Spring is in the air, fans are back in the stands, and the Kentucky Derby once again will run in May.
The first Saturday in May of each year has long been reserved for the Run for the Roses. After an unprecedented 2020 saw the race delayed until September due to the pandemic -- with no fans in attendance at Churchill Downs in Louisville -- the 147th Derby is back where it belongs on the calendar and in front of spectators.
"The fastest two minutes in sports" falls on May 1 and kicks off the first leg of the 2021 Triple Crown on the famed 1 1/4 mile dirt track, with a purse of $3 million.
How can I watch the 2021 Kentucky Derby?
NBC Sports is the home of the 147th Kentucky Derby, offering live coverage and analysis of both the Kentucky Oaks and the Derby.
You can livestream both events here and on the NBC Sports App.
You can watch coverage of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, on NBCSN from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET and on NBC from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET.
The Kentucky Derby post time is set for approximately 6:57 p.m.
What’s the Kentucky Derby weather forecast?
The weather is a key factor in the first leg of the Triple Crown, affecting the conditions of the track and the outcome of the race. Some horses actually run faster on a dry track, while others might prefer wet and sloppy conditions.
Spring weather can be pretty unpredictable in Louisville, with an average high of 73 degrees, a low of 53 and 0.71 inches of rainfall for May 1. The rain drenched the track both in 2018, with 3.15 inches of rainfall for the wettest Derby ever recorded, and in 2019, with 0.34 inches.
Will this year’s Kentucky Derby have fans?
This year, fans will be finally back at Churchill Downs, but with a limited capacity in accordance with the CDC health and safety protocols. Reserved seats are limited to 40-50 percent of capacity. Masks are mandatory for the entire 2021 Derby Week, and guests must practice social distancing.
The 147th Kentucky Derby will also offer a new experience to its fans. Churchill Downs announced it is opening the track free of charge for the fillies and colts’ morning workouts, starting April 17 through April 28, from 7 to 10 a.m.
While guests are allowed to bring their own food and beverages on Thurby, Oaks and Derby days, they can also enjoy the many refreshments served at Churchill Downs, from the Derby Sundae -- vanilla ice cream infused with mint and maraschino cherries soaked in Woodford bourbon -- to pimento cheese. Don’t forget to try the Loaded Kentucky nachos or the fried chicken tenders. And if it’s one of those hot spring days, a fresh Mint Julep is just what you will need.
What are the Kentucky Derby odds this year?
Here are the post positions and latest unofficial odds on the full field of horses as of now:
1. Known Agenda (6-1)
2. Like the King (50-1)
3. Brooklyn Strong (50-1)
4. Keepmeinmind (50-1)
5. Sainthood (50-1)
6. O Besos (20-1)
7. Mandaloun (15-1)
8. Medina Spirit (15-1)
9. Hot Rod Charlie (8-1)
10. Midnight Bourbon (20-1)
11. Dynamic One (20-1)
12. Helium (50-1)
13. Hidden Stash (50-1)
14. Essential Quality (2-1)
15. Rock Your World (5-1)
16. King Fury (SCRATCH)
17. Highly Motivated (10-1)
18. Super Stock (30-1)
19. Soup and Sandwich (30-1)
20. Bourbonic (30-1)
Gaia De Simoni and Mike Gavin contributed to this story