ALTON - Mac's In Downtown Alton Derby Day Celebration is back on Saturday.

The celebration will kick off at at 2 p.m. Whiskey Dixon is the first band scheduled to play, followed by The Glendale Riders at 5 p.m. and Flatliner at 8:30 p.m.

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In the past as many as 10,000 people have collected through Mac's and the Downtown Alton area for the Derby party and owner Mac Lenhardt expects a good crowd this year with the COVID-19 restrictions lifting.

"We have three great local bands," Lenhardt said on Friday, bursting with excitement about the big day ahead. "I think many people in our market have been vaccinated for COVID-19 and they will attend. It will be 82 degrees and sunshine and it will be a fun day."

Other Downtown Alton bars and restaurants are also participating in the big day, so Downtown Alton will be very alive on Saturday.

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most iconic sporting events in the world. Every year, millions of fans tune into NBC to watch top race horses from around the globe compete in “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports.”

These are details about the Derby from NBC Sports:

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The 2021 Kentucky Derby will air on May 1 from 12 to 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Coverage is also available to stream live on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

The Kentucky Derby, historically on the first Saturday in May, is one of the most well known Grade 1 Thoroughbred stakes races in the world. First run in 1875, this 1 1/4 mile—or 10 furlongs—race kicks off the American Triple Crown of horse racing.

Related: Kentucky Derby post positions, odds

When and where is the 2021 Kentucky Derby?

The 147th running of the Kentucky Derby is on Saturday, May 1, 2021. Watch NBC Sports’ coverage from 12 to 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and from 2:30 to 7:30 on NBC, or on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Post time for the 2021 Kentucky Derby is set for approximately 5:57 p.m. CST.

The Derby is run on the dirt track at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, where it has been held since its inaugural running in 1875.

Which horses should I watch for on Saturday?

  • Undefeated Essential Quality enters the First Saturday in May as the early favorite with 2-1 odds. The stunning grey colt breaks from the No. 14 spot out of the gate. In 2020, he won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and was named Champion 2-Year-Old Male, and he most recently took the G2 Blue Grass at Keeneland. All of his high-profile connections are seeking their first Kentucky Derby win. Trainer Brad Cox looks to become the first Louisville native to saddle a Derby champ. Jockey Luis Saez seeks redemption after his historic Derby disqualification aboard Maximum Security in 2019. And famed breeder/owner Sheikh Mohammed of Godolphin is hoping to finally take the race that has eluded the racing operation for so long.
  • Rock Your World comes in behind Essential Quality at 5-1. The John Sadler trainee busted out a wire-to-wire win in his prep race at Santa Anita in April. His first two starts were on the turf, but he remains undefeated in his three career races. He enters the Kentucky Derby with a new jockey in the irons: Joel Rosario, who is seeking his second Derby win (Orb, 2013).
  • Last year’s Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert looks to break his tie with Ben Jones for most Derby wins by a trainer. In five starts, Medina Spirit (15-1) has never finished worse than second, but that included a 4 1/4-length finish behind Rock Your World in the Santa Anita Derby. Baffert teams up again with last year’s winning Derby jockey, John Velazquez.
  • Wood Memorial upset winner Bourbonic could make history with Kendrick Carmouche, who becomes the first Black jockey to ride in the Derby since 2013. A Black rider hasn’t won the Derby since Jimmy Winkfield went back-to-back in 1901 and 1902. Though a 30-1 longshot, a Bourbonic victory would also be huge for owner Calumet Farm, which holds the record for most Kentucky Derby wins but hasn’t taken the race since 1968.
  • Vicki Oliver becomes the first woman to saddle a Kentucky Derby contender since Carla Gaines in 2015. No woman has ever trained a Kentucky Derby winner. Oliver’s horse Hidden Stash hasn’t had much luck on the track this year, going 0-for-3. With Rafael Bejarano in the irons, he sets off as a 50-1 longshot.
  • If you enjoy picking horses just by their names, then consider Soup and Sandwich (30-1), trained by Mark Casse and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione. His name comes from owner Charlotte Weber, who is the granddaughter of John T. Dorrance, the inventor of condensed soup and former CEO of Campbell’s Soup.

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