The 149th running of the Kentucky Derby is set to take place Saturday, May 6th, at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville. This is always one of the biggest sporting events on the calendar and there will be another massive crowd on hand to experience the excitement.
While some major news always unfolds in the days directly before the Derby, other stories have been cycling around the news.
There are already plenty of betting opportunities and prop wagers available, according to Kentucky Derby odds.
Meanwhile, here is a look at three of the biggest stories circulating about the Kentucky Derby . . .
Eyeing the 150th Derby
The 150th Kentucky Derby is next year and it's no surprise that Churchill Downs has already started the planning. With a new logo unveiled last week, Churchill has also launched a new website (derby150.com) that will keep fans apprised of all of the events.
Home of the "twin spires" is throwing around plenty of money to provide a unique experience in May, 2024.
Churchill will be hosting events throughout 2023 to get fans excited ahead of the 150th Kentucky Derby. Led by a $200 million renovation plan already underway, which will improve the paddock area, doubling the paddock’s fan area and moving the stables.
The Kentucky Derby is the oldest annual sporting event in the United States. It has been run continually since 1875. Churchill was even able to hold the Derby during the pandemic in 2020, moving it off its traditional May date to the first Saturday in September.
Derby Defection of Blazing Sevens
There will be 20 3-year-olds in the Kentucky Derby as per usual, but the list of participants could change before the Monday, May 1st, draw. Blazing Sevens has withdrawn, with trainer Chad Brown saying the colt "was just a race behind." He will point toward the May 20th Preakness.
Jace's Road has thus been added to the Derby field after the defection of Blazing Sevens.
Brad Cox is the trainer of Jace's Road, and he now has four entries in the Kentucky Derby. Angel of Empire should be considered as one of the favorites ahead of the 149th running.
In Kentucky Oaks (Friday, May 5th) news, Shidabhuti has withdrawn from that race, but a "replacement" had not been determined as of this writing.
If you want action on other tracks in the days leading to the Derby, there's a hefty menu, as per horse racing odds.
There will be one big name again missing at the Derby. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is currently serving a two-year suspension handed down by Churchill Downs Inc. He failed to get that ban overturned by a federal judge.
Baffert will have his horses in the mix, but they’ll officially be under the care of other trainers.
This suspension came after the 147th Derby, "won" by the Baffert-trained Medina Spirit. That since-deceased horse tested positive (performance-enhancing drug) post-race, and was subsequently stripped of the victory. Mandaloun was awarded the title (and the winner's share of $1.8 million).
The 149th Kentucky Derby runs Saturday, May 4th at 7:30 PM, with coverage on NBC of the entire day, starting at noon. coverage an also be found on Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.