Virtual Kentucky Derby to be held by Churchill Downs featuring past winners on originally scheduled date

While the real Kentucky Derby will not be taking place on the first Saturday of May as traditionally scheduled, there will still be a horse race on that date. Churchill Downs announced Thursday that 13 previous Triple Crown winners will take part in a computer-simulated version of The Run for the Roses.

The competition is part of a day-long at-home Kentucky Derby party with the goal of raising $2 million for COVID-19 emergency relief efforts. The three-hour event will include a replay of the 2015 Kentucky Derby, which kicked off American Pharaoh’s Triple Crown run, as well as the virtual race dubbed The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown. The race will use data algorithms to digitally recreate previous Derby winning-horses racing along with their abilities.

“For many fans around the country, the first Saturday in May has become a part of their family’s yearly traditions,” said Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “While we eagerly look forward to the 146th Kentucky Derby this year on the first Saturday in September, we will celebrate the annual excitement of our traditional date with our fans and community by offering ways for us to join together for a great cause. Our fans will be captivated by the realistic view of the virtual race and we can debate, as we do each year, our favorite to win.”

The Kentucky Derby is postponed until Sept. 5 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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