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What to know about the 2024 Kentucky Derby

The pageantry of the 150th Kentucky Derby
The pageantry of the 150th Kentucky Derby 05:14

The 2024 Kentucky Derby Saturday was the 150th running of the high-profile race. Known as the Run for the Roses, the race was the first leg of horse racing's Triple Crown, famously celebrated with mint juleps, seersucker suits and stylish hats.

Mystik Dan, an 18-1 favorite just prior to race time, won in a stunning photo finish over Forever Young and Sierra Leone. 

150th Kentucky Derby
Mystik Dan #3, ridden by jockey Brian J. Hernandez Jr., crosses the finish line ahead of Sierra Leone #2, ridden by jockey Tyler Gaffalione and Forever Young, ridden by jockey Ryusei Sakai, to win the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2024 in Louisville, Kentucky. Getty Images

Here's what you need to know about the 2024 Kentucky Derby:

Where is the Kentucky Derby held?

The Kentucky Derby was held at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Racetrack officials boast that the Run for the Roses is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in the U.S. The Derby dates back to 1875, when the track was called the Louisville Jockey Club.

What time was the Kentucky Derby?

Post time for the Kentucky Derby was 6:57 p.m. EDT. The race is traditionally held on the first Saturday of May and had been on that day for 73 years — from 1946 to 2019 — before the coronavirus pandemic's disruption to everyday life in 2020 moved the Derby to September. It returned to May in 2021 and has since stayed on the first Saturday of the month.

The Derby has been held on every day of the week except for Sunday, but it's been on the first Saturday in May a total of 92 times.

How long is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby has been 1 1/4 miles long since 1896. While the dirt track at Churchill Downs is only a mile long, the starting gate and the finish line are in different places, allowing the race to go that extra quarter mile.

What were the Kentucky Oaks results?

The Kentucky Oaks is the all-filly race held a day before the Kentucky Derby. Thorpedo Anna won the so-called Run for the Lilies followed by Just F Y I and Regulatory Risk respectively on a sloppy track in front of a crowd of more than 107,000 on Friday.

How many horses run in the Kentucky Derby?

The field for the Kentucky Derby has been kept to a maximum of 20 horses since 1975. If a horse pulls out, or scratches, from the race in the days leading up to the Derby, additional horses can fill out the field until the scratch deadline. Last year's Derby field featured 18 horses after five scratched from the race.

Who was favored to win the Kentucky Derby?

Fierceness, the winner of March's Florida Derby, was named the morning line favorite by Churchill Downs oddsmaker Mike Battaglia with 5-2 odds. The bay colt was followed in the morning line odds by Sierra Leone at 3-1 and Catching Freedom at 8-1.

In the end though, it was Mystik Dan, who had opened at 20-1 odds, who came away with the win. 

What horses ran in the Kentucky Derby?

Here's the complete list of the horses running in the Kentucky Derby in order from post closest to the inside of the track out with their morning line odds:

  • Dornoch (20-1)
  • Sierra Leone (3-1)
  • Mystik Dan (20-1)
  • Catching Freedom (8-1)
  • Catalytic (30-1)
  • Just Steel (20-1)
  • Honor Marie (20-1)
  • Just a Touch (10-1)
  • T O Password (30-1)
  • Forever Young (10-1)
  • Track Phantom (20-1)
  • West Saratoga (50-1)
  • Endlessly (30-1)
  • Domestic Product (30-1)
  • Grand Mo the First (50-1)
  • Fierceness (5-2)
  • Stronghold (20-1)
  • Resilience (20-1)
  • Society Man (50-1)
  • Epic Ride (50-1)

How much is the Kentucky Derby purse?

The Kentucky Derby purse was raised to $5 million for the 150th running after being $3 million since 2019. The additional prize money means the winner will collect $3.1 million with $1 million for second place, $500,000 for third, $250,000 for fourth and $150,000 for fifth.

How much are Kentucky Derby ticket prices?

Tickets were still available in the days leading up to the Kentucky Derby, starting at $130 and going up to five figures. The big race is the 12th of the day at Churchill Downs — post time for the first race is 10:30 a.m. EDT — with two more races scheduled for Saturday night after the Derby.

The $130 tickets are for general admission to the racetrack's infield. While the area is surrounded by the track, tickets are sold on Ticketmaster with a disclaimer that they don't come with a seat, view of the track or access to the frontside of Churchill Downs and its newly renovated paddock area. The Derby's website says fans can "watch the races from the world's largest 4K video board."

For $275, tickets were available for the part of the infield near the final turn, when the horses make the closing sprint down the homestretch to the finish line. Those tickets also don't have seats or a view of the track, and they have a $52 service fee added on Ticketmaster.

Tickets for reserved seats throughout Churchill Downs were recently being sold for Derby day, ranging from a $750 ticket — plus a $127 fee — to a $3,500 ticket with a $595 fee.

What were the 2023 Kentucky Derby results?

Mage won the 2023 Kentucky Derby with 15-1 odds. The chestnut colt crossed the finish line first with a winning time of 2:01.57 ahead of Two Phil's and Angel of Empire, who came in second and third respectively.

The field rounds turn one during the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky.
The field rounds turn one during the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 6, 2023, in Louisville, Kentucky. Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

What are the fastest Kentucky Derby times?

Secretariat holds the record for the fastest Kentucky Derby time, finishing the 1 1/4 miles in 1:59.40 in 1973. Before then, the record was 2 minutes flat, set by Northern Dancer in 1964. In 2001, Monarchos recorded a winning time of 1:59.97 for the second-fastest Derby time.

Mystik Dan finished in 2:03.34. 

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