What to Expect at the Derby The Kentucky Derby brings in over 160,000 race fans every year. The majority of the crowd is contained in the infield however the race track seating areas can be pretty busy all throughout the day. There are typically 13 races throughout the day and the Kentucky Derby is usually race 11. The first race of the day is at 10:30 am and the Kentucky Derby will run off right around 6:25pm. Now that you've learned what to expect on Derby day, plan your next visit to Churchill Downs.