In a world without the coronavirus, thousands would have gathered at Churchill Downs for the most exciting two minutes in sports this Saturday.
With nearly all mass gatherings shelved in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Kentucky Derby has been pushed back to September. But that has not stopped the Kentucky Derby from running the greatest Derby of all time.
On Saturday, a computer algorithm of the greatest Kentucky Derby participants of all time will be used to run the race virtually. The race will be part of NBC’s annual Kentucky Derby broadcast on Saturday, starting at 3 p.m. ET.
The virtual Kentucky Derby will include 13 past Triple Crown winners. An algorithm will use historical handicapping information to help determine the probability of their finishing positions.
“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.”