Racing News

Country Star Martina McBride Will Sing National Anthem at Kentucky Derby 139

| Churchill Downs | 04/26/2013 #
  • Martina McBride will sing the national anthem at Kentucky Derby 139. Credit: Churchill Downs / Reed Palmer

Award-winning country music star Martina McBride, a four-time the Country Music Association (“CMA”) “Female Vocalist of the Year” who has sold more than 18 million albums worldwide, will add a new experience to her career resume on Saturday, May 4 when she performs the National Anthem prior to the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) at historic Churchill Downs Racetrack (“CDRT”) on Saturday, May 4. 

McBride will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the Derby’s enormous on-track crowd and a national television audience watching the event on NBC Sports shortly after 5 p.m. (all times Eastern). The Kentucky Derby broadcast on NBC will begin at 4 p.m. and post time for the 2013 Kentucky Derby is scheduled for 6:24 p.m.

She will perform the national anthem in the Kentucky Derby Winner’s Circle on the presentation stand, which is also known as the Cupola. 

McBride joins an impressive roster of entertainers that have performed the National Anthem on racing’s biggest day since 2009, when Churchill Downs launched the new Kentucky Derby Day tradition. Singer-songwriter-actress Mary J. Blige performed the anthem last year, following Jordan Sparks (2011), Rascal Flatts (2010) and LeAnn Rimes (2009).

McBride’s impressive roster of recordings includes 11 studio albums and 41 singles. Five of McBride’s singles have reached #1 on the Billboard country music chart and 17 others charted in the top five. McBride is tied with Reba McEntire for the most CMA “Female Vocalist of the Year” honors.

Her rendition of the National Anthem will be the second on the day at the historic track. The 113th Army Band from Fort Knox will play “The Star-Spangled Banner” earlier in the afternoon. Formed on July 8, 1840, the 113th Army Band is the second-oldest active duty Army Band after the United States Military Academy Band.

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 4, 2013 and its 2013 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 27-June 30. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at


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