Kentucky Derby

The 2020 Kentucky Derby 'Unlike Any Other'

Sep 5, 2020

Updated 5:03 p.m. ET

The Kentucky Derby, usually the first weekend in May, was postponed this year until Saturday due to the coronavirus pandemic. There aren't any spectators in the stands for this year's race, which is taking place just after Louisville marks 100 consecutive days of protests against racism and police violence.

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Jim Nolan / WVXU

This week on Cincinnati Edition's Friday news review:

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Dylan Lovan / AP

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says it feels odd to announce the Kentucky Derby in September, but it's the reality of 2020 — a year when the "most exciting two minutes in sports" will go forward without spectators in the stands due the coronavirus pandemic, but crowds will gather outside the track to amplify calls to arrest and charge the officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor.

Pixabay

Kentucky reopens bars, swimming pools and music venues on Monday, allowing crowds of up to 50 people to gather indoors as the U.S. reports record cases of COVID-19.

Monday's plans are the latest in a series of reopenings phased in by Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear's administration. Already, the state has opened restaurants, some child care programs, funerals and barbershops at limited capacities, among other businesses.

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Editor's note: This story first appeared in May 2018. We're republishing it here with updates for the 2019 Derby on Saturday, May 4. 

If you're not a fan of the mint julep—an icy-minty-bourbon concoction popular around the Kentucky Derby—it's likely for good reason: you just haven't had a good one. 

It’s a rainy spring evening in Louisville, less than two weeks from one of city’s biggest events: the Kentucky Derby. On May Fourth, people from across the U.S. and world stream into town to watch a day of horse racing.

Jusitfy Prepares For A Run At A Triple Crown

May 23, 2018
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Wikimedia Commons

For the second time in three years, Thoroughbred horse racing trainer Bob Baffert has his eyes set on the Triple Crown. Justify held off the charging horses Saturday in capturing the Preakness in Baltimore. Now, it's on to the Belmont on June 9. Kentucky Thorougbred Association Director Chauncey Morris says Baffert does have a bit of history on his side.

Kentucky Derby 144: The Wettest On Record

May 7, 2018

Saturday’s 144th Kentucky Derby made history as the wettest ever, beating a hundred-year-old record set in 1918.

But the rains didn’t dissuade the crowds, who donned ponchos and sucked down mint juleps in spite of the weather. More than 157,000 revelers showed up to watch the races.

The track favorite, Justify, took home first place and overcame the so-called Apollo Curse. The colt didn’t race as a two-year-old, and it’s been 136 years since a horse has won the race without that experience.

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Erica Peterson / WFPL

It’s a cool spring morning just about dawn on the backside of Churchill Downs, eight days before the Derby. Exercise riders on gleaming racehorses trot past the barns and onto the track for a workout. Some horses have already finished and are being hosed down…they’re so warm, steam is rising off their backs when the water hits.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

You may have to pony up more than cash before your horse walks into the Winner's Circle. Increasingly buyers are realizing scientific information is key to determining whether their next yearling will be a super fast 3-year-old.

The history of black jockeys in the Kentucky Derby

May 1, 2015
Bill Brine / Flickr Creative Commons

In the early days of the Kentucky Derby, African American jockeys were a significant presence in horseracing. But as times changed, so did their participation in the sport.

As Laura Ellis and Ja’Nel Johnson of Kentucky Public Radio member station WFPL report, many think it’s unlikely that black jockeys will ever return to prominence in the sport they pioneered.