Kentucky Derby Live: Two years ago it was a disqualification and 65-1 longshot winner. Last year it was a delay from spring into September. So what twists and turns will the Kentucky Derby throw at us this year?
The first Saturday in May has arrived, which means it’s time for the fastest two minutes in sports and, after a race with no fans in 2020, the scene this year promises to be one to remember.
We’ll have updates throughout the day here on what’s happening at Churchill Downs, from race results to the scene in the crowd, from the luxury suites to the down-and-dirty infield. Stay tuned and keep the bourbon handy we’ve got a long day ahead.
The action won’t really get going until noon or so, as doors at the racetrack opened at 9:30 a.m. In the meantime, here’s a quick look at what those heading to the races and those tuning in from home can expect.
The paddock had a sizable crowd by 11:30 a.m., and the fashion on display did not disappoint. Jumpsuits were popular and long gowns were prominent. It seemed like the fans had used the year off from the Derby to take their styles to the next level.
Pam Lincecum, from Perry, Georgia, wore stunning blue hat nearly three feet tall and three feet wide that was adorned with peacock feathers, as she explained that this was her third Kentucky Derby. She was excited for a day filled with fashion and drinks, and she said it was so good to be back in the track.
Even among the high fashion, there was still room for a little humor. Michael Freeze from Philadelphia and Curtis Pavlik from Columbia, Kentucky, walked around the paddock just before noon dressed as jockeys holding signs that said “will ride for beer.” The joke’s on them, though. All adult beverages outside of the infield are included with the cost of tickets this year. They don’t even have to ride to get that ice cold beer.
Two races are in the books at Churchill Downs, with Ram scoring a win in the opener and longshot Alydiva finishing first in the second race.
Of course, most eyes are on the big race, the Kentucky Derby, which won’t start until around 7 p.m. Favorite Essential Quality’s odds now sit at 5-2, with other contenders such as Rock Your World (9-2) and Hot Rod Charlie (6-1) drawing plenty of bets as well.