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Oaks And Derby Day Weather Facts

Posted at 3:37 PM, May 03, 2018

(LEX 18) Rain or shine, the races will go on at Churchill Downs.

Over 143 Oaks and Derby days and we’ve seen just about everything weather-wise. 

The first Saturday in May coincides with not only the Run for the Roses but also the transition from spring to summer. On Oaks and Derby Days we have seen sleet, severe thunderstorms, and sunshine. Temperatures have ranged from the 40s to 90s. 

There is a 55% and 47% chance of rain for Oaks and Derby, respectively. More recently, it has rained seven out of the last 15 derby days. Orb ran for the roses on a sloppy track in 2013. How can we forget swimming in the infield back in 2004? Kentucky Soaks was ten years ago when over one inch of rain fell throughout the day.

Kentucky Derby 122, we tracked severe thunderstorms with 70 mph winds. It has snowed on Derby and sleet was reported for four minutes in the hours leading up to the Run for the Roses in 1989.

The last completely dry Derby weekend was in 2015 when Lovely Maria won the lilies and American Pharoah started his quest for the Triple Crown. 

Check our interactive story on Kentucky Derby weather history here.