Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes wins even when he’s not playing. The future Hall-of-Fame quarterback will get the honor of starting off “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports,” properly known as the legendary Kentucky Derby. nMahomes, who also kicked off the 2023 NFL Draft festivities in Kansas City, will give the iconic “Riders Up!” declaration in the 149th edition of the most famous race on Earth.
Star QB Patrick Mahomes, the 2-time NFL and Super Bowl MVP for the Kansas City Chiefs, has been granted the special honor of Riders Up for @KentuckyDerby 149 @ChurchillDowns on Saturday.
— Churchill Downs PR (@DerbyMedia) May 3, 2023
For those who aren’t aware of what we’re talking about, “Riders Up!” is the traditional command given to let the jockeys know that it’s time to mount their horses. It happens around 19 minutes before the actual start of the race. Upon hearing the command, which takes place across from Stall 1 in the Saddling Paddock, jockeys are helped with a leg up on their mounts and turn right to the Paddock Runway to make their way into the racetrack.
Notably, this isn’t the first time an NFL star gets the honor of giving the command. Since celebrities have been in charge of the Riders Up! call — which started in 2012 —Sean Patyon and Louisville star Teddy Bridgewater got the nod in 2016 and 2015, respectively. John Calipari (2012), Charlie Strong (2013), and Julius Erving have also represented the sports world at the race, with Louisville native Jack Harlow getting the nod in last year’s edition.
The Derby will take place on Saturday, May 6, and is scheduled to start at exactly 6:57 p.m. (ET), so don’t forget to tune in to watch — or better, hear — the two-time Super Bowl champion make history.