The Kentucky Derby: What You Should Know About the 2024

The Kentucky Derby: The 2024 Kentucky Derby, set for Saturday, marks the 150th edition of this prestigious race. Widely known as the “Run for the Roses,” it serves as the inaugural event of the Triple Crown in horse racing, a spectacle synonymous with mint juleps, seersucker suits, and elegant hats.

Where Does the Kentucky Derby Take Place?

Churchill Downs in Louisville hosts the Kentucky Derby. Established in 1875 as the Louisville Jockey Club, Churchill Downs proudly upholds its status as the oldest continuously held major sporting event in the United States.

What Time Does the Kentucky Derby Start?

Post time for Kentucky Derby is 6:57 p.m. EDT. Traditionally slated for the first Saturday of May, the race maintained this schedule for 73 consecutive years until the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Since 2021, it has reverted to its customary May slot.

Length of the Kentucky Derby

Since 1896, Kentucky Derby has spanned a distance of 1 1/4 miles. Although Churchill Downs’ dirt track measures only one mile, the starting gate and finish line’s strategic placements extend the course by an additional quarter mile.

Recap of the Kentucky Oaks

The Kentucky Oaks, an all-filly race preceding the Derby, concluded with Thorpedo Anna clinching victory amidst a crowd of over 107,000 spectators. The event, held on a damp track, saw Just F Y I and Regulatory Risk securing second and third places, respectively.

The Kentucky Derby
The Kentucky Derby

Field Size and Participants

A maximum of 20 horses compete in the Kentucky Derby, a regulation in place since 1975. In the event of a horse withdrawal before the race, additional entrants may fill the vacant spots. The 2024 Derby features a diverse field of contenders, each vying for the coveted title.

Favorites and Betting Odds

Fierceness, triumphant in the Florida Derby held in March, emerges as the morning line favorite with odds of 5-2. Close behind are Sierra Leone at 3-1 and Catching Freedom at 8-1, as per the assessment of Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia.

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Insight into Contestants

A detailed roster of the horses competing in Kentucky Derby, along with their respective morning line odds, presents enthusiasts with valuable information for assessing the field’s composition.

Prize Purse Breakdown

To commemorate the 150th edition, Kentucky Derby purse has been elevated to $5 million, offering substantial rewards for the top performers. The winner stands to receive $3.1 million, with generous payouts extending to the fifth-place finisher.

Ticket Pricing and Availability

Tickets for the Derby vary in price, ranging from $130 for general admission to Churchill Downs’ infield to several thousand dollars for premium reserved seating. Despite the event’s popularity, options cater to a diverse range of budgets and preferences.

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Recap of Previous Results and Record Times

A glance at past Derby outcomes and notable records, including Secretariat’s legendary time of 1:59.40 in 1973, offers historical context and insight into the race’s enduring legacy.

How to Tune In

For viewers keen on catching the action, NBC will broadcast Kentucky Derby, with streaming available on Peacock, ensuring widespread accessibility to this iconic event.


As anticipation mounts for the historic 2024 Kentucky Derby, enthusiasts and casual observers alike can look forward to a thrilling showcase of speed, skill, and tradition. Whether attending in person or tuning in remotely, the allure of this esteemed event transcends generations, embodying the essence of American sporting heritage.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is the Kentucky Derby open to the public?

Yes, spectators can attend the Kentucky Derby, with tickets available for various viewing areas within Churchill Downs.

How are horses selected for the Kentucky Derby?

Horses qualify for the Derby through a series of prep races, accumulating points to secure their spots in the field.

What amenities are available at Churchill Downs for Derby attendees?

Churchill Downs offers a range of amenities, including dining options, souvenir shops, and betting facilities, to enhance the spectator experience.

Are there any traditions associated with the Kentucky Derby?

Yes, traditions such as singing “My Old Kentucky Home” before the race and the iconic garland of roses presented to the winner are cherished aspects of Derby Day.

What distinguishes the Kentucky Derby from other horse races?

The Kentucky Derby’s rich history, prestigious status as the first leg of the Triple Crown, and vibrant atmosphere set it apart as a unique and iconic event in the world of horse racing.

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