Kentucky Derby 2023: Start time, horses, channel, how to watch and stream. With a last-minute shake-up in the lineup, will this year’s Kentucky Derby produce another unlikely winner?
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The bourbon and mint juleps will be flowing at Churchill Downs for the annual running of the Kentucky Derby, one year removed from one of the most unlikely wins in the race’s 149-year history.
Last year, Rich Strike became the second-longest shot in Kentucky Derby history to win and be draped in a blanket of red roses. It capped off a string up unpredictable races in recent years, including disqualifications in 2019 (Maximum Security) and 2022 (Medina Spirt).
Only 18 horses will race Saturday due to five late scratches. The three horses on the eligible list — Cyclone Mischief (30-1), Mandarian Hero (20-1), and King Russell (50-1) — will race. And if you think they have no chance to win, just remember Rich Strike was a last-minute replacement for late scratch Ethereal Road.
Forte, the winner of the Florida Derby, was the odds-on favorite heading into the race, but was scratched Saturday morning. Just two other horses — Tapit Trice (5-1) and Angel of Empire (8-1) — enter the race with odds less than 10-1. Japanese thoroughbred Derma Sotogake (10-1) enters with the fourth-best odds, but will start at the dreaded No. 17 gate, the only post position that has never produced a Derby champion. Derma Sotogake and Mandarin Hero, are just the third and fourth Japanese-bred entries in Derby history.
Sunday Night Football play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico will handle hosting duties for the seventh straight year, while the race will be called by veteran announcer Larry Collmus (who still gets asked questions about his viral call of an obscure New Jersey race between two horses named Mywifenosevrything and Thewifedoesntknow.).
“I get to cover a bunch of great events, and this is one of my favorites because it’s one of the most unique challenges in sports,” Tirico said on a recent conference call. “We’re talking for the seven hours — everyone from the hard-core horse player, the handicappers, to the people who wait and watch just one horse race a year. It all kind of comes together with interesting celebrities around it.”
Fresh off the NFL draft, football analyst Matthew Berry will cover the Kentucky Derby for the first time, offering tips on how to bet the horses. He’ll be joined by MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, who will be tracking changing odds throughout the day.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch or stream the 2023 Kentucky Derby:
What time does the Kentucky Derby start?
NBC’s live coverage will begin at noon Eastern, hosted by Tirico. The race will post at 6:57 p.m., and will stream on the NBC Sports App and on Peacock.
When: Saturday, May 6
Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.
Post time: 6:57 p.m. Eastern
Host: Mike Tirico
Race caller: Larry Collmus
Tirico will be joined by analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, handicappers Eddie Olczyk and Matt Bernier, and a host of reporters, including Ahmed Fareed, Britney Eurton, Donna Brothers, Kenny Rice, and Nick Luck. NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Rebecca Lowe, the host of NBC Sports’ Premier League coverage, will also join the broadcast.