Kentucky Derby 2018: When is it, which horses are running, what are the odds

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Kentucky Derby 5 fast facts

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

It’s the “Run for the Roses,” the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” the first jewel in the Triple Crown of horse racing.

Saturday will see the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.

Here is what you need to know about the race for 3-year-olds.

When is the 2018 Kentucky Derby? 

Saturday, May 5

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What time does it start?

Coverage of the race begins at 2:30 p.m. ET. Post time for the race is 6:34 p.m. ET.

What channel is it on? 

NBC will broadcast pre-race activities along with the race.

Is it livestreamed?

Yes. Click here, NBC Sports Live, to watch on Saturday.

How far do the horses run? 

1¼ miles

What is the track surface? 


What is the record at the track?

Secretariat holds the record. The horse ran 1¼ miles in 1:59 and two-fifths seconds.

What’s the purse for this year’s derby? 

The purse is $2 million; the winner gets $1.425 million.

Which horses are running in the 2018 Kentucky Derby and what are the odds? Here are the latest odds from SportsLine as of April 23

Justify (9-5) 
Magnum Moon (4-1) 
Bolt d'Oro (5-1) 
Mendelssohn (11-2) 
Good Magic (7-1) 
Audible (9-1) 
Vino Rosso (12-1) 
Enticed (18-1) 
Noble Indy (18-1) 
My Boy Jack (20-1) 
Solomini (20-1) 
Lone Sailor (25-1) 
Flameaway (30-1) 
Hofburg (35-1) 
Promises Fulfilled (35-1) 
Combatant (50-1) 
Bravazo (50-1) 
Free Drop Billy (50-1) 
Gronkowski (50-1) 
Firenze Fire (60-1)

Who is the favorite to win the 2018 Kentucky Derby? As of Monday, the betting favorites are:

Mendelssohn, 4-1

Justify, 4-1

Audible, 5-1

Magnum Moon, 8-1

Bolt d'Oro, 9-1

Good Magic, 11-1

Who is singing the national anthem?

The Grammy Award-winning group Pentatonix will sing the national anthem.

Speaking of songs, what song is it that the crowd sings before the race?

It's tradition for the crowd to sing, "My Old Kentucky Home" prior to the race. The song was written by Stephen Foster. Below are the lyrics if you want to sing along. The song was altered from Foster's lyric to replace the word "darkie" with the word "people." Foster wrote the song as an anti-slavery ballad.

“My Old Kentucky Home, Good-night”

The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home,

Tis summer, the people are gay;

The corn-top's ripe and the meadow's in the bloom

While the birds make music all the day.

The young folks roll on the little cabin floor

All merry, all happy and bright;

By 'n by hard times comes a knocking at the door

Then my old Kentucky home, Good-night!


Weep no more my lady.

Oh! Weep no more today!

We will sing one song

For my old Kentucky home

For the old Kentucky home, far away.

What’s the weather going to be like?

According to, there will be periods of rain in Louisville on Saturday with a high of 67 degrees. There may be a few showers lingering at race time.


Does the Derby have an official drink? 

It does, and it’s called a Mint Julep. Here’s the recipe:

The Old Forester Mint Julep Recipe

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

Sprigs of fresh mint

Crushed ice

Old Forester Straight Bourbon Whisky

Silver Julep Cups

Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Old Forester Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Where can you find the Kentucky Derby Facebook and Twitter accounts? 

ExploreFor Facebook, click here.
ExploreFor Twitter, click here. 

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