Rain enters Derby day forecast

Updated: May 1, 2013, 11:36 PM ET
By Jack Shinar | Bloodhorse

Churchill DownsHorsephotos.comWeather could be a factor Saturday at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby.



This year's Kentucky Derby is fast approaching, but rain could also be on the way for Saturday's event at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.

As of 9 p.m. on Wednesday, weather.com was calling for a 40 percent chance of showers Saturday, increasing to a 60 percent chance in the evening. The Kentucky Derby will be run at approximately 6:24 p.m. ET.

Highs are expected to be in the low 60s with lows in the mid-50s.

Weather.com reports that a lumbering low-level pressure system combined with deep moisture channeling northward from the Gulf of Mexico creates a threat for repeated rounds of heavy rainfall Saturday across the nation's midsection. The front could move as far east as Louisville.

There is only a slight chance of rain, about 20 percent currently, for Kentucky Oaks Day, on Friday. Highs are expected to reach 77 with a low of 58.

Last year's Oaks card experienced fierce thunderstorms that forced the evacuation of the infield due to lightning strikes. The race went on as scheduled, however. The rain ended the following afternoon and the Kentucky Derby enjoyed warm temperatures and a fast track.

According to the National Weather Service, 46 percent of the prior 138 Run for the Roses experienced at least some rain during the day. The Derby was last contested over a sloppy track in 2010.

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