Here’s a look at this year’s Run for the Roses.
How many fans can attend?
A spokesman for Churchill Downs Racetrack told CNN the plan for attendance is “40-50% (capacity) reserved seating, 60% in some premium dining areas, 25-30% in Infield. All in, around 40,000-50,000.”
How can I watch?
NBC will televise the race program, beginning on NBCSN at 12:30 p.m. ET. Coverage switches to NBC from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET. The race will also be shown on nbcsports.com and the NBC Sports app.
Who is going to win?
In case you missed it, last year the race was won by Authentic, trained by Bob Baffert. The victory was Baffert’s sixth Derby win, tied for most by a trainer with Ben Jones.
The field is limited to 20 horses that qualify by earning points in “The Road to the Kentucky Derby.”
Essential Quality garnered the most points and has won all five races in his career. On Tuesday he drew the No. 14 spot in the starting gate and was listed as an early 2-1 favorite (as of Friday night he was 1-1, but odds can change). Rock Your World starts from the gate to Essential Quality’s right and was the second favorite.
Hot Rod Charlie was the second leading point getter in the qualifying races and was the only other colt with odds better than 10-1.
Like the occasional drink? Two of the horses in the field have alcoholic content in their names — Bourbonic (37-1) and Midnight Bourbon (18-1), fitting for a race sponsored by a bourbon maker.
Will all 20 horses be in Saturday’s field?
No. King Fury came down with a fever and cannot participate.
How long does it take?
Well, it’s called the “most exciting 2 minutes in sports,” a phrase the race track operator had trademarked in 2018, or “the greatest 2 minutes in sports” or sometimes “the fastest 2 minutes in sports.” So if you’re still not sure, a good time is about 2 minutes.