The most exciting two minutes in sports will unfold Saturday evening at Churchill Downs when the running of the 143rd Kentucky Derby commences.
With a slew of contenders headlining a wide-open field, it won't be surprising to see this year's Run for the Roses decided in compelling fashion at the wire.
Before we break down which horses could steal the show and initiate a Triple Crown bid, take a look at when and where you can catch the action.
2017 Kentucky Derby Coverage
Date: Saturday, May 6
TV: NBC (coverage starts at 2:30 p.m. ET)
Post Time: 6:34 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
|2017 Kentucky Derby Post Positions|
|1||Looking At Lee||Corey Lanerie||Steve Asmussen||+3300|
|2||Thunder Snow||Christophe Soumillon||Saeed bin Suroor||+1800|
|3||Fast and Accurate||Channing Hill||Mike Maker||+6600|
|4||Untrapped||Ricardo Santana Jr.||Steve Asmussen||+5000|
|5||Always Dreaming||John Velazquez||Todd Pletcher||+450|
|6||State of Honor||Jose Lezcano||Mark Casse||+3800|
|7||Girvin||Mike Smith||Joe Sharp||+1600|
|8||Hence||Florent Geroux||Steve Asmussen||+1600|
|9||Irap||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O’Neill||+1800|
|10||Gunnevera||Javier Castellano||Antonio Sano||+1200|
|11||Battle of Midway||Flavien Prat||Jerry Hollendorfer||+2000|
|12||Sonneteer||Kent Desormeaux||Keith Desormeaux||+4000|
|13||J Boys Echo||Luis Saez||Dale Romans||+2800|
|14||Classic Empire||Julien Leparoux||Mark Casse||+425|
|15||McCraken||Brian Hernandez Jr.||Ian Wilkes||+600|
|16||Tapwrit||Jose Ortiz||Todd Pletcher||+2800|
|17||Irish War Cry||Rajiv Maragh||Graham Motion||+600|
|18||Gormley||Victor Espinoza||John Shirreffs||+1800|
|19||Practical Joke||Joel Rosario||Chad Brown||+2500|
|20||Patch||Tyler Gaffalione||Todd Pletcher||+3300|
This year's race lacks a clear-cut favorite.
That's because the primary horses in the running for that status—Always Dreaming (+450), Classic Empire (+425) and Irish War Cry (+600)—don't boast lengthy or sterling resumes.
"I can't really recall a year when everyone was wondering which prep was a good prep and which was a bad prep," California-based clocker Gary Young said, according to Newsday's Ed McNamara. "Last year, I and a lot of others thought the winner wouldn't be coming out of the Wood or the Blue Grass, and that turned out to be the case."
Always Dreaming is a compelling choice following a first-place finish in the Florida Derby, but the knock on Todd Pletcher's prized colt is his small sample size. He has just four official entries for his career: two wins, one second-place finish and a third-place showing.
Things differ a bit for Classic Empire—breaking out of the 14th post—who responded to a disappointing third-place finish at the Holy Bull Stakes in February with an emphatic late run to take home a victory in the Arkansas Derby.
|Kentucky Derby Post History|
|Post Position||Horse||Post Wins||Win%||In The Money Finishes||Last Year's Finish|
|1||Looking At Lee||8||9.2%||17||16th|
|3||Fast and Accurate||5||5.7%||19||13th|
|6||State of Honor||2||2.3%||12||11th|
|11||Battle of Midway||2||2.6%||10||2nd|
|13||J Boys Echo||5||7.1%||19||1st|
|17||Irish War Cry||0||0.0%||3||10th|
|America's Best Racing|
Unlike Always Dreaming, Classic Empire has a racing history that includes five wins dating back to last May.
"I think I'm riding the most talented horse in the race for sure," jockey Julien Leparoux said, per Daily Racing Form's Marcus Hersh (via ESPN.com). "I think he's the best one."
However, the Graham Motion-trained Irish War Cry may have something to say about that.
Although Irish War Cry floundered to the tune of a seventh-place finish at the Fountain of Youth Stakes two months ago, he returned to form at April's Wood Memorial with a stellar late sprint.
"He was always in a smooth rhythm," jockey Rajiv Maragh said of the Wood Memorial win, per NJ.com's Keith Sargeant. "He relaxed real easily. He did everything I wanted him to do without a lot of effort. He did it all in rhythm. He wasn't rank at all. He settled beautifully."
A horse winning out of the No. 17 post would represent a first in the Kentucky Derby, but if Maragh and Irish War Cry can channel the success that allowed them to come out on top at Aqueduct Racetrack, a historic evening could be in order.