Kentucky Derby 2014 Weather: Latest Conditions for 140th Race at Churchill Downs

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2014

Fans look at a large video board before the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby horse race at Churchill Downs Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
David Goldman/Associated Press

The last thing anyone wants at the Kentucky Derby is a rainy forecast.

After all, that would water down the mint juleps, ruffle the feathers on the fancy hats and create a sloppy and muddy racing surface that might just alter the course of horse racing history if we are working under the assumption that favorite California Chrome has a chance to compete for the Triple Crown.

Fortunately for all those involved, it doesn’t look like we will see any rain Saturday. provided hourly updates for Louisville, Kentucky, and there was a 0 percent change at precipitation under partly cloudy skies for the majority of the race day. What’s more, the temperature is projected to hover in the low 70s from 3-7 p.m. ET and will provide more than ideal conditions if you are planning on attending the 140th edition of the historical race.

Morry Gash/Associated Press

CNN paints a similar picture, with intermittent clouds and the temperature listed in the upper 60s to lower 70s.

The weather certainly had news outlets and meteorologists pleased, as can be seen from these updates from NBC 29 in Charlottesville, Virginia and Dylan Dreyer of The Today Show:

John Asher of was there to capture the sunlight illuminating the famous big board at Churchill Downs:

Hopefully those in attendance brought their wallets if they get thirsty from all that sunlight. Fox Sports alerted fans to the fact that some of the specialty mint juleps in souvenir cups are going for as much as $1,000:

Even though the weather is ideal Saturday, it is interesting to point out that the surface was somewhat sloppy and muddy during the week of practice. California Chrome, who is the overwhelming favorite heading into the race, reportedly didn’t look comfortable running on it, if trainer Dallas Stewart (who is saddling Commanding Curve) is to be believed, via Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated: "I don't think he liked it. He didn't look comfortable to me."

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Considering the one lingering question surrounding California Chrome heading into the race was how he would fare outside of his home state, the muddy conditions in practice may be cause for concern.

However, the weather is ideal Saturday, and this is too talented of a horse to fall short.

He will seize an early lead given his solid posting position (he drew the No. 5 when they were announced) and use his incredible closing speed to register a victory. He has a four-race winning streak right now and was never really challenged in any of those events.

Expect more of the same under partly cloudy skies Saturday.


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