2024 Kentucky Derby: When is the race, how to watch, odds, horses and weather

2024 Kentucky Derby: When is the race, how to watch, odds, horses and weather

The Athletic has live coverage of the 2024 Kentucky Derby, the 150th anniversary.

The 2024 Kentucky Derby (Saturday, May 4 on NBC/Peacock) will be the 150th running of the annual horse race in Louisville, Ky. Celebrities, famous athletes and horse racing enthusiasts (along with three of The Athletic’s staffers) will descend on Churchill Downs for the annual Run for the Roses.

Who will be wearing the most ridiculous hats? What do I need to know about Mystik Dan? Why is Tom Brady on my screen? All your answers are below, and be ready to strap in for Derby Day and get plenty of ice for your mint juleps — there will be more than six hours of television coverage on NBC.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2024 Kentucky Derby.

What is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is the premier horse race in the United States held the first Saturday in May each year. It is frequently called the Run for the Roses as a blanket of red roses is placed over the winning horse in the winner’s circle. The field is limited to 20 horses each year, and they qualify for the race through a series of point races. Only horses that are three years old are eligible to race in the Kentucky Derby, and it is open to both male and female horses. A filly (a female horse) hasn’t won the Kentucky Derby since Winning Colors triumphed in 1988.


What makes Churchill Downs so special? The quirks, traditions of the Kentucky Derby’s home

When is the 2024 Kentucky Derby?

The 2024 Kentucky Derby will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

How long is the Kentucky Derby?

The race is 1 1/4 miles long. Secretariat set the Kentucky Derby record in 1973 with a race time of 1:59 2/5. That record was set 50 years ago and still stands today. The race is commonly referred to as “the fastest two minutes in sports” (with variations also crowning it “the greatest two minutes” and “the most exciting two minutes”)

Where can I read all your excellent and insightful coverage of the Kentucky Derby?

Thank you for asking! There’s a section at the bottom here that has links to all the stories we’ve done. We’ll update it as we publish more, all the way up to the race on Saturday.

Who won the 2023 Kentucky Derby?

In 2023, Mage won the Kentucky Derby by one length at 15-1 odds. Two Phil’s finished second and Angel of Empire finished third. Mage finished third in the Preakness to end his Triple Crown bid.

What is the weather forecast for the 2024 Kentucky Derby?

The forecast for Saturday calls for a high of 80 degrees, a low of 62 degrees. There’s a 25 percent chance of rain showers on Saturday.

When is the draw for the 2024 Kentucky Derby post positions?

The draw for 2024 Kentucky Derby post positions was held last Saturday. Each of the 20 horses in the Kentucky Derby were assigned a starting spot in the starting gate. This can largely affect which horse wins the Derby because some starting positions have a better chance of winning than others.

What time does the 2024 Kentucky Derby start?

The post-time for the 150th Kentucky Derby is set for 6:57 p.m. ET. The Kentucky Derby isn’t the only race on Derby Day at Churchill Downs — more than 10 races will be held starting at 10 a.m.

How can I watch and stream the 2024 Kentucky Derby?

Television coverage for the 2024 Kentucky Derby starts at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC. All coverage can also be streamed on Peacock.



Five long-standing traditions of the Kentucky Derby

Who is the favorite for the 2024 Kentucky Derby?

Fierceness is the 5-2 “morning line” favorite after the draw. Fierceness is assigned to the No. 17 starting gate. No horse from the No. 17 starting gate has ever won the Kentucky Derby.

What does morning line mean?

It is the first set of odds, released after the post positions were announced. Horse racing is parimutuel betting, meaning you can buy a ticket on the horse you want to win (or place or show, etc) but the odds are going to fluctuate up until the start of the race and eventually land on final odds as the horses go off, based on what everyone else is betting. In regular sports betting, you can buy a ticket at 5-to-1 odds and even if it’s down to 2-to-1 by the start of the game, your bet will pay out at 5-to-1. In horse racing, those 5-to-1 odds moving to 2-to-1 means you get stuck with those 2-to-1 odds like everyone else, no matter when the ticket was purchased (but, on the bright side, the odds can always go in the other direction, too).

What is the Kentucky Oaks?

The Kentucky Oaks is the premier race on Friday’s horse racing calendar. It puts the best 3-year-old Fillies against each other. It is scheduled for 5:51 p.m. ET and will air on USA and stream on Peacock. TV coverage starts at 1 p.m. ET Friday.

The entire Kentucky Derby week at Churchill Downs is full of great undercard races and up-and-coming horses, as well.

The Oaks has also been held for 150 years.

What is a mint julep?

A mint julep is a bourbon cocktail that is the signature drink of the Kentucky Derby. The ingredients for a mint julep include bourbon, sugar, water, crushed ice and fresh mint (which Eddie Hansel, Manager of the US Campari Academy, says you should slap before adding it to the cup to release its flavor). Some mint juleps substitute simple syrup for sugar. Hansel uses cubes in some of his variations. You can see (and make) his creations here.

How does betting on the Kentucky Derby work?

There are many different ways to bet on the Kentucky Derby, and it can be confusing to understand what an exacta, trifecta and superfecta are. It’s also confusing on how actually to place a bet on them.

The easiest way is to bet on the winner of the race. We explained all of the different types of horse racing bets here.

A guide to our coverage of the 2024 Kentucky Derby: Hats, glasses, long shot bets, and more

We have a lot of coverage of the 150th Kentucky Derby. A lot. Everything from expert picks to our experience getting an official hat made from the Derby’s most famous milliner. In the interest of keeping things organized, we created this “menu” to house everything in one easy place. Below, you’ll find everything you need to thoroughly enjoy your 2024 Kentucky Derby experience — even recipes for mint juleps and a deeper look at the history and significance of the drink.

Enjoy! Have fun! And good luck!

Odds, expert picks and long shots




Luis Sáez



Sierra Leone

Tyler Gaffalione



Mystik Dan

Brian Hernandez Jr.



Catching Freedom

Flavien Prat




José Ortiz



Just Steel

Keith Asmussen



Honor Marie

Ben Curtis



Just a Touch

Florent Géroux






T O Password

Kazushi Kimura



Forever Young

Ryusei Sakai



Track Phantom

Joel Rosario



West Saratoga

Jesús Castañón




Umberto Rispoli



Domestic Product

Irad Ortiz Jr.



Grand Mo the First

Emisael Jaramillo




John Velázquez




Antonio Fresu




Júnior Alvarado



Society Man

Frankie Dettori



Epic Ride

Adam Beschizza




Joe Talamo


Kentucky Derby explainers

The people, stories and culture that make the Kentucky Derby

The mint julep

Kentucky Derby party props sheet (downloadable!)


(Top photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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