When is Kentucky Derby 2022: Time, start, post positions, race distance, date, full coverage

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The Kentucky Derby is one of the most iconic sporting events in the world. Every year, millions of fans tune into NBC to watch top race horses from around the globe compete in “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports.” At this year’s race, there are high expectations on Epicenter (7-2), trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen. Asmussen has never won the Derby in 23 attempts. Zandon, trained by Chad Brown, opened as the early favorite at 3-1.

NBC is home to the 148th Kentucky Derby, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on TV, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock before, during and after. Coverage begins on Saturday, May 7 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. ET on USA Network and moves to NBC from 2:30 to 7:30.

NBC will also broadcast the 2022 Kentucky Oaks, 2022 Preakness Stakes and 2022 Belmont Stakes.

RELATED: Kentucky Derby 2022 post positions, odds announced

What is the Kentucky Derby?

The Kentucky Derby, traditionally held on the first Saturday in May, is one of the most well known Grade 1 Thoroughbred stakes races in the world. First run in 1875, this 1 1/4-mile (10 furlongs) race kicks off the American Triple Crown of horse racing.

What time is the 2022 Kentucky Derby?

The 148th running of the Kentucky Derby is set for Saturday, May 7, 2022 on NBC, Peacock, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

The weekend kicks off with the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, May 6 from 1 tp 5 p.m. ET on Peacock before moving to USA Network from 5 to 6. On Derby Day, coverage runs from 12 to 2:30 p.m. on USA Network and gallops over to NBC from 2:30 to 7:30. Post time is at approximately 6:57 p.m. ET.

Where is the 2022 Kentucky Derby?

The Derby is held on the dirt track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., where it has been held since its inaugural running in 1875.

How can I watch the 2022 Kentucky Derby?

NBC is home to the 148th Kentucky Derby, providing comprehensive race coverage and analysis live on TV, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock before, during and after. NBC will also broadcast the 2022 Kentucky Oaks, 2022 Preakness Stakes and 2022 Belmont Stakes.

RELATED: America’s Day to Wager: The experts weigh in on betting the 2022 Kentucky Derby

How are horses picked for the Derby?

Only three-year-old Thoroughbreds can qualify for the Kentucky Derby. Eligible horses compete in the Road to the Kentucky Derby, a series of prep races around the world. Horses win points for finishing in the top four spots, and the 20 horses with the most points at the end of the series gain entry into the Derby. (However, sometimes horses will scratch, giving another the opportunity to run in the Derby.)

RELATED: Kentucky Derby Contender Epicenter: Descended from Donuts and the American Dream

Kentucky Derby 2022 post positions, horses

1. Mo Donegal
2. Happy Jack
3. Epicenter
4. Summer Is Tomorrow
5. Smile Happy
6. Messier
7. Crown Pride
8. Charge It
9. Tiz the Bomb
10. Zandon
11. Pioneer of Medina
12. Taiba
13. Simplification
14. Barber Road
15. White Abarrio
16. Cyberknife
17. Classic Causeway
18. Tawny Port
19. Zozos
20. Ethereal Road
21. Rich Strike

Who won the 2021 Kentucky Derby?

On Monday, February 21, Brad Cox’s colt Mandaloun was named the official winner of the 2021 Kentucky Derby when the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission stripped Bob Baffert’s Medina Spirit of the title due to a failed post-race drug test.

Medina Spirit surprised at Churchill on the first Saturday in May with a wire-to-wire win, giving Baffert a record seventh victory in the race.

Just days later, Baffert, who has a contentious history with positive drug tests, publicly announced that the colt had failed his postrace drug test. Medina Spirit was found to have 21 picograms of the steroid betamethasone in his system, and though a picogram is a trillionth of one gram, it was still double the legal threshold to race in Kentucky. It was later revealed that the betamethasone came from a topical antifungal ointment called Otomax that was used to treat dermatitis.

Churchill Downs later suspended Baffert from racing at its facility, and the New York Racing Association followed suit.

Medina Spirit went on to race in the Preakness under strict conditions, finishing third. He raced three more times, winning the Shared Belief and Awesome Again (G1) and taking second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

Exactly one month after his final race, Medina Spirit collapsed and died after a workout at Santa Anita on Dec. 6. He was posthumously named a finalist for 2021 Eclipse Award for Champion 3-Year-Old Male.

Juddmonte-owned Mandaloun was second to the wire with Florent Geroux in the irons. He’s since picked up wins in the Pegasus Stakes (Listed) and the Haskell Stakes (G1) (elevated to first after Hot Rod Charlie was disqualified for interference) at Monmouth, as well as the Louisiana Skates (G3) at Fair Grounds.

What are the biggest Kentucky Derby traditions?

Formal yet bold outfits for both men and women are synonymous with the Kentucky Derby. Celebrities and fans a like go all out, donning creative and colorful hats, bright colors and wild patterns. In fact, hats and outfits are such a big part of the Kentucky Derby that the Derby Museum has a whole exhibit for the most lavish fashions. The Mint Julep, made with Kentucky bourbon, is the signature drink of the Derby.

