TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The 148th Kentucky Derby will take place Saturday evening just before 7 p.m. It will be cool along with a chance for showers throughout the day at Churchill Downs Racetrack.
How does the rain affect the track? The track itself is considered a “dirt track” but it’s actually made up of 75 percent sand, 23 percent silt and 2 percent clay. This mixture allows it to dry relatively fast after getting rained on.
If there is morning rain at the track, there is enough time for it dry out before race time, allowing it to be a fast track. If the rain is in the afternoon though, the track can stay wet and muddy.
A wet track gives an advantage to the horses out front because mud isn’t being thrown on them from other horses.
For this year’s race, three horses in particular have done well on wet tracks: Epicenter and Zandon have wins during previous races on a wet track, while Barber Road has the fastest time on a wet track.
Crown Pride however, hasn’t had as much success on the wet tracks, with his only loss coming on a muddy track. Ethereal Road had a quite distant third-place finish as well.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket with those horses though. There are still plenty of unknowns, 13 of the 22 horses in Saturday’s race have never run on a wet track at all.