Kentucky Derby Weather: Projected Saturday Forecast at Churchill Downs

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIMay 3, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 03:  Horses walk in the stable as the sun rises during morning workouts for the 2013 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Kentucky Derby is always an exciting weekend in the sports world, but this year, it may be a little bit wet. 

According to a report by, Winter Storm Achilles will hit the Midwest hard during this weekend.  According to the report, Blooming Prairie, Minnesota, has already been hit with 18 inches of snow from the storm.

This storm won’t hit Kentucky with snow, but it will certainly hit the state with plenty of rain.  A report from Marc Weinberg had this to say about the weather for the weekend.

I can say it simply... the rain chance is through the roof on Derby Day. It does appear there will be rain while you are at the track and some of it could be heavy at times. I strongly urge bringing some type of raincoat for Saturday if you are going trackside. The raincoat will also help since it will be a cool day as temperatures struggle to get out of the 50s.

One of the latest rainfall estimates has Louisville getting hit quite hard during the race according to an update from

This heavy rain could certainly put a damper on the weekend for fans heading into Louisville for the weekend. 

But while fans will likely get quite wet during the race, the race itself will be impacted even further. While a muddy track will slow down all the horses, it will make a bigger impact on the horses right out of the gate.  For a horse that tends to start slow and finish strong, the chances of pulling out a win will be hurt by the fact he'll start out even slower out of the gate.

The chance of slipping will also make this race quite dangerous if the rain continues all weekend.  Overly aggressive racers will have to tone it down or risk slipping and causing a frightening accident during the race. 

The wet weather on the dirt track could essentially bridge the gap between the faster sprinters and the rest of the field. The footing in certain areas could definitely slow down some horses, while others with more reliable footing during the race could move up with ease.

Jockeys will have a very difficult time adjusting with mud flying everywhere.  It will make it quite difficult to see and make positioning during the race much more difficult.

Even with the possible rain, though, this is still bound to be quite an exciting race.  Fans may get soaked while watching, but the event itself will make it well worth it for everyone in attendance.