2024 Kentucky Derby Schedule; TV Broadcast, Race Time

2024 Kentucky Derby Schedule

The 2024 Kentucky Derby schedule takes place on Saturday, Mary 4th, 2024. This will be the 150th time the Derby takes place. The race is always scheduled for the first Saturday in May. Post time for the main race is approximately 6:45 PM Eastern Time. The Kentucky Derby features the largest purse of all thoroughbred races at approximately $2,000,000 USD. We’ll take you through the schedule and all about the race and more. 

What Time is the Kentucky Derby?

If you are new to watching the race, you probably want to know what time is the Kentucky Derby? The race (or post) time for the derby is 6:45 PM Eastern Time. The main race follows a full day of racing at Churchill Downs, so you can see the time vary slightly from year-to-year, but generally goes down on time from my experience. The 150th Running for the Roses as the Derby is called will be another great race to enjoy.

How Do Horses Qualify for the Kentucky Derby?

The field for the Kentucky Derby finalizes in April. In order to participate in the race, a horse must have one or placed high in one of the qualifying races. Those races for the 2024 Kentucky Derby include: the Arkansas Derby, Wood Memorial, Santa Anita Derby, Blue Grass, Florida Derby, UAE Derby, and the Louisiana Derby. Qualifying for the race is covered by the Road to the KY Derby

2024 Kentucky Derby Weekend Schedule (May 2nd-3rd)

The 2024 Kentucky Derby has three days of events. On Thursday, May 2nd is Thurby. For those who haven’t been before, I definitely recommend it from my past experiences at the Derby. Iit combines racing, Bluegrass music, and lots of bourbon and more. The races start at Churchill Downs at 1245 PM and go until 6:47 PM or so. 

On Friday, May 3rd is the Kentucky Oaks. It doesn’t get as much press as the Kentucky Derby; however, with a $1.5 million purse it is the richest race for phillies in racing. The Oakes is a 1 1 / 8 mile race and will have as many as 14 fillies running this year. 

2024 Kentucky Derby Schedule, Post Time, and TV Coverage

Churchill Downs Horses Racing
Churchill Downs

So, if you are at the track, there are races all day before the big race. The gates at Churchill Downs typically open at 9 a.m. It starts to get busy after lunch (a lot of people stay out late the night before after the Oaks). If you want a more intimate experience, then I recommend showing up for the gate opening so you can enjoy everything before it gets crowded.

For those looking for the Kentucky Derby TV schedule, it starts at 5PM Eastern Time. The race coverage starts nationwide on NBA. The post time is set for 6:57 PM ET (3:57 PM Pacific Time). It normally takes about two minutes for the complete race once it starts. Most other sports like the NHL and NBA Playoffs normally work around the Derby race time with scheduling their games. Sometimes you can see some overlap, but that is unusual most years. 

When are the Post Positions and Kentucky Derby Odds Posted for 2024? 

For the 2024 Kentucky Derby, the race organizers will post positions and we’ll get the morning lining odds on Saturday, April 27th, 2024. This is earlier than the normal Monday release of everything. At the time of this writing, Fierceness, Catching Freedom. Forever Young, Sierra Leone, Honor Marie, Deterministic, and Durnoch are the top contenders. The Kentucky Derby kicks off the first leg of the Horse Racing Triple Crown. 

What were the 2023 Kentucky Derby Payouts? 

So, if you are the type who likes to see or take part in the odds. The 2023 Kentucky Derby payouts were: 

  • Mage paid $32.42 to win, $14.58 to place and $9/08 to show.
  • Two Phil’s paid $10.44 to place and $6.52 to show.
  • Angel of Empire paid $4.70 to show.
  • The $2 exacta (5-8) paid $330.44
  • The $1 trifecta (8-3-14) paid $491.18

What Location Should You Get Tickets at Churchill Downs for the 2024 Kentucky Derby? 

First, if you have never been to the Kentucky Derby, just going to watch the race anywhere checks off the bucket list in my opinion. I’ve been a few times and have also gone to Keeneland to watch the simulcast (but still dress up) in Lexington for it too. Depending on how late you wait to get tickets, there are some options for you. T

he Grandstand seats are less expensive and let you have a limited view of the horses around the final turn to crossing the finish. If you are able to get clubhouse seating, you are closer to the action and in a little more of a “prestigious” environment near Millionaires Row. At Churchill Downs, the higher the seats are, the better the view of the race (and higher the cost normally). 

What are the Premium Options for Seating at the Kentucky Derby? 

Churchill Downs Seating Chart for the Kentucky Derby
Churchill Downs Seating Chart for the Kentucky Derby

For the high rollers out there, if you can get one, a table for eight in Millionaires Row is one of the poshest locations to check out the race. Premium indoor dining, great views of the full track, gourmet buffet, private wagering stations, and of course TV coverage of the race are included. If you want to go down a level or two, you can also check out the Stakes Room or Homestretch Club. Both of these have great food, drink, and gambling options with TV coverage. You also never know who from the rich and famous that you’ll run into at the Derby. 

How Long is the Kentucky Derby?

A common question that comes up with my friends who do not follow horse racing at all, is how long is the Kentucky Derby? The race is 10 furlongs, or 1 1 / 4 miles long. The race generally takes around two minutes, and that is why it is also known as ‘the most exciting two minutes in sports.” 

How Fast do the Horses Run in the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby is a long race. The horses normally run around 37 MPH in this race. The top measured speed for a horse that is official is just under 44 MPH (not recorded at the Derby). 

Who are the Kentucky Winners (Last 10 Years?)

  • 2023 – Mage
  • 2022 – Rich Strike
  • 2021 – Medina Spirit
  • 2020 – Authentic
  • 2019 – Country House
  • 2018 – Justify
  • 2017 – Always Dreaming
  • 2016 – Nyquist
  • 2015 – American Pharoah
  • 2014 – California Chrome
  • 2013 – Orb

What is the “Official” Kentucky Derby Drink?

You have to have a Mint Julep when you come to the Kentucky Derby. The unofficial official drink of the race. It is made with Kentucky bourbon, fresh mint leaves, and simple syrup. The track serves more than 120,000 of these every year to patrons. 

Watch the 2023 Kentucky Derby (Full Race)

That’s all we have for now for the 2024 Kentucky Derby schedule. We’ll leave you with a replay of the 2023 Kentucky Derby to get ready for this year’s race. 

Jacey Tine

Jacey Tine is a lifelong San Diego Padres and Florida Gators fan. She has been delivering sports coverage and content for 7 years and counting now. You'll find her covering a number of sports and other news-worthy events on Sports Brackets.

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