What time does the 2020 Kentucky Derby start? What TV channel is it on?

Country House, center, races to the finish line behind Maximum Security, right, during the 2019 Kentucky Derby.
Country House, center, races to the finish line behind Maximum Security, right, during the 2019 Kentucky Derby. Maximum Security was later disqualified, giving the win to Country House.
(Matt Slocum / Associated Press)

Somehow the relevance of what time is the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in September doesn’t seem as important as on the first Saturday in May.

But that’s what we got.

The quick answer is 7:01 p.m. in Louisville, 6:01 p.m. in Chicago, 5:01 p.m. in the Rockies and 4:01 p.m. in the Golden State and up and down the West Coast.

This is about 10 minutes later than the usual start time, but certainly within that window.


Will there be Derby parties with suburbanites wearing crazy hats? Maybe, but probably not as many.

Kentucky Derby favorite Tiz The Law already has won the Belmont Stakes. That’s just one of the many unusual aspects of the 146th running of the Derby.

The timing this year gives us the opportunity to bring up one of the pressing questions of our time? Is this the last weekend you can wear white?

Well, using the extensive research of Google, you learn that the long-held belief that you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day is no longer applicable. It seems it was an invention of the rich, who believed you should wear white only when it’s warm but not when it’s cold.

But this social norm seems to have gone the way of drinking only red wine with steak and white wine with chicken or fish.

In short, wear, eat and drink what you want when you want to consume or be seen in it.

That also leads us into the idea of drinking mint juleps on Kentucky Derby Day.

Well, the mint julep can be a pretty foul drink, even to those who pretend to like it, especially when served from vats at Churchill Downs. But that won’t be happening this year.

In a surprise, Shedaresthedevil rolls past Gamine and held off Swiss Skydiver to win the Kentucky Oaks ahead of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

The only tip we can give you is to drink it from a straw and from the bottom of the glass. That way, the sugar overwhelms the taste. But this advice comes from someone who drinks Chardonnay with his steak.

Since you probably aren’t going to be in Louisville to see the race in person, unless you are an owner, trainer, jockey or essential personnel, here’s how to experience the race.

The first race on the card is 11 a.m. on the East Coast (8 a.m. in Los Angeles), and that coverage can be found on FS1 until 2 p.m./11 a.m.. For reasons someone can explain, but not in this post, Race 7 will occur in the next half hour of coverage but only on FS2. At 2:30/11:30, coverage switches to the big NBC, not one of those SN knockoffs. That coverage will go until 7:30/4:30.