The Kentucky Derby is the start of the American Triple Crown and one of the world’s top horse races.  It returns to normal in 2021 after the date was shifted in 2020 and it was run was behind closed doors.

So, what can we expect from the 147th version of this classic race?

The Basic Details

The Kentucky Derby 2021 will take place at the Churchill Downs venue in Louisville. It goes back to its traditional date at the start of May this year, with May 1 the big day. The race lasts for a couple of minutes, which leads to its nickname as the most exciting two minutes in sport.

Those horses that can take part are all three-year-old thoroughbreds, with 20 of them making up the field. These horses have got here by competing in various races and gaining points on the road to the Kentucky Derby.

The prize fund reaches $3 million this year and the winner also stands a chance of winning the prestigious Triple Crown, with the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes to follow later in the year. The distance the horses need to run is 1 ¼ miles.

A lively, summery atmosphere is one of the key aspects of the Kentucky Derby. This was missing last year, as it was run behind closed doors in early September. This year, crowds will be allowed back in and they will be praying for warm weather.

Who Will Win It?

This is the big question that everyone wants to know the answer to in the build-up to the race. Of course, there is no way of knowing for sure. However, we can look at the list of runners and see which horses are classed as favorites due to their recent good form.

Most experts have Essential Quality listed as favorite. Trained by Brad Cox and owned by Godolphin, he has stormed to five successive victories to maintain a 100% winning record. This sees him at the top of the points list, with a total of 140.

Other horses have been performing well lately too, so there is no way it is going to be a simple victory for Essential Quality. The likes of Super Stock, Hot Rod Charlie, and Medina Spirit all being backed by different people.

One of the great things about horse races like this is that we never know for certain who will win it. The Kentucky Derby has a rich history of unfancied horses pulling off huge surprises. 2021 could see this happen again.

If we look at the horses near the bottom of the points list, we can see names such as Panadol, Crowded Trade, and Sainthood. These horses will have long odds on them and it would be a major surprise if any of them win.

Yet, a look at the biggest upsets in the race’s history reveals names like Donerail and Animal Kingdom. There is a chance that this year we witness another huge shock as an unfancied horse take home the sought-after title.

How to Enjoy the Race

Millions of people settle down to watch this race every year. The horses will be ready to start running at 6.57 pm. Don’t forget that it only lasts for a couple of minutes, so you don’t want to miss any of it.

You can also place a bet online if you want to add to the tension of the event. Check out how the Kentucky Derby handicapping works here:

A Win bet is the easiest approach, as you simply choose which horse you think will finish in first place. More complex options include a Trifecta, in which you list the first three horses to come home, in order.