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2021 Kentucky Derby: How to watch and what's different about this year's race

The 147th edition of the famous race will be available to watch across a variety of NBC platforms.
/ Source: TODAY

And they’re off. Well, almost.

The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday. The race returns to its traditional spot in the first Saturday in May after last year’s running was bumped to September due to the pandemic.

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Authentic #18, ridden by jockey John Velazquez, right, crosses the finish line to win the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby.Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

So, grab your mint julep, find your most elaborate hat and get set to kick back and relax while watching what is known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports.”

The derby will be broadcast from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC, with the actual race getting underway at 6:57 p.m. ET. NBCSN will also provide coverage from 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., while live coverage will also be offered on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

For those lucky enough to attend, the Derby says it will restrict the number of reserved seats to 40-50% of capacity. Those on hand will also have to wear masks.

“The health and safety of our entire community, including our team and our fans, is always our primary concern and we remain focused on following sound and proven health and safety protocols while working toward the best experience possible for our guests,” a statement on the Derby’s website reads.

The 1 1/4-mile race is the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. Twenty horses will be in the running. Essential Quality, a 2-year-old male owned by the ruler of Dubai, is the favorite, sporting 2-1 odds.

Last year, Authentic won the Run for the Roses, in a race held at Churchill Downs without spectators after it was postponed from its scheduled May 2 date to Sept. 5.