Triple Crown winners to race (virtually) on first Saturday in May

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The first Saturday in May may look different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t watch a Kentucky Derby.

NBC and Churchill Downs will have a special broadcast of the 2015 Kentucky Derby, the first race that led to American Pharoah’s Triple Crown win.

The event will also feature Churchill Down’s first virtual race which will feature the 13 Triple Crown winners. According to Churchill Downs, the race will use data algorithms, including historical handicapping information, to determine the probability of their potential finishing positions.

“For many fans around the country, the first Saturday in May has become a part of their family’s yearly traditions,” Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery said. “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.”

Beginning April 30, people can choose their favorite Triple Crown winner online by clicking here.

While selecting their horse, people can also make a charitable donation to the COVID-19 emergency relief efforts. Churchill Downs set a goal of raising $2 million and will match up to $1 million.

Those who select the winning horse will be entered to win the ultimate Kentucky Derby 146 VIP Experience.

“The anticipation of which Triple Crown winner will emerge as the ultimate champion is thrilling,” Churchill Downs Incorporated CEO Bill Carstanjen said, “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.”

During the program, Churchill Downs will be hosting an at-home Kentucky Derby party using #KyDerbyAtHome. People can join in using @KentuckyDerby on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 146th Kentucky Derby has been rescheduled for Sept. 5.