I can't believe it is almost time for Kentucky's annual Run for the Roses. This year is a milestone as the 150th Kentucky Derby is set for the first Saturday in May.

The 150th Kentucky Derby

On May 4th at Churchill Downs in Louisville, thousands of dapper folks in seersucker and hats will fill the stands, and party people will flood the infield for the day. Although the real action is only two minutes long, the pomp and circumstance leading up to and immediately after the race uphold decades-old traditions of one of the most famous sporting events in the world.

Country Music Icon Wynonna Judd to Sing National Anthem

Before the race, derby-goers join together to sing My Old Kentucky Home with pride. This year, it is fitting that Kentuckian Wynonna Judd will perform the Star-Spangled Banner. Five-time Grammy Award winner, with platinum albums and a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame, Judd hails from Ashland in Eastern Kentucky.

The Judds Love Is Alive The Final Concert Featuring Wynonna - Arrivals
Getty Images

"I am so proud to represent my home state, taking part in one of the most storied and iconic traditions,” Judd said in a press release. “The Kentucky Derby is something I look forward to every year and being able to perform this year makes the momentous event even more special.”

Other Country Stars Who Have Sung the Kentucky Derby National Anthem

Carly Pearce (2023), Brittney Spencer (2022), Jennifer Nettles (2019), Lady A (2016), Jo Dee Messina (2014), Martina McBride (2013), Rascal Flatts (2010) and Leann Rimes (2009). Not of the country genre necessarily, but Owensboro's own Pentatonix performed in 2018.

Here is fellow Kentuckian Carly Pearce's beautiful rendition last year at the derby:

When Can I Watch the 2024 Kentucky Derby?

Martha Stewart will also be there with an important role as the "Rider's Up!" announcer which signals to all of the jockeys that it is time to mount their horses for the race. The festivities will be televised on May 4th, 5 PM ET/4 PM Central on NBC.

WOMI-AM logo
Get our free mobile app

I Bet You Didn't Know All These Celebrities Were Kentucky Colonels

Gallery Credit: Dave Spencer