The Kentucky Derby has finally arrived!
After being postponed from May 2 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual horse race will kick off Saturday, Sept. 5 and continue a longstanding tradition. The 146th running of the Derby will still take place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, this year, but with some changes.
Historically, the Kentucky Derby is run on the first Saturday in May but this year's competition was postponed amid the pandemic. Initially, Churchill Downs issued that a limited number of fans would be able to attend with strict COVID-19 guidelines to keep spectators safe. The decision to have attendees was reversed on Aug. 21 and for the first time since its inaugural run in 1875, the Derby will run without spectators in the stands. Safety guidelines and precautions have also been set in place for the jockeys competing.
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The Derby typically kicks off the trio of races for the Triple Crown and then is followed by the Belmont Stakes and the Preakness Stakes. According to the Associated Press, this year, the Belmont Stakes ran ahead of the Derby on June 20 without fans in attendance and the Preakness Stakes will follow suit on Oct. 3 to conclude the trio of races.
Tiz the Law, the Belmont Stakes winner, is strongly favored to win this Derby day. If he wins, he'll move on to run in the Preakness on Oct. 3.
While fans in colorful ensembles and matching bold hats won't be permitted to watch in person, they can still watch the excitement unfold from the comfort of their homes.
The Derby isn't the only sporting event to be delayed this year due to the global coronavirus outbreak. It was announced in March that t Tokyo Olympics would be postponed until next summer. Major League Baseball delayed its regular season and kicked off in July, with Dr. Anthony Fauci throwing the first pitch. National Basketball Association also suspended its season in March after a player tested positive for coronavirus. Games started back up again at the end of July.
The Derby will air at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com, as well as the NBC Sports app. Comprehensive race coverage and analysis will be available live before, during, and after "the most exciting two minutes in sports."
Post time for the Derby is set for approximately 7:01 p.m. ET.
Kick back with a fresh mint julep and watch live coverage from wherever you are!