The 141st Kentucky Derby runs Saturday, and this year's field figures to be one of the deepest in recent memory. The Run for the Roses is always memorable for different reasons — last year, it was because prohibitive favorite California Chrome figured to launch his Triple Crown campaign, and he did — and this year's is already notable because of how strong the field will be.
Workouts begin at Churchill Downs on Tuesday morning, and the 20-horse field will be set Wednesday with the 2015 Kentucky Derby draw at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. Expected atop the field are American Pharoah and Dortmund, a pair of heralded 3-year-olds under the guise of trainer Bob Baffert, a three-time winner under Churchill Downs' famed twin spires.
American Pharoah has not lost since his first race and most recently stormed to an eight-length victory in the Arkansas Derby. The undefeated Dortmund was sired by 2008 Derby winner Big Brown, who was such a highly rated horse that he became the first horse since 1929 to win the Kentucky Derby from the No. 20 gate when he won by nearly five lengths.
Also expected among the field's favorites is Carpe Diem, trainer Todd Pletcher's Blue Grass Stakes winner.
Preceding Saturday's Kentucky Derby is Friday's Kentucky Oaks, the premier race for 3-year-old fillies. The Oaks has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, but it's always been right there on the Churchill spring meet calendar. It's also running its 141st edition this year.
The Oaks' post time is 5:45 p.m., and live coverage begins on NBC Sports Network at 3 p.m.
The 141st Kentucky Derby posts at 6:24 p.m. NBC's live coverage, which will include plenty of its typical human-interest storytelling as well as live coverage of the undercard races from Churchill Downs, begins at noon on NBC Sports Network. The coverage will then switch to NBC at 4 p.m.
Notable Kentucky Derby Week Events
Tuesday - Workouts begin in the morning
Wednesday - Draw occurs, 5:30 p.m., TV: NBC Sports Network
Friday - Kentucky Oaks, 5:45 p.m. post time, TV: NBC Sports Network, 3 p.m.
Saturday - Kentucky Derby, 6:25 p.m. post time, TV: NBC Sports, 4 p.m.
All times listed in Eastern.
SB Nation presents: The Kentucky Derby's best mint julep