What time does the 2021 Kentucky Derby start? What TV channel is it on?

A rider sits atop Kentucky Derby entrant Essential Quality during a morning workout at Churchill Downs.
A rider sits atop Kentucky Derby entrant Essential Quality during a morning workout at Churchill Downs on Thursday.
(Charlie Riedel / Associated Press)

It’s the question that’s asked every first Saturday in May (or the first Saturday in September last year) with an answer that is usually in the ballpark of the previous year.

But, in honor of Jeopardy’s search for a new host (I like Anderson Cooper, so far), let’s do it in the form of a question.

Answer: 3:57 p.m. in Los Angeles, 4:57 p.m. in Denver, 5:57 p.m. in Chicago and 6:57 p.m. in Louisville. It’s shown on NBC (Ch. 4 in Los Angeles)


Question: What time is the Kentucky Derby?

So, there’s your answer, in the form of a question.

Five former Brown football players, all around 28 years old, are headed to the Kentucky Derby as members of the ownership group of Hot Rod Charlie (or as they call him, “Chuck”).

The reason it’s asked every year is it is a moving target. There was a time when the race was about 20 minutes earlier so NBC could make its time block by ending at the top of the hour. But recently, the network has sprung for the extra half-hour, so the race has moved accordingly getting it closer to primetime on the East Coast. And, as those of us on the West Coast know, it’s all about the East Coast.

The Derby is actually pretty consistent compared to some other entertainment events, such as a big boxing match or a concert. Although in boxing, they do care about the West Coast often sending off the main event at midnight on the East Coast. And how many times have you waited and waited for the main event to come on stage. Bruce Springsteen doesn’t use a warmup act, but have you ever seen his concert start at the time of his ticket?

So, you should be happy the Kentucky Derby is run pretty much run at the time its supposed to. It’s not unusual for it to go a couple minutes late if they have problems with the load of the 20 (or this year 19) horses.

Bob Baffert becomes the most successful trainer in Kentucky Derby history after his horse Medina Spirit pulls off the upset at Churchill Downs.

Still, there is plenty of pageantry to the Kentucky Derby from the singing of “My Old Kentucky Home” to the obligatory shots of people with too much alcohol in their system trying to stand up straight.

So, that’s all for two weeks until the game is played again.

Answer: Preakness Stakes



Moderator: I guess no one has rung in.