Saturday evening, the biggest race in the Triple Crown takes place after a previous delay due to COVID-19. The Kentucky Derby will take place at Churchill Downs as the second leg of the series, following the Belmont Stakes. Here's when the time-honored event takes place as fans place bets on the top options.
Coverage for the Kentucky Derby begins at 2:30 p.m. ET. NBC will air the action and pre-race festivities while setting the stage for Saturday evening's main event at 7:01 p.m. ET. Viewers can also tune in on the NBC Sports app, as well as the website. While race organizers originally planned on allowing an estimated 23,000 fans, this will no longer be the case. A recent increase in positive cases resulted in a change in procedure.
"The Kentucky Derby is a time-honored American tradition which has always been about bringing people together," race organizers said in a press release. "However, the health and safety of our team, fans and participants is our highest concern. With the current significant increases in Covid-19 cases in Louisville as well as across the region, we needed to again revisit our planning."
When the organizers originally announced the race's delay, Churchill Downs CEO Bill Carstanjen said that they would make the postponed Kentucky Derby a "special day." He also expressed confidence that the race would run with fans in the building once again due to it being a "participatory event." This setup is no longer the case, but the Kentucky Derby will continue on Saturday.
"The virus is still aggressively spreading in Kentucky, and the White House has announced that Jefferson County and the City of Louisville are in a 'red zone' based on increases in cases," Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said. "[...] I applaud Churchill Downs for continuing to monitor the virus and for making the right and responsible decision."
Heading into the main event, Tiz the Law is the favorite in the field of 16 horses, especially after three horses pulled out due to injuries or illness. Art Collector, King Guillermo and Finnick the Fierce will all miss the Kentucky Derby. If Tiz the Law wins on Saturday as expected, he will move one step closer to winning the Triple Crown.
To achieve the win, however, Tiz the Law will first have to hold off several other top competitors. Authentic is the top option and currently faces 8-1 odds to win on Saturday. Hall of Famer Bob Baffert trained Authentic after previously training American Pharaoh and Justify, the last two horses to win the Triple Crown.