Updated on 05/04/2013 12:31PM

Kentucky Derby: Rain turns track sloppy


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – As of 1 p.m. Eastern, the updated forecast for the balance of Kentucky Derby Day is not encouraging.

With the main track at Churchill Downs already downgraded to sloppy and the turf course to good after several hours of a steady drizzle, there is little sign of a let-up, according to the latest forecast from TheWeather Channel.

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The hour-by-hour forecast calls for continued light rain until about 5 p.m., when the precipitation is supposed to become even heavier. At 6 p.m., the forecast is for cloudy skies, after which rain is supposed to resume. Post time for the 139th Kentucky Derby is 6:30 p.m.

Radar continues to show a dense cover of rain moving slowly in a northeastern direction from the southwest. High temperatures will reach the low 60s.

Churchill track superintendent David Lehr has kept the track sealed all day. Clearly, he will continue to monitor the situation closely and act accordingly. Although it rained at Churchill and the surrounding area shortly after the Kentucky Oaks was run Friday, there was not much overnight rain, and the track was rated fast through the fifth race.

Only five of the 19 runners in the Derby have ever raced on an off track: Revolutionary, Giant Finish, Palace Malice, Itsmyluckyday, and Vyjack.

The last year for a Derby with an off track was 2010.

With the turf downgraded to good, the chance of Point of Entry scratching from the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic would seem to increase. Trainer Shug McGaughey has said he will consider scratching his turf star from the race if the course became too saturated.