Patrick Mahomes’ Super Bowl tour will continue at Churchill Downs Saturday for the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby.
The two-time Super Bowl champion will deliver the famous “Riders Up” call before the start of the race.
The Derby made the announcement Wednesday, and Mahomes becomes the latest member of the NFL to make the call.
Denver Broncos head coach Sean Payton gave the call in 2016, free agent quarterback and former Louisville star Teddy Bridgewater was granted the honor in 2015, and 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield made the call in 2019.
The “Riders Up” call is the “traditional command from the paddock judge for jockeys to mount their horses in advance of the upcoming race.
Mahomes is fresh off his second Super Bowl victory after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2023 Super Bowl.
Mahomes was also named MVP of the 2022 NFL season, the second time he’s won the award in his six-year career.
The 2023 Kentucky Derby is off to a rough start with five horses scratched from the race in the past three days.
On Saturday morning, Derby favorite Forte was scratched following a workout due to concern over a bruised right foot, according to ESPN.
“They acknowledged that he had made improvement this week, but they just didn’t feel like he was 100%,” trainer Todd Pletcher told NBC, according to the Courier-Journal. “It’s a tough call. Obviously we are in an environment (where) scrutiny is super high. I’m not sure in some years it would have been an issue. But this year, it was.”
On Thursday, Churchill Downs indefinitely suspended trainer Saffie Joseph, Jr. following the sudden deaths of two horses.
“Given the unexplained sudden deaths, we have reasonable concerns about the condition of his horses and decided to suspend him indefinitely until details are analyzed and understood,” said Bill Mudd, president and chief operating officer of CDI. “The safety of our equine and human athletes and integrity of our sport is our highest priority. We feel these measures are our duty and responsibility.”
Six horses have died at Churchill Downs in recent days, according to The Associated Press.