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Kentucky Derby 2014: All the Dates, Times & Info You Need to Know

Jockey Joel Rosario rides Orb to victory at the Derby in 2013. (Getty)

Jockey Joel Rosario rides Orb to victory at the Derby in 2013. (Getty)

The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby is approaching, and excitement is building for the oldest continuously run sporting event in the world.

Here’s everything you need to know about the race and related events:


1. The Race Is Saturday, May 3

Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Churchill Downs

The 139th running of the Derby in 2013. (Getty)

The Derby always takes place on the first Saturday of May, which comes fairly early this year. Gates at Churchill Downs open at 8 a.m., with the first race of the day at 10:30.

The Derby is the 11th race of the day at Churchill Downs, and has a post time of 6:24 p.m. Here’s a look at the full race day schedule.

The Kentucky Oaks, the Derby’s counterpart for fillies, is Friday, May 2, with a post time of 5:45 p.m. (Like the Derby, gates open at 8 a.m.)


2.There’s Plenty of TV Coverage

The Derby itself is on NBC, and will be preceded on race day by a red carpet special that begins at 4 p.m. The entire Derby undercard will also be on TV, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on NRTV and from 11 a.m. until the Derby on NBC Sports Network.

NBC Sports Network will also have live coverage of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 2. The Kentucky Derby site has a full TV schedule.

NBC announced Tuesday that former Olympic figure skaters Johnny Weird and Tara Lipinski would join the network’s Derby coverage as fashion analysts. Watch the video above for some insight from Lipinski and Weir on their approach to fashion.

The network also recently announced it had signed a 10-year extension to broadcast the Derby through 2025.

3. The Kentucky Derby Position Draw is Wednesday, April 30

The full Derby field and post positions will be revealed Wednesday, April 30 when the Kentucky Derby draw is conducted at Churchill Downs. NBC Sports Network will air a one-hour rendition of Kentucky Derby Classics at 4 p.m., then air the draw live at 5 p.m.

Watch the video above for analysis of last year’s draw from trainers.


4. The Kentucky Derby Festival is Going on Now

The Kentucky Derby festival, which includes everything from a marathon to a wine fest, has been going on in various forms since January.

The Derby Festival website has a full list of events. The U.S. Bank Great Balloon Fest is going on April 24-26, and more than a dozen other events are scheduled before the Derby.

The Festival also includes the Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic, which features top Kentucky and Indiana high school players and took place April 18. Watch video from the game above.


5.California Chrome Is the Favorite

Santa Anita Derby champion California Chrome is the early favorite, with 7/4 odds, according to OddsShark.com. Danza and Wicked Strong are both at 8/1, with Vicars in Trouble at 10/1 and Hopportunity at 14/1.

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