Kentucky Derby excitement ramps up on race day

The energy is palpable on Derby Day as horses saddle up to compete in the 145th Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby in Louisville and Fox News' Janice Dean is on the ground experiencing “one of the greatest moments in sports.”

A last-minute change to the lineup, which saw Omaha Beach scratched because of respiratory illness, has made Game Winner the 9-2 favorite to gallop home with the trophy, according to horse analyst and oddsmaker, Mike Battaglia.

Second choice picks include Improbable and Roadster, both at 5-1 odds. All three horses are trained by Bob Baffert who trained the 2018 Triple Crown Winner, Justify.

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“There’s no better athletes than these horses,” Jack Wolf, who founded Starlight Racing with his wife Laurie and has seen several game-winning horses over the finish line, told Dean on Saturday. “When they get out here and compete it’s beautiful.”

Nineteen horses will compete in the race, galloping 1¼ miles to the finish line on Saturday.

“You see these beautiful horses, all the activity, it’s wonderful,” Laurie said.

The Kentucky Derby, which takes place on the first Saturday in May every year, draws a crowd of 155,000 people and is typically referred to as “the longest continually held sporting event in America,” according to the Derby site.

The iconic races are a huge spectator sport, drawing families and friends wearing huge hats together to enjoy mint juleps, the signature drink of Churchill Downs.

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Dean took “Fox and Friends” viewers inside the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs on Friday, which features an exhibit dedicated to the Triple Crown horse, as well as a replica of the opening gates and playback screens of momentous races in history.