The Kentucky Derby -- the greatest two minutes in sports -- is back in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 7.
The Kentucky Derby is an event defined by pomp and fanfare, complete with big hats, mint juleps and major bets. Having attended last year’s Derby, I can attest to the tradition and enthusiasm on Saturday of the race – from the infield to the box seats.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 Kentucky Derby.
What is the Kentucky Derby?
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The Kentucky Derby is an annual horse race, typically held the first Saturday in May. The race is 1 1/4 miles long and lasts about two minutes.
The racetrack was founded in 1874 by Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr., the grandson of legendary explorer William Clark of the Lewis and Clark expedition. After attending the Epsom Derby in England, Clark Jr. was inspired to bring the tradition of elegance and class to American horse racing. He established a racetrack on land leased from his uncles, John and Henry Churchill, for whom the track would eventually be named. Selling membership on a subscription basis generated funds to improve the facilities and over time, and with the addition of its famed grandstand, Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby emerged as the premier horse race in North America.
The 2022 Derby is the 148th iteration. Over 150,000 people will descend upon Kentucky the weekend of May 7 for a chance to watch 11 rounds of horse racing.
Last year’s winner, Medina Spirit, upset the field with 12-1 odds, only to be stripped of his title after testing positive for an anti-inflammatory steroid. Medina Spirit died a few months later in December. The cause of death was inconclusive after some speculated it was a heart attack.
Where is the Kentucky Derby?
The Kentucky Derby is held annually at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. The track is less than a mile from the University of Louisville.
What is the Triple Crown of horse racing?
The Triple Crown is an annual series of three races from May to early June featuring 3-year-old horses. The Kentucky Derby is the first of the three contests, followed by the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York, just outside of New York City.
Winning the Triple Crown is one of the biggest achievements in sports -- requiring a rare combination of endurance, speed and luck. The races, ranging from 1 3/16 miles to 1 1/2 miles, occur within a five-week period.
How many horses have won the Triple Crown?
Thirteen horses have won the Triple Crown:
- Sir Barton (1919)
- Gallant Fox (1930)
- Omaha (1935)
- War Admiral (1937)
- Whirlaway (1941)
- Count Fleet (1943)
- Assault (1946)
- Citation (1948)
- Secretariat (1973)
- Seattle Slew (1977)
- Affirmed (1978)
- American Pharoah (2015)
- Justify (2018)
What is the schedule for the 2022 Kentucky Derby?
The Kentucky Oaks will take place at 5:51 p.m. ET Friday as part of a full day of races. On Derby Day, the post time for the first race is 10:30 a.m. ET with a full slate of action ahead of the main event at 6:57 p.m.
The schedule of Derby Day is available here.
How do I watch the 2022 Kentucky Derby?
The 2022 Kentucky Derby will be aired on NBC beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET ahead of the eighth race of the day.
NBC first won the rights for the Kentucky Derby in 2001. In 2014, the two sides agreed to an extension through 2025, including the 150th Kentucky Derby in 2024.
What are the odds of the 2022 Kentucky Derby?
The favorite so far is Zandon, a colt trained by Chad C. Brown and ridden by Flavien Prat, who won the Derby in 2019. Second choice Epicenter is trained by Steven M. Asmussen with three-time Derby-winning jockey Joel Rosario. Here are the odds for the 2022 Kentucky Derby according to Sportsnaut:
- Zandon - Odds: 3-1
- Epicenter - Odds: 7-2
- Messier - Odds: 8-1
- White Abarrio - Odds: 10-1
- Mo Donegal - Odds: 10-1
- Taiba - Odds: 12-1
- Smile Happy - Odds: 20-1
- Crown Pride - Odds: 20-1
- Charge It - Odds: 20-1
- Cyberknife - Odds: 20-1
- Zozos - Odds: 20-1
- Simplification - Odds: 20-1
- Happy Jack - Odds: 30-1
- Summer Is Tomorrow - Odds: 30-1
- Tiz the Bomb - Odds: 30-1
- Pioneer of Medina - Odds: 30-1
- Barber Road - Odds: 30-1
- Classic Causeway - Odds: 30-1
- Tawny Port - Odds: 30-1
- Ethereal Road - Odds: 30-1