The start of the 2013 Kentucky Derby will occur when the 20 horses fortunate enough to race in the first leg of the Triple Crown take their posts at approximately 6:24 p.m. ET. However, there is plenty of other action throughout Saturday at Churchill Downs that even casual horse racing fans won't want to miss.
By the time the Run for the Roses gets underway, there will have already been 10 other races already taken place and several hours of TV coverage gone by.
Here is a breakdown of the information you need to know so that you don't miss the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports.
Note: All information, unless otherwise noted, is courtesy of KentuckyDerby.com.
When: Saturday, May 4
Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.
Post Time: Approximately 6:24 p.m. ET
TV: NBC (coverage begins at 4 p.m. ET)
*NBC Sports Network has coverage of undercard races, beginning at 11 a.m. ET.
Radio: Horse Racing Radio Network, Sirius 93 & 86/XM 209
|1||Black Onyx ||— ||Kelly Breen ||Scratched|
|2||Oxbow ||Gary Stevens ||D. Wayne Lukas ||24-1|
|3||Revolutionary||Calvin Borel||Todd Pletcher ||5-1|
|4||Golden Soul||Robby Albarado||Dallas Stewart||32-1|
|5||Normandy Invasion ||Javier Castellano ||Chad Brown ||8-1|
|6||Mylute ||Rosie Napravnik ||Tom Amoss ||14-1|
|7||Giant Finish||Jose L. Espinoza||Anthony W. Dutrow||43-1|
|8||Goldencents||Kevin Krigger||Doug O'Neill||5-1|
|9||Overanalyze||Rafael Bejarano||Todd Pletcher||15-1|
|10||Palace Malice||Mike Smith||Todd Pletcher||23-1|
|11||Lines of Battle||Ryan Moore||Aidan O'Brien||43-1|
|12||Itsmyluckyday||Elvis Trujillo||Eddie Plesa, Jr.||11-1|
|13||Falling Sky||Luis Saez||John Terranova II||48-1|
|14||Verrazano ||John R. Velazquez ||Todd Pletcher ||11-1|
|15||Charming Kitten ||Edgar Prado ||Todd Pletcher ||32-1|
|16||Orb||Joel Rosario ||Claude R. McGaughey III ||6-1|
|17||Will Take Charge||Jon Court ||D. Wayne Lukas ||30-1|
|18||Frac Daddy||Victor Lebron||Ken McPeek ||14-1|
|19||Java's War||Julien Leparoux||Ken McPeek||25-1|
|20||Vyjack||Garrett Gomez ||Rudy Rodriguez ||46-1|
Contenders to watch
The three-year-old overtook Verrazano as the odds-on favorite with strong showings in workouts in the lead up to the Derby.
Orb has won three consecutive races, with the most recent being the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park. That is an ideal dirt track to prepare for Churchill Downs—particularly if the speed is slowed by arduous conditions.
Joel Rosario is one of the most successful modern jockeys, yet he does not have a Triple Crown victory to his credit. The last time trainer Shug McGaughey won such a race was the Belmont Stakes in 1989.
This is a perfect opportunity for both, and though the No. 16 post position isn't ideal, there is plenty of room to maneuver and work back toward the inside with ample time to make a strong move.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert doesn't have a horse in this year's Derby, but is impressed with Shug McGaughey's job in training Orb, and believes the horse has all the makings of a champion, according to BloodHorse.com's Claire Novak.
Baffert has a great eye for this sort of thing, and it's certainly feasible that Orb will be the first odds-on favorite in five years to ultimately triumph.
The resistance to Verrazano winning comes in the form of precedent rather than any shortcomings the horse himself has. Not since 1882 has a horse been able to win this race after not racing until age 3.
Verrazano has all the tools to buck that trend, though. A rare blend of size and speed makes him a horse for any course, and he has not lost in four previous races. Winning the Wood Memorial Stakes is no small feat, and proved Verrazano could get it done against a truly top-notch field.
His 14th position in the starting gate is advantageous, because Charming Kitten will likely utilize his speed to bolt out ahead early, and 50-1 long shot Falling Sky shouldn't be of much bother.
That will give Verrazano a key early edge on the inside against Orb, and should help his chances significantly.
Now that he has dropped so much in the odds, there aren't many better bargains in terms of betting than Verrazano, which will only increase attention on him.
Todd Pletcher has five horses from his barn in this race—including co-favorite Revolutionary—but Verrazano may actually give him the best chance at finding the winners circle. Jockey John Velazquez was inducted into the Hall of Fame after winning the 2011 Derby aboard Animal Kingdom, too.
Multiple chances for history lie within Goldencents should he cross the finish line first at Churchill Downs.
Trainer Doug O'Neill won the Derby last year with I'll Have Another, and has one of the premier speed horses in this race to pull it off again. It would be just the seventh time in 139 years that a trainer has won back-to-back.
Even more significant, though, is the story of Kevin Krigger, who will get the mount atop Goldencents.
The jockey will be the second African American to ride in the Run for the Roses since 1921. Thoroughbred racing PR representative Stephen Panus highlights the other piece of history Krigger would make with a win:
Stephen Panus @Man_o_PR
May 3, 1902: Jockey James Winkfield, last African-American rider to win @KentuckyDerby, won his 2nd consecutive Derby aboard Alan-a-Dale2013-5-3 13:39:42
Goldencents is owned partially by Louisville Cardinals basketball head coach Rick Pitino, and won the Santa Anita Derby the same night Pitino's squad knocked off Wichita State in a national semifinal.
The Pitino factor and the chase for the record books should give the talented Goldencents a lot of support from hometown fans.