Kentucky’s state song “My Old Kentucky Home” is played during the pre-race post parade. The song, written by Stephen Foster in the 1850s, depicts slavery in the pre-Civil War South, and the song’s exact origins and intentions have been subject to debate and varying interpretations over the last 170 years. There have been renewed calls to re-examine the song’s place – on Derby Day and in American society at large – in recent years. After the race, the champion horse is given the iconic garland of roses in the winner’s circle.

Betting and horse racing go hand in hand. There will be a whole weekend of stacked racing cards at Churchill Downs, but the Kentucky Derby takes the betting cake.

Watch the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 7 on NBC, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app and Peacock from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET.

Flightline, Pletcher, Godolphin lead way at Eclipse Awards

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Pat McDonogh/USA TODAY NETWORK
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PALM BEACH, Fla. — Flightline ran away in all six of his races, and ran away with top honors at the Eclipse Awards on Thursday night.

And trainer Todd Pletcher, for the first time in nearly a decade, received the sport’s top prize as well.

Flightline – the now-retired winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic to cap an unbeaten six-race career – won Horse of the Year as well as the Eclipse as top Older Dirt Male. It was no surprise that Flightline took home both awards, and he’s now standing stud.

“We’ll hope that his future is as bright as his past,” co-owner Kosta Hronis said.

Godolphin was also a double winner, sweeping the Eclipses as top owner and top breeder for the second consecutive year. It was also the third consecutive top-owner Eclipse for Godolphin.

“This is truly a golden era for Godolphin racing,” said Michael Banahan, the stable’s director of bloodstock. “And these awards and accolades recognize how special it is.”

It was Pletcher’s eighth Eclipse, extending his record for the most by any trainer, and his first since 2014. It was one of the few close races in the voting; Pletcher got 108 first-place votes, while four-time Eclipse winner Chad Brown got 95 and finished second.

“This really is not an individual award. This is a team award,” Pletcher said. “This is an award about the owners, and most importantly, the horses.”

Irad Ortiz Jr. won the Eclipse as top jockey for the fourth time in the last five years; he tied Pat Day and Javier Castellano for third-most in history, behind only seven-time winner Jerry Bailey and five-time winner Laffit Pincay Jr.

Ortiz led all jockeys with more than $37 million in purses in 2022.

“Wow,” Ortiz said. “It’s been an amazing year for me.”

Forte won the Eclipse as 2-year-old male, and will enter this year’s Triple Crown season as one of the early favorites.

“We’re all in this game for a horse like Forte,” said Mike Repole, the horse’s co-owner along with Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola and Teresa Viola. “We’re all in this game to one day maybe own a 2-year-old that has a chance. It’s great to have the Kentucky Derby favorite. … Forte’s an incredible horse.”

Epicenter won the 3-year-old male Eclipse, after running second at both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, then winning the Jim Dandy and Travers at Saratoga over the summer.

Wonder Wheel was the winner as 2-year-old filly, while Nest won the Eclipse in the 3-year-old filly division. Malathaat was the Eclipse winner for older dirt female, Goodnight Olive for female sprinter and Regal Glory for female turf horse.

Elite Power was picked as the top male sprinter, Modern Games won the Eclipse for male turf horse, and Hewick was the Eclipse winner in the steeplechase division.

Jose Antonio Gomez won as top apprentice jockey.

The Eclipse Awards are voted on by members of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the Daily Racing Form and National Turf Writers And Broadcasters.

Trainer Bob Baffert’s ban from racing in New York is over

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Courier Journal/USA TODAY Sports
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Bob Baffert can once again enter horses at New York’s major tracks.

The Hall of Fame trainer’s one-year ban by the New York Racing Association ended Wednesday, allowing him to enter horses as soon as Thursday.

“I was disappointed they even did it, but it’s water under the bridge,” Baffert told The Associated Press by phone.

He was suspended last June for repeated medication violations, although none of them occurred in New York. He was barred from Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga. A panel credited Baffert for time served for an initial suspension, which allowed him to return this week.

Aqueduct is currently holding its 44-day winter meet that runs through March 26. Baffert doesn’t typically run horses this time of year in New York; he targets the biggest stakes races at Belmont in the spring and Saratoga in the summer.

Baffert remains under a two-year ban by Churchill Downs Inc., which sidelined him after Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for a substance that is not allowed on race day. The penalty expires shortly after the Kentucky Derby in May. However, Baffert is fighting the suspension in federal court.

The Southern California-based trainer has a big weekend coming up around the country, although not in New York.

He has horses running at three tracks on Saturday.

Defunded is entered in the $3 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream in Florida, where Baffert assistant Jimmy Barnes will be on hand.

Arabian Knight goes into the $750,000 Southwest Stakes as the early favorite at Oaklawn in Arkansas. Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby prep race a record-tying five times and will travel to Hot Springs to watch the 3-year-old colt.

“It’s going to be a good test for him. The only way to find out is to run him long,” he said. “It’s going to take a superior horse to do that and I’m hoping that he is.”

The Southwest offers Kentucky Derby qualifying points to the top five finishers. Arabian Knight won’t receive any points regardless of his placing because of Baffert’s Derby ban.

Hopper will run in the $200,000 San Pasqual Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita.

On Sunday at the same track, Baffert has entered four of the five horses set to run in the $200,000 San Vicente Stakes for 3-year-olds.