Derby Day underway at Churchill Downs with masked fans

Derby Day underway at Churchill Downs with masked fans Photo: Kentucky Derby.

Created: May 01, 2021 01:14 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky Derby Day is underway with near-perfect weather and masked spectators milling around Churchill Downs again after not being allowed for last year’s delayed race because of the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 45,000 spectators are expected beneath the Twin Spires for the 147th Run for the Roses, about 100,000 fewer than usual. Masks are required. Food and drinks are all-inclusive to avoid long lines and separate payments for every transaction.
Last year’s Derby was moved from the first Saturday in May for the first time since 1945. It was run in September, in virtual silence and out of sequence as the Triple Crown’s second jewel. 
Unbeaten Essential Quality was the 2-1 morning line favorite for the. Last year’s 2-year-old champion is trained by Louisville-born Brad Cox, who would make Derby history as the first native son to win. The other top contenders are Rock Your World at 5-1, Known Agenda at 6-1 and Hot Rod Charlie at 8-1.
Post time is set for 6:57 p.m. Eastern for the 12th of 14 races.

(Copyright 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)