Churchill Downs is set to host the first-ever virtual Kentucky derby horseracing event.
This news comes after CDI announced that the 146th Kentucky Derby would not be held on May 2 and would instead be moved to September 5 due to the coronavirus pandemic. CDI made the decision to host a virtual Kentucky Derby to help fill the void left by the postponement of the real event.
The virtual Kentucky Derby
CDI will host the day-long virtual event on May 5, the date the Kentucky Derby was initially set to take place. The virtual event will also include a simulated Kentucky Derby race.
The event, which will be called, the Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown was developed in partnership with Inspired Entertainment. The virtual race will feature the past 13 Triple Crown winners and use data algorithms to determine the probability of their potential race positions.
Fans will be able to visit the official Kentucky Derby website and select the horse they think will win the virtual race. These fans will also have the opportunity to win a VIP experience at the actual Kentucky Derby which will be held in September.
Bettors will also be able to make donations to the coronavirus emergency relief fund in the US. CDI has pledged to match up to $1m worth of donations with funds to be directed to the Team Kentucky Fund and Direct Relief.
Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Incorporated, said: “The anticipation of which Triple Crown winner will emerge as the ultimate champion is thrilling but most importantly, we are proud to use this platform as a force for good by raising money for these worthy COVID-19 emergency initiatives. We urge fans to join us by donating and celebrating with us from home.”
Kevin Flanery, President of Churchill Downs Racetrack, said: “For many fans around the country, the first Saturday in May has become a part of their family’s yearly traditions. While we eagerly look forward to the 146thKentucky 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.”