Kentucky Derby 2019 Weather Forecast Update, Churchill Downs Track Conditions (5/4/19): Will Maximun Security Benefit From Sloppy Track Today?

It's time for the biggest run in horse racing today – the Run for the Roses at the Kentucky Derby 2019 at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Unfortunately, rain is in the forecast, but it isn't predicted as heavy as last year's drenching for the Kentucky Derby 2018 when Justify won in a downpour.

UPDATE at 2:30 p.m ET: The undercard races at Churchill Downs Saturday have so far experienced a fast track with dry conditions under cloudy skies. Rain, some heavy, is forecast to move into the Louisville area within the next hour or two. There's now a 70 percent chance of rain at Derby post time (6:50 p.m. ET).

Kentucky Derby favorite Maximum Security, at 9/2 odds, won on a muddy track at Gulfstream Pak in January 2019, so the horse is drawing plenty of attention from bettors and handicappers. Maximum Security runs from the No. 8 position.

Other horses with experience running well in off-track conditions include War of Will, Plus Que Parfait, By My Standards and Improbable.

Newsweek is live at Churchill Downs today and rain is falling across the Louisville metro area Saturday morning, with a steady drizzle and puddles on roadways but the National Weather Service isn't calling for a washout.

You can follow live updates here from the Kentucky Derby at Churchhill Downs this afternoon into this evenings race here with winner results and more from Newsweek.

There's an 80 percent chance of occasional rain during the afternoon today in Louisville with some thunder possible. Winds will be out of the north, northeast at 5 to 10 miles per hour as a cold front works its way through the region.

Rain conditions for the Kentucky Derby will likely be sloppy, forecasters said.

"Even if the rain quits a short time before the start of the race, despite the fact that the track drains well, conditions are likely to be sloppy for this year's Derby," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson said at accuweather.com.

The high temperature is 67 degrees. The good news for Kentucky Derby race fans is that the rain may subside by race time. The Weather Channel's hourly forecast predicts a 40 percent chance of showers at post time – 6:50 p.m. Eastern Time. NBC is the TV channel broadcasting the race.

The weather isn't likely to dampen the crowd. Last year's Kentucky Derby, run in a downpour, had one of the top 10 crowds of all time, with more than 108,000 on hand. More than three inches of rain fell, an all-time Derby record. Today's rainfall won't get anywhere close to that, with lighter showers and mist falling, according to predictions, rather than downpours.

The early favorite for today's race, Omaha Beach was withdrawn. So was the horse Haikal. Omaha Beach was replaced at the No. 20 post position by Bodexpress but Haikal did not have a replacement and that post position will not be filled.

Sportsline lists Maximum Security as the favorite at 9/2, followed by Improbable and Tacitus at 5/1. Game Winner (6/1) and Roadster (9/1) round out the top six.

For Sportsbook, Game Winner is listed at 19/5 followed by Tacitus at 4/1. Improbable and Maximum Security both command 5/1 odds, followed by Roadster at 7/1.

On the Kentucky Derby website, Maximum Security, Tacitus and Improbable all sit at 5-1 while Game Winner is 6/1 and Roadster 9/1.

Because of Haikal's scratch, horses will run from posts 2 through 20 on Saturday.

Kentucky Derby 2019 Post Positions

1. [No horse]

2. War of Will

3. Tax

4. By My Standards

5. Gray Magician

6. Improbable

7. Vekoma

8. Maximum Security

9. Tacitus

10. Plus Oue Parfait

11. Cutting Humor

12. Code of Honor

13. Win Win Win

14. Master Fencer

15. Game Winner

16. Roadster

17. Long Range Toddy

18. Spinoff

19. Country House

20. Bodexpress