Since the official Kentucky Derby (gr. I) chart began listing an "off" time in 1963, the race has never started past 5:42.30, the estimated post time of the 1971 running won by Canonero II. That will change this year.
Because the Triple Crown races are moving from ABC to NBC Sports, the network is seeking to maximize exposure by placing the three races between NBA playoff games.
Thus, the post time for the three races, the May 5 Kentucky Derby, May 19 Preakness (gr. I), and June 9 Belmont Stakes (gr. I), will be 6:04 p.m. (EDT).
In recent years, the Derby has usually seen a post time between 5:30 and 5:35. However, the 2000 Derby won by Fusaichi Pegasus had a 5:29 p..m. post time. The 2000 Preakness, won by Red Bullet, and the 2000 Belmont, won by Commendable, both saw the fields spring from the gate at 5:28 p.m.