The 2018 Kentucky Derby the 2018 Kentucky Derby presented by Wood ford Reserve is the 144th annual Kentucky Derby 2018 , scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 5, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. The field is open to 20 horses, with a purse of US. The Kentucky Derby is a horse race held annually in Louisville on the first Saturday in May, at the end of the two week long Kentucky Derby Festival. It is a Grade I stakes race for three year old Thoroughbreds at a distance, and has been run at Churchill Downs racetrack since its inception.
The Kentucky Derby 2018 Horse Race is set to be broadcast by NBC, with coverage by NBCSN of under card races beginning at 12:30 pm EDT and main network coverage of pre race activities starting at 2:30 pm EDT. Post time is generally about 6:30 PM EDT.
The Kentucky Derby 2018 Live is only open to three year old Thoroughbreds, thus all entrants in the 2018 Derby were foaled in 2015. The field is limited to twenty horses who qualify based on points earned in the 2018 Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series of designated races that was first introduced in 2013. This point system replaced the previous graded stakes race earnings system.
144th Kentucky Derby 2018
The top points Kentucky Derby 2018 earner in the series was Magnum Moon, winner of the Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby. Good Magic, the champion two year old from 2017, finished second in the series by winning both the Breeders Cup Juvenile and the Blue Grass Stakes. The other major prep winners were Audible Florida Derby, Noble Indy Louisiana Derby, Vino Rosso Wood Memorial, Mendelssohn UAE Derby and Justify Santa Anita Derby.
Churchill Downs also created separate qualification roads for horses based in Japan and Europe. None of the invitations for qualifiers on the Japan Road were accepted. On the European Road, the connections of Gronkowski accepted after the colt won both the Road to the Kentucky Derby Conditions Stakes and the Burradon Stakes. However, the colt subsequently became ill and had to miss the race.
Entries for the Kentucky Derby 2018 will be taken on May with the post position draw at 11:00 am ET streamed live on Kentucky Derby Facebook.
The early favorite Kentucky Derby 2018 is Justify, who has made only three starts but won each time with triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures. In the Derby, he will have to overcome the so called Curse of Apollo a reference to the fact that no horse has won the Kentucky Derby without racing as a two year old since Apollo in 1882. Justify is a natural and he’s still green, just learning how to run. He’s so talented, said his trainer Bob Baffert. But there are a lot of nice horses out there this year.
Trainer Todd Pletcher, who won the 2017 Kentucky Derby with Always Dreaming, has four of the leading contenders: Magnum Moon, Audible, Vino Rosso and Noble Indy. Magnum Moon was ranked number two on the NTRA top three year old poll of April 16 after his win in the Arkansas Derby. He will have made only four starts prior to the Kentucky Derby, like Justified not having raced at age two. Audible was ranked number three, while Vino Rosso and Noble Indy were ranked seventh and eighth respectively.
The two colts with the best form at age two, Kentucky Derby 2018 Good Magic and Bolt, were ranked fourth and fifth respectively on the same poll. They were the winter book favorites for the Derby but both suffered training setbacks that delayed their return to the racetrack. They both have one win from two starts at age three going into the Derby.
Kentucky Derby 2018 Adding an international element to the field is Mendelssohn, trained in Ireland by Aidan. Mendelssohn started his racing career on the turf, and proved his ability to ship well by winning the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar in California in 2017. However, O Brien felt that the colt would be equally suited to racing on the dirt given his pedigree. Mendelssohn is a half brother to multiple Eclipse Award-winner Beholder. Mendelssohn earned his berth by winning the UAE Derby in an “astonishing” performance while setting a track record.