Skip navigation
Favorites
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
View All Scores

What to know about the 2023 Kentucky Derby

PvZ8yEf44sMz
With the Santa Anita Derby and Blue Grass Stakes here, Kenny Rice (@KennyRiceSports) explains why multiple horses will look for momentum against Forte with the Kentucky Derby looming.

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most iconic sporting events in the world. Every year, millions of fans tune in to NBC to watch top racehorses from around the globe compete in “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports.”

The 2023 Kentucky Derby will air on Saturday, May 6 from 12 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage is also available to stream live on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

Related: When is the Kentucky Derby?

NBC Sports will also air the Kentucky Oaks the day before on Friday, May 5th from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on USA Network, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.

What is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby, historically on the first Saturday in May, is one of the most well-known Grade 1 Thoroughbred stakes races in the world. It is usually the first leg of the American Triple Crown and is only one of the Triple Crown races to have run uninterrupted since its inaugural race in 1875.

How long is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is 1 1/4 mile or 10 furlongs. The race has also been dubbed as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” due to its approximate duration. Secretariat owns the fastest Kentucky Derby time ever, running a blistering 1:59.40 in 1973.

When is the 2023 Kentucky Derby?

The 149th running of the Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, May 6, 2023. Watch NBC Sports’ coverage on NBC, Peacock, or on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Where is the 2023 Kentucky Derby?

The Derby is run on the dirt track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, where it has been held since its inaugural running in 1875.

How can I watch the 2023 Kentucky Derby?

NBC Sports is home to the 149th Kentucky Derby, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on NBC, Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app before, during and after. The 2023 Kentucky Derby will air on May 6 from 12 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

NBC Sports will also air the Kentucky Oaks the day before on Friday, May 6th from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on USA Network, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

NBC will also broadcast the 2023 Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup.

How are horses picked for the Derby?

Only 3-year-old Thoroughbreds can qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Eligible horses compete in the Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series of 35 races around the world. Horses win points for finishing in the top four spots, and the 20 horses with the most points at the end of the series gain entry into the Derby. However, sometimes horses will scratch, giving horses outside of the top-20 the opportunity to run in the Derby (as in the stunning upset for Rich Strike in 2022).

Read more: How many horses have won the Triple Crown?

Who won the 2022 Kentucky Derby?

On race day, Ethereal Road was scratched from the field, allowing Eric Reed-trained Rich Strike to enter the field. He went off as an 80-1 underdog but ended the race as the Kentucky Derby champion after a blistering pace tired out favorites like Zandon and Epicenter in the final stretch.

What are the biggest Kentucky Derby traditions?

Flashy and bold formal outfits for both men and women are synonymous with the Kentucky Derby. Celebrities and fans alike don creative hats, bright colors and eye-popping patterns. In fact, hats and outfits are such a big part of the Kentucky Derby that the Derby Museum dedicates a whole exhibit for the most ornate fashions.

The signature drink of the Derby is the Mint Julep, made with Kentucky bourbon.

Kentucky’s state song “My Old Kentucky Home” is played during the pre-race post parade. The song was written in the 1850s by Stephen Foster and features depictions of slavery in the pre-Civil War South. The song’s exact meanings and intentions have been subject to varying interpretations over the last 170 years, and, more recently, there have been renewed calls to re-examine the song’s place – on Derby Day and in American society at large.

After the race, the winning horse is given the iconic garland of roses in the winner’s circle, hence why the race is nicknamed “the Run for the Roses.”

Betting and horse racing go hand in hand. There will be a whole weekend of stacked racing cards at Churchill Downs, but the Derby is usually one of the most bet on sporting events of the entire year.

Watch the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 6 from 12 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Full coverage is also available on NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock.