The bourbon and mint juleps will be flowing at Churchill Downs for the 148th running of the Kentucky Derby, which hopes to race past last year’s controversy

The 2021 winner, Medina Spirt, was disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance. Bob Baffert, the horse’s Hall of Fame trainer and a six-time Derby winner, was banned by Churchill Downs for two years. Baffert maintains he did nothing wrong, and is suing Churchill Downs in federal court to end his suspension.

“It killed me when they made a big deal taking [Medina Spirit’s] name off, in the paddock,” Baffert told ESPN in an interview published Friday. “And they took my signs down at the barn. It’s tough to see that, but you know what, at the end of the day, when the facts come out... it tells a different story.

» READ MORE: What to watch for in the 2022 Kentucky Derby

For the first time since 2019, there will be no attendance cap at Churchill Downs, so you can expect upward of 150,000 fancy-hat-wearing race fans in the stands to watch the the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown.

Zandon (3-1), fresh off winning last month’s Blue Grass Stakes, is the odds-on favorite for Saturday. The 3-year-old thoroughbred will start from the No. 10 post. Just two other horses — Epicenter (7-2) and Messier (8-1) — enter the race with odds less than 10-1. But as Ed Barkowitz pointed out, the only horse starting with the letter Z to win the Kentucky Derby was Zev, way back in 1923.

And yes, Messier is named after NHL Hall of Famer Mark Messier.

New Sunday Night Football play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico will handle hosting duties for the sixth 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.).

Also joining the broadcast for the second straight year will be MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, who will be tracking the changing odds throughout the day and which horses may be getting support in the run-up. One person he’ll be keeping an eye on is Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, a Houston furniture store owner who told the Las Vegas Journal-Review he plans to bet between $2 to $3 million on the race, which would be the largest bet in Kentucky Derby history.

Here’s everything you need to know to watch or stream the 2020 Kentucky Derby:

What time does the Kentucky Derby start?

NBC’s live coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m. Eastern, hosted by Tirico. The race will post at 6:57 p.m., and will stream on the NBC Sports App and on Peacock. Early coverage will begin at noon on USA Network.

  • When: Saturday, May 7

  • Where: Churchill Downs, Louisville, Ky.

  • Post time: 6:57 p.m. Eastern

  • Host: Mike Tirico

  • Race caller: Larry Collmus

  • TV: NBC

  • Streaming: NBC Sports app (requires cable authentication), Peacock (requires subscription)

Tirico will be joined by analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, longtime handicapper Eddie Olczyk, and a host of reporters, including Ahmed Fareed, Britney Eurton, Donna Brothers, Kenny Rice, and Nick Luck.

Also joining the broadcast will be Rebecca Lowe, who will serve as a feature host during Saturday’s coverage after hosting the network’s Premier League studio shows, which will be filmed live from Churchill Downs.

Who won the Kentucky Derby in 2021?

The winner of last year’s Kentucky Derby was Medina Spirit, but the victory was stripped away by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission after the horse tested positive for the steroid betamethasone. Medina Spirit was just the second horse in the race’s 147-year history to be disqualified over a banned substance — the first was Dancer’s Image in 1968.

Instead, Mandaloun — ridden by jockey Florent Geroux and trained by Brad H. Cox — was declared the winner, netting owner and breeder Juddmonte Farms the $1.8 million winner’s purse.

Medina Spirit collapsed and died on Dec. 6 of a heart attack following a training run at Santa Anita, the Associated Press reported. A necropsy found no definitive cause of the horse’s death.

The 20 horses and their odds of winning

  1. Mo Donegal (10-1)

  2. Happy Jack (30-1)

  3. Epicenter (7-2)

  4. Summer is Tomorrow (30-1)

  5. Smile Happy (20-1)

  6. Messier (8-1)

  7. Crown Pride (20-1)

  8. Charge It (20-1)

  9. Tiz the Bomb (30-1)

  10. Zandon (3-1)

  11. Pioneer of Medina (30-1)

  12. Taiba (12-1)

  13. Simplification (20-1)

  14. Barber Road (30-1)

  15. White Abarrio (10-1)

  16. Cyberknife (20-1)

  17. Classic Causeway (30-1)

  18. Tawny Port (30-1)

  19. Zozos (20-1)

  20. Ethereal Road (30-1)

» READ MORE: Where to watch and bet the Kentucky Derby in the Philly area

Triple Crown Dates

For the second straight year, the Triple Crown’s big three races — Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont — are back in their traditional sequence and normal spots on the calendar.

This year’s Triple Crown schedule is:

  • Kentucky Derby: Saturday, May 7; Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. (NBC)

  • Preakness Stakes: Saturday, May 21; Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore (NBC)

  • Belmont Stakes: Saturday, June 11; Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. (NBC)