2021 Triple Crown Series Kicks Off With The Kentucky Derby On Saturday May 1

Thoroughbred Racing’s Triple Crown Series returns to its normal date pattern this year after a 2020 season that saw Covid-related issues force the Kentucky Derby and Preakness to run in fall, and without spectators. 

The Kentucky Derby kicks off the Series May 1, followed by the Preakness on May 15 and the Belmont on June 5.  

Leading Derby candidate Essential Quality shipped into Churchill Downs on April 5. The Kentucky-bred leads all three-year-old horses in points accumulated from early season preps. Photo by Coady Photography.

Derby Day of course is highlighted by the Grade 1, $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve. Post time for the “Run for the Roses” is 6:57 PM.

Churchill Downs will card a trio of additional Grade I stakes on the under card — the $1 million Old Forester Turf Classic, $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes and $500,000 Derby City Distaff. Three Grade 2 stakes are also on tap including the $500,000 Pat Day Mile, $500,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile and the $500,000 American Turf.

Bob Baffert’s Authentic won the Kentucky Derby September 5, 2020. The 2021 edition will be May 1. Photo by Coady Photography.

Derby Day’s first post is at 10:30 AM. NBC Sports Network has coverage from 12:00-2:30 PM followed by NBC’s extensive coverage from 2:30-7:30 PM. Advance betting is available the day prior (April 30), which is Kentucky Oaks Day.

The Oaks card also begins at 10:30 AM and is highlighted by the $1,250,000 Longines Kentucky Oaks (Gr. 1) which goes to post at 5:51 PM. The $500,000 La Troienne Stakes, also a Grade 1, headlines the under card along with a four-pack of Grade 2 stakes — the $400,000 Alysheba, $300,000 Edgewood, $300,000 Eight Belles and $250,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint. 

Each Rosie’s has an OTB area which features live simulcasting from up to 20 tracks on a daily basis.

Watch and wager all the Derby weekend action in Virginia at any VA-Horseplay Off Track Betting Center in Henrico (Breakers Sports Grille), Chesapeake (Buckets Bar & Grill) and Collinsville (The Windmill Sports Grill OTB), at any Rosie’s Gaming Emporium in Richmond, New Kent, Vinton, Hampton and the newest location in Dumfries, and online via TVG.com, Xpressbet.com, Twinspires.com and NYRABets.com.