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Downpours, Thunder Possible for the Kentucky Derby

There is a risk of drenching downpours and a locally strong thunderstorm for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2013.

The race, called "the fastest two minutes," is one and one quarter mile long. Only 3-year-old thoroughbreds can compete in the race.

Leading up to Saturday's race, the high temperature will be 82 degrees F on Friday.

"A storm system will produce thundery rains over much of Illinois and Missouri Friday into Saturday," said AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, "Drenching downpours will be drifting slowly eastward across Kentucky and Indiana during the day Saturday."

Annually, 100,000 people or more attend the race at Churchill Downs. Spectators attending this year's race may want to bring umbrellas and waterproof shoes. Seek shelter in a secure building in the event of a thunderstorm. If you can hear thunder, you can be struck by lightning.

It will be cooler on Saturday with temperatures reaching 72 degrees F.

"The weather will be unsettled with clouds and an increasing chance for shower and thunderstorm activity," said Expert Senior Meteorologist Carl Erickson.