The Kentucky Derby is America's oldest continuously held major sporting event. Since its inaugural running on May 17, 1875, the race has been held without interruption at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, and has brought us all the mint juleps, oversized hats, and thrilling close calls our hearts can handle. But this year, things will be different. Instead of being held on the first Saturday in May, the Derby has been rescheduled to September 5, 2020.
However, that doesn't mean you can't still celebrate. On Saturday, May 2 — the day the race would have been held — there will be a virtual Kentucky Derby racing event. The day will include a virtual tour of Churchill Downs, a movie about the history of the race, a fascinator crafting session, a virtual fashion contest, and more, all to support COVID-19 relief.
The highlight of the event will be a historic "Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown," in which each of the 13 horses to ever win the Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes will compete in a computer-generated fantasy race. For even more festivities, join Country Living magazine for a virtual Kentucky Derby party starting at 11:30 a.m.
What is the "Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown?"
The "Triple Crown Showdown" will be an animated race created using computer-generated imagery and results; the competitors will be the 13 previous Triple Crown winners. Justify, the horse who won the Triple Crown in 2018, is the only horse in this race who is still alive. Other famous horses who will race include American Pharoah (the winner in 2015) and Secretariat (1973).
According to the Kentucky Derby's website, the winner of the virtual race will be determined by analyzing each of the horses's past performances and combining that data with the opinions of horse racing experts. That information will be fed into a computer model that will "determine the final result by using these probabilities in conjunction with random number generation." It sounds like this race, just like any other race, will leave a lot up to fate.
How do I watch the virtual Kentucky Derby 2020?
The "Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown" will air on NBC at 5:45 p.m on May 2, 2020. You can also watch the race live on the NBC app on most devices, including iOS, Android, Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Samsung Smart TV, and XBox One, although you'll need a cable log in.
Don't have cable? There are still a few ways you can watch.
FuboTV: Fubu costs $54 a month for 109 channels. There's a seven-day free trial.
Hulu + Live TV: If you've already got Hulu, this add-on costs $55 a month. If you don't have Hulu, you can start a free one-month trail now.
YoutubeTV: Youtube's $50 a month TV streaming service includes live TV from 70+ channels, plus local sports and new. There's a two-week free trial.
Can I bet on the simulated Kentucky Derby race?
U.S. law forbids betting on virtual races. However, you will be able pick which horse you think will win the race. If your horse wins, you will be entered into a random drawing to win a four-day, three-night all-inclusive Kentucky Derby experience. To enter and place your "bet," all you need to do is donate here to support COVID-19 relief; entries close at 5:30 p.m. ET on May 2. Donations will support Team Kentucky Fund and Direct Relief. The Churchill Downs Foundation will match every dollar donated up to $1 million.
What are the virtual Kentucky Derby 2020 odds?
Secretariat is the favorite in this race, although he's got close competitors in Citation, Affirmed, and Seattle Slew. Here are the odds for the "Triple Crown Showdown."
Affirmed; 1978 (5-1)
Assault; 1946 (20-1)
Secretariat; 1973 (7-2)
Sir Barton; 1919 (20-1)
Seattle Slew; 1977 (5-1)
American Pharoah; 2015 (6-1)
Gallant Fox; 1930 (20-1)
Citation; 1948 (4-1)
War Admiral; 1937 (8-1)
Whirlaway; 1941 (6-1)
Count Fleet; 1943 (6-1)
Justify; 2018 (15-1)
Omaha; 1935 (20-1)
Are there other virtual Kentucky Derby events?
Officials came up with an entire day of programming. Here is the full schedule of online Kentucky Derby events, as well as how to watch them all.
9 a.m.: Virtual tour of Churchill Downs; LIVE on KY Derby social media
10 a.m.: Virtual tour of Claiborne Farm; LIVE on KY Derby social media
12 p.m.: "The Greatest Race"- Kentucky Derby Museum Movie; KY Derby social media
12:15 p.m.: Kentucky Derby Museum kids craft; LIVE on KY Derby social media
12:45 p.m.: Triple Crown Showdown: Handicapper Roundtable; KY Derby social media
1 m.: DIY fascinator making; LIVE on KY Derby social media
2 p.m.: Bourbon, Horses & History: Stories & Cocktail Crafting; LIVE on KY Derby social media
3 - 6 p.m.: NBC
5 p.m.: Virtual toast; KY Derby social media
5:15 p.m.: My Old Kentucky Home; KY Derby social media
5:45 p.m.: Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown; NBC
6 - 8 p.m.: Arkansas Derby; NBCSN
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