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What time does the 2022 Kentucky Derby start? What TV channel is it on?

The field of 19 horses bolt out of the starting gate during the 2021 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
The field of 19 bolts out of the starting gate during the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 1, 2021, in Louisville, Ky.
(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)

It’s that time of year again. Invite the neighbors. Create a draw sheet. Dust off your most over-the-top hats. Crack open the bourbon and pour one of the most overrated drinks in the country. (Remember to drink through a straw from the bottom, that’s where the syrup in a mint julep is located.)

While trying to figure when to do all this Saturday, you must work backward and answer the pressing question: What time is the Kentucky Derby?

Rich Strike overcame 80-1 odds to win the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Here’s how the race unfolded.

Obviously, it depends which time zone you are in.

Let’s start with the location of the race, Louisville, Ky., in the Eastern time zone. Post is scheduled for 6:57 p.m. local time, give or take a minute or two, but never early.

If you are in the Midwest, say Chicago, look for a start at 5:57 p.m.

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In the Rocky Mountain zone, such as Denver, you can count on it at 4:57 p.m.

And, finally, if you are in the favored time zone of Los Angeles Times readers, it’s 3:57 p.m.

Medina Spirit owner Amr Zedan holds no ill will toward Churchill Downs and the banning of Bob Baffert. He’s running Taiba in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

Presumably you will want to know where to watch it. In short, NBC.

But let’s start at the beginning. Racing starts at 10:30 a.m. in Louisville or 7:30 in Los Angeles. In fact, Santa Anita will open its gates at 7:15, just in time for the first race.

Races 1, 2 and 3 can be found on FS2 and TVG2, not the usual TVG, but its little brother that most carriers don’t have.

USA Network takes over at noon (9 a.m. PDT) for races 4, 5, 6 and 7. In the past it would have been on the NBC Sports Network, but that went away at the beginning of the year.

The big NBC and its streaming service Peacock take over at 2:30 p.m. and go until 7:30. The Kentucky Derby is Race 12. There are 90 minutes between Races 11 and 12 so they can get in all the festivities.

And speaking of that. Things get rolling about 6:09 p.m. (3:09 PDT) as the 20 horses walk from the barns to the paddock. At 6:37 p.m. (3:37 PDT) there is the call for “Riders Up.” And finally at 6:39 p.m. (3:39 PDT) will be the playing and singing of “My Old Kentucky Home.”

Tim Yakteen took over the training of Taiba and Messier from Bob Baffert. But some still consider them Baffert’s horses. If one wins, who’ll get the credit?

And 18 minutes later, NBC race caller Larry Collmus will say some version of “And they’re off.” If you are at the track, you hear Churchill Downs race caller Travis Stone.

So that should be everything you need to know to plan your Derby Day.

As to who will win? That’s easy. The fastest horse.


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