Sunny morning skies and 70-degree temperatures will slowly devolve into cloudy cover and a post-time 80-degrees ahead of the 142nd Kentucky Derby Saturday Churchill Downs.
According to the latest forecast from AccuWeather.com, temperatures will rise to as high as 83-degrees but dip to 80 as morning-line favorite Nyquist, as well as top contenders Exaggerator, Mohaymen, and Mor Spirit, take to the 1 1/4-mile dirt track in front of what is expected a particularly large crowd.
Currently there is no chance for rain prior to and immediately after the race, good news for each of the 20 thoroughbreds and their jockeys in the field. A muddier track could slow the pace for the entire field and horses that were once contenders may slide behind the pack due to poorer racing conditions.
However, Nyquist jockey Mario Guiterrez won’t have to fret as this year’s conditions largely mirror those of last year. American Pharoah enjoyed mid-70 degree weather and sunny skies before he romped the field for the first Triple Crown jewel in route to horse racing’s biggest and most elusive prize.
The drier, smoother track may make it easier for Nyquist and Guiterrez to ease into the middle and top of the pack from the get go as he starts from the No. 13 post. Exaggerator will fly out of No. 11 and Mohaymen No. 14.
As the early evening race draws closer, bettors are moving some of the betting lines as well. Nyquist went from a 3/1 morning-line favorite to 2/1, according to Churchill Downs, while Exaggerator’s improved to 5/1 from 8/1. Mohaymen’s down to 10/1 to 13/1.
Post Time: Saturday, 6:34 p.m. ET
6.My Man Sam