Kentucky Derby 2018: What to know about 'the most exciting two minutes in sports'

Saddle up: the 2018 Kentucky Derby is almost here.

Now in its 144th year, the thoroughbred horse race, deemed the "most exciting two minutes in sports," will kick off Saturday at Churchill Downs in Louisville.

Read on for a look on how to tune in and what to know ahead of the race.

When is the post time? 

Post time for the race will be at 6:46 p.m. ET on May 5. The race will air live on NBC.

The Derby website says you can also watch on NBCSports.com/LiveExtra, the NBC Sports Extra App and TwinSpires TV.

Who is the early favorite for this year?

That’s Justify, who landed the No. 7 post position on Tuesday.

Justify was made the early 3-1 favorite for the Derby, with Europe-based Mendelssohn the 5-1 second choice in a full field of 20 horses.

Six horses have won from the No. 7 post, most recently Street Sense in 2007.

Mendelssohn drew the No. 14 post for the big race.

What should I know about the race?

Three-year-old Thoroughbred horses compete in the 1¼-mile race, the Derby website explains.

“The Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May every year, and typically draws a crowd of 155,000 people,” it says, calling it “the longest continually held sporting event in America.”

A horse named Aristides won the inaugural Derby in May 1875.

Who won last year? 

Always Dreaming won the Kentucky Derby in 2017.

However, there hasn't been a Triple Crown champion since 2015. That's when American Pharoah won the Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes all in the same year. American Pharoah was the first horse to win all three races since the 1970s.

Anything else?

The race is famously associated with spectators wearing large hats at the horse track and mint juleps, which is the traditional beverage of Churchill Downs.

The Derby website offers recipes for mint juleps and other alcoholic beverages, along with food recipes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.