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Kentucky Derby to go Virtual

Last updated: 24 Apr 2020
John Eastwood 24 Apr 2020
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The race will be broadcast on NBC in America on May 2
Kentucky Derby
The 2020 Kentucky Derby will be run virtually (Getty Images)

Churchill Downs Racing Club have announced that it will conduct the Kentucky Derby as a virtual race on Saturday May 2. 

The virtual race will be telecast on NBC from 3-6 pm ET in the United States and occupy the same time slot that was scheduled for the 2020 running of the famous race. 

Dubbed the "The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown", the virtual race is a computer-simulated version of America's favourite thoroughbred event, which was postponed from its traditional running on the first Saturday in May to September 5 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The virtual race, created by Inspired Entertainment, will feature the 13 Triple Crown winners and use data algorithms, including historical handicapping information about each horse to determine the probability of their potential finishing positions. 

The race is expected to feature superstar horses of the past including Seattle Slew, American Pharoah and  Secretariat.

Racing fans will be able to visit KentuckyDerby.com from April 30  to choose their favourite horse to win the virtual race. Fans will also be encouraged to donate to COVID-19 emergency relief efforts. 

Churchill Downs has pledged to match up to $1 million of donations with funds to be directed to the Team Kentucky Fund and Direct Relief. 

A small percentage will be directed towards the Relief for Equine Industry Needs, a program managed by the Churchill Downs Foundation designed to benefit workers who have been negatively impacted by coronavirus and to ensure essential care for horses throughout the pandemic. 

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