A whole day of horse racing action will be held at Churchill Downs while you sip your mint juleps before the start of the 142nd Kentucky Derby. The main event can be seen on NBC at 6:34 p.m. ET, though you’ll want to tune in beginning at 4 to watch all the festivities before the race. You can stream it live on NBC Sports Live Extra if you’re not near a television.
In the Run for the Roses, Nyquist will be attempting to remain perfect after starting his career 7-for-7, including a victory in April at the Florida Derby over then-undefeated Derby contender Mohaymen. With Mario Gutierrez as his jockey and Doug O’Neill as his trainer — a combo that won the 2012 Kentucky Derby with I’ll Have Another, the possibility is strong. Still, he’s not unbeatable.
But he’ll have some strong competition from Exaggerator, who won impressively on the West Coast at Santa Anita in April. Kent Desormeaux and Keith Desormeaux, jockey and trainer of Exaggerator, would make history if their 3-year-old colt wins, becoming the first sibling team to take the Derby.
The undercard will be exciting as well. There are actually 11 races being held before the Kentucky Derby. Six of them are graded, highlighted by the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at 5:25 p.m. The Grade I Humana Distaff is a few hours earlier at 2:45 p.m.
The Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (1:13 p.m.),Churchill Downs Stakes (1:55 p.m.),and American Turf Classic (3:35 p.m.) round out the Grade II races, with the Pat Day Mile at 4:28 p.m. the day’s Grade III event.
You can follow all the action here throughout the day.
How to watch the Kentucky Derby undercard
Time: 10:30 a.m.
TV: NBCSN beginning at noon
Streaming:NBC Sports Live Extra beginning at noon
5 undercard races to watch
Grade II Churchill Distaff Turf Mile – 1:13 p.m.
Tepin, who has won her last five races on turf, enters the $300,000 Churchill Distaff Mile the overwhelming favorite with 1-2 odds on TwinSpires.com. She’s won every race of a mile in length she’s entered the past two years, too. Can Isabella Sings challenge?
Grade II Churchill Downs Stakes – 1:55 p.m.
The fast Salutos Amigos is a 5-2 favorite to take the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes, although he hasn’t picked up a victory since June 28 of last year. Calculator and Limousine Liberal both have 9-2 odds.
Grade I Humana Distaff – 2:45 p.m.
Stonetastic may be the fastest horse in the field and already has two victories in 2016, but Taris, at 5-2, is the favorite in this $300,000 race for fillies and mares ages 4 and up. Taris (3-1 odds) last won at La Canada in January. Stonetastic finished a disappointing eighth last October in the Breeders’ Cup Filly&Mare Sprint. Wavell Avenue also has 3-1 odds
Grade II American Turf – 3:35 p.m.
Airoforce won three out of four races he entered as a 2-year-old, finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, and his connections had high hopes for bigger things. It was not to be. His only starts this season resulted in eighth and 10th place finishes. Still he enters as the favorite at 4-1. Converge, Dressed in Hermes and Shakhimat each have 5-1 odds in this $300,000 race.
Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic – 5:25 p.m.
Big Blue Kitten, at 5-2, is favored to win the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic, the mile-and-an-eighth, $500,000 Grade I race that traditionally precedes the Kentucky Derby. The 8-year-old Big Blue Kitten has not raced this year after coming off three victories and a pair of second places finishes in the five races he entered in 2015. Slumber (3-1),Bolo (8-1) and Tourist (8-1) should also be in the running.
Kentucky Derby undercard schedule