baffert favourite, a Todd Pletcher mass and then the second favourite, the mysterious and globe-trotting Mendelssohn.
Twenty of the world’s finest Three-year-old thoroughbreds will line up for a race that loves its historical past and normally celebrates its previous. But don’t anticipate any remembrances of Dancer’s Image. Fifty years later, he’s the Derby’s forgotten, fallen champion.
Two of the highest three favorites, Justify and Magnum Moon, each Three years outdated because the Derby eternally insists, didn’t race whereas 2, a element that clearly has induced them such ostracism amongst friends that they’ve had to run away from these friends. (Both are undefeated.) That, in flip, has unearthed Apollo, a horse departed for 131 years, but whose title has turned up in Churchill Downs chitchat greater than many a winner in any century. Apollo gained the 1882 Kentucky Derby after not having raced at 2, one thing unachieved since. He didn’t development on Twitter.
How do thoroughbreds get their names? The guidelines are surprisingly advanced, and the outcomes surprisingly amusing.
How to make the very best mint julep for the Kentucky Derby? We’ve acquired the recipe, plus 4 variations.