Everything You Need to Know About the 2019 Kentucky Derby
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If there’s one outdoor event that signals that summer is nearly upon us, it’s the Kentucky Derby. Whether you enjoy big hats, hefty wagers or minty drinks, this race has something for everyone. It’s truly an event – one that offers multiple weeks of celebration – you won’t want to miss. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
Kentucky Derby Dates & Time
This year, the Kentucky Derby will take place on Saturday, May 4, with the undercard races beginning at 12 PM EST. The actual Derby, often known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” will begin at 6:50 PM, but there’s a whole day’s worth of festivities leading up to that.
In addition to all of Saturday’s events, the Kentucky Oaks races – featuring America’s best 3-year-old fillies (female horses) will take place on Friday, May 3rd, beginning at 12 PM EST.
Kentucky Derby Location
The 2019 Kentucky Derby will take place at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Located on Central Avenue in Louisville, Churchill Downs is a Thoroughbred racetrack most famously known for hosting the Derby every year, dating back to 1875.
Kentucky Derby Schedule
The Derby race itself may be the highlight, but there’s nearly a month of fun to be had leading up to that point. It all begins on April 6, as the Kentucky Derby Festival gets underway. You can learn all about the festival and its various events here.
As far as actual Derby Week, that kicks off on Saturday, April 27 and includes live music, as well as 10 exciting thoroughbred races throughout the evening. During the week there will be plenty of good food, mint juleps and horse racing to satisfy you until Derby Day.
On May 4, there’s an entire day’s worth of events before the big race. If you’re a betting fan, you’ll want to make sure you’re at Churchill Downs as soon as the betting windows open, which will be 30 minutes before the first undercard race at around 10:00 AM EST. And, if you’re a celebrity watcher, you can visit the Red Carpet, where celebs will be appearing from around 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM.
Undercard races will be going on throughout the day, leading up to the 6:50 PM post time for the Derby.
Kentucky Derby Horses
To earn a spot in the Run for the Roses, horses must compete in a series of races — known as the Road to the Kentucky Derby – earning points that are awarded to the top four finishers in each race. At the end of that Road, the 20 horses with the highest point totals will earn spots at the Derby starting gate.
As of this writing, there are still six races that can determine which horses have the opportunity to race on the first Saturday in May. So, while we can’t give you the exact horses that will race in the Derby, we can show you the 20 horses that currently have the most points.
List of Competing Derby Horses
- Plus Que Parfait (104 points)
- By My Standard (100 points)
- Maximum Service (100 points)
- Code of Honor (74 points)
- War of Will (60 points)
- Long Range Toddy (53.5 points)
- Cutting Humor (50 points)
- Haikal (50 points)
- Tacitus (50 points)
- Game Winner (45 points)
- Gray Magician (41 points)
- Spinoff (40 points)
- Bodexpress (40 points)
- Omaha Beach (37.5 points)
- Bourbon War (31 points)
- Anothertwistafate (30 points)
- Country House (30 points)
- Sueno (28 points)
- Improbable (25 points)
- Mucho Gusto (24 points)
You can keep an eye on the Road to the Kentucky Derby standings here.
Kentucky Derby Tickets
The Kentucky Derby is one of the oldest, most prestigious sporting events in the world, and it’s something you should experience at least once in your life. For the best available tickets, head to our SeatGeek page or view select options below. Don’t forget to use code DERBY20 at checkout to save $20 off your purchase.