When does the Kentucky Derby start? Find answers to your most-asked Derby questions

The 150th Kentucky Derby is Saturday, and there’s no better time to get prepared for a milestone edition of “the most exciting two minutes in sports.”

This year’s race should bring thousands of fans and bettors to Churchill Downs in Louisville to watch the famed Run for the Roses. Last year’s Derby produced an all-time record of roughly $189 million in tracked wagers, and excitement for the landmark 150th Kentucky Derby could see that figure rise yet again.

With Derby Day quickly approaching, here are some answers to a few of this week’s most-searched Kentucky Derby-related questions.

What time does the Kentucky Derby start?

Most people asking this question are searching for the post time of the premier Kentucky Derby race itself: 6:57 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time Saturday, May 4. Other races at Churchill Downs are scheduled throughout the morning, afternoon and evening, stretching between 10:30 a.m. and roughly 8:30 p.m.

How can I watch the Kentucky Derby?

If you aren’t in the stands at Churchill Downs, you can find the famed race by flipping to NBC or streaming through the Peacock app. Those with live entertainment packages can catch the race through YouTube TV and Hulu with Live TV, among other services.

NBC Sports Audio, the network’s radio channel, will carry the race on Channel 85 through SiriusXM. USA Network and Peacock will carry some undercard races starting around noon before coverage flips to NBC and Peacock.

How every horse in the 2024 Kentucky Derby got its name and why it’s such a challenge

What horses are running in the 2024 Kentucky Derby?

Twenty horses are expected to race in the Kentucky Derby, but it’s always possible some could be scratched from the lineup due to illness, injury or other complications.

Here’s a look at the field and each horse’s post position as of Thursday afternoon:

  1. Dornoch (20-1)

  2. Sierra Leone (3-1)

  3. Mystik Dan (20-1)

  4. Catching Freedom (8-1)

  5. Catalytic (30-1)

  6. Just Steel (20-1)

  7. Honor Marie (20-1)

  8. Just A Touch (10-1)

  9. Encino (scratched)

  10. T O Password (30-1), leaving from post position 9

  11. Forever Young (10-1), leaving from post position 10

  12. Track Phantom (20-1), leaving from post position 11

  13. West Saratoga (50-1), leaving from post position 12

  14. Endlessly (30-1), leaving from post position 13

  15. Domestic Product (30-1), leaving from post position 14

  16. Grand Mo The First (50-1), leaving from post position 15

  17. Fierceness (5-2), leaving from post position 16

  18. Stronghold (20-1), leaving from post position 17

  19. Resilience (20-1), leaving from post position 18

  20. Society Man (50-1), leaving from post position 19

  21. Epic Ride (30-1), leaving from post position 20

Want to ‘bet the gray’ in Kentucky Derby? Here’s your horse, plus other unique storylines.

Were any horses scratched from the Kentucky Derby lineup?

So far, only Encino has scratched from this year’s original lineup. A Kentucky Derby news release Tuesday said Encino was “off” following a workout and will not race Saturday. Encino drew post position No. 9 and received 20-1 odds to win the race.

Five horses scratched from 2023’s field for reasons varying from elevated temperature and fitness concerns to trainer suspensions. Only 18 horses raced in that year’s Run for the Roses.

Here are the long shots to bet who could beat the favorites in Kentucky Derby 2024

Who is favored to win the Kentucky Derby?

Fierceness is favored to win the race after receiving 5-2 morning-line odds. Sierra Leone (3-1) has the second-shortest odds, while Just A Touch and Forever Young follow with 10-1 odds.

Across 116 contested Kentucky Derby races since 1908, the post-time favorite has won only 40 times (34.48%). The race-time favorite won six straight renditions of the famed race from 2013 through 2018.

A Kentucky Derby favorite has not won any of the last five races — a far cry from when 20 editions of the Derby passed between 1980 and 1999 without a post-time favorite finishing in first.

Mage won 2023’s Kentucky Derby after receiving 15-1 odds.

Here’s who owns every 2024 Kentucky Derby horse and how they amassed their fortunes.

What are the best post positions for the Kentucky Derby?

No post position has more all-time wins than No. 5 with 10 victories. Post position No. 9 has nine all-time wins under its belt and could tie the record with a victory Saturday.

Fierceness was originally scheduled to break from post position No. 17 Saturday, which is the only starting gate lacking a winner across the previous 149 Kentucky Derby races. A shift in the Derby field due to Encino’s scratch will move Fierceness up to post position No. 16, though the program numbers will remain unchanged.

More states than ever can bet on the Kentucky Derby. Here’s how, where to make wagers

How can I bet on the Kentucky Derby?

If you know what kind of bet you’d like to place, submitting your wager is rather simple.

You can visit just about any racetrack or racetrack gambling facility in Kentucky to place a bet on this year’s race as long as you’re of legal age.

Online wagering is now available in 38 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and most offer action on horse racing through platforms like TwinSpires, TVG, AmWager or even FanDuel and DraftKings, though some manage these services in separate apps. You don’t need to be a given state’s resident to place bets through online sportsbooks, but you will almost certainly need to use your location to make sure it’s legal to place a wager.

Head to to learn more about betting on the race. Available tools include bet calculators, breakdowns of common terms and slang, guides for placing wagers, advice from experts and more.

If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, help is available by calling 1-800-522-4700.

Sports betting and gambling are not legal in all locations. Be sure to comply with local and state laws applicable where you reside.

Where 2024’s Kentucky Derby contenders were born and how they made it to Churchill Downs

What do Kentucky Derby winners get?

This year’s Kentucky Derby purse — or the money distributed to the top five finishers — rose to $5 million, up significantly from $3 million in 2023.

First place receives roughly $3.1 million, while the runner-up brings in $1 million. The third-place finisher will receive about $500,000.

What is the weather forecast for the Kentucky Derby?

The National Weather Service predicts a roughly 50% chance of rain in Louisville Saturday with otherwise sunny or partly cloudy skies and a high temperature close to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There is a chance of thunderstorms expected before 8 a.m. and after 11 a.m., the agency says.

According to the NWS, a roughly 80% chance of rain is in play for Friday, possibly setting the stage for some muddy conditions heading into Saturday.

No Derby on record was wetter than 2018’s when roughly 3.15 inches of rain fell at Churchill Downs.

Do you have a question about the Kentucky Derby for of service journalism team? We’d like to hear from you. Fill out our Know Your Kentucky form or email