Everything You Need to Know About the 2018 Kentucky Derby
Now that spring is officially upon us, it’s time to start planning for the Kentucky Derby. Whether you’re throwing a party or interested in attending the event in person, we’ve got all the details you need below to plan for “The Run for the Roses.”
When and Where is This Year’s Kentucky Derby Taking Place?
The 2018 Kentucky Derby will take place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. The race is set to take place at 6:46 P.M. EST on Saturday, May 5.
Where Can I Watch the Race?
NBC is providing television coverage for this year’s race, with coverage set to start at 2:30 P.M. EST. If you aren’t a cable subscriber or prefer watching on your mobile device, the Derby will also be available to stream through NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App.
Who is Racing?
Since we still have about four weeks until “The Fastest Two Minutes in All of Sports,” the entire field hasn’t been set yet. However, we do have a good idea of who the favorites will likely be based on the horses that have already qualified for the Kentucky Derby. Some of the potential favorites (with odds courtesy of sportsbook.ag) include:
Bolt d’Oro – +300
Coming off of a win at the San Felipe Stakes back in Mid-March, Bolt d’Oro is currently the odds-on favorite and has already secured his spot in the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Bolt d’Oro is currently being trained by Mick Ruiz, a former scaffolding business owner who sold his business for upwards of $70 million dollars and set his sights on training horses. Despite being the odds-on favorite, Bolt d’Oro will face stiff competition from the rest of the field and is hardly unbeatable as he actually lost to McKinzie in the San Felipe Stakes but was awarded a win thanks to a controversial disqualification decision.
Justify – +350
Even to the most casual horse racing fan, the name Bob Baffert should ring a bell. Baffert is one of the best trainers in the sport, having trained recent Triple-Crown winner American Pharaoh and fellow Kentucky Derby champions Silver Charm, Real Quiet, and War Emblem. The Arizona-born trainer could have as many as three horses that he trained running for the roses in May. The pick of the litter is Justify, who has won both races that he’s run in. We should have a better idea of just how good this horse is when he runs in the Santa Anita Derby this Saturday. However, based on just two races run, bookmakers seem to think that he has what it takes to win the Derby, which is hardly surprising given who he has been trained by.
Other notable horses include:
Mendelssohn – +500
Magnum Moon – +600
Good Magic – +600
Audible – +600
Solomini – +1500
Noble Indy – +1800
Hofburg – +4000
Gronkowski – +5000
Is it Legal for United States Citizens to Bet on the Kentucky Derby?
It sure is. Unlike sports betting, which currently exists legally in only Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana, betting on horse racing is completely legal and you can even do it from the comfort of your own home or on your mobile device. The Kentucky Derby itself has a partnership with TwinSpires.com, and the process is pretty easy if you feel inclined to lay down a few bets.
Are There Any New Developments Surrounding the Derby This Year?
Churchill Downs is currently in the middle of investing a significant amount of money in order to improve the experience for fans at the track. Each year over 170,000 people attend the Derby, which causes a number of logistical headaches. Over the next year or so, Churchill Downs is set to improve its infrastructure by adding in buses and refining the track’s parking permit system. If you’re attending the event in person this year, things should be a lot smoother when it’s time to enter or exit the race track.
2018 Kentucky Derby Predictions
It’s still a bit early to give a full-hearted prediction for who will win the race but I’m going to stick my neck out a bit and say that a horse trained by Todd Pletcher will win the Derby. Horses trained by Pletcher have won at Churchill Downs three times since 2010, with the last being Always Dreaming who won last year’s Run for the Roses. Pletcher has three horses that are likely to be in the starting field for the Derby, including Magnum Moon, Audible and Noble Indy. I think that one of those three horses will end up winning the first leg of the Triple Crown.
Where Can I Get Tickets?
If you want to attend the Kentucky Derby in person, tickets are available on SeatGeek. Head here to start shopping or view select tickets below!
(Cropped image courtesy Bill Brine via Flickr.)