While the COVID-19 pandemic may have put live sports action on hold, even postponing this year’s Kentucky Derby, horse racing fans can still fulfill their betting fix this weekend.
NBC is broadcasting a virtual Kentucky Derby on Saturday pitting 13 Triple Crown-winning horses against each other in a simulated race on the Churchill Downs track. Some of the most well-known horses in history, from Sir Barton to Secretariat to Justify, will compete to determine the greatest horse of all time.
Here’s everything you need to know about the virtual Kentucky Derby, including the odds and how to watch.
Virtual Kentucky Derby odds 2020
Citation (1948 winner) is the favorite to win at 4-1 odds. Affirmed (1978) and Seattle Slew (1977) are also strong contenders at 5-1 odds. They’re the only two horses in this race to actually compete against each other, going head-to-head in the 1978 Marlboro Cup at Belmont Park. Seattle Slew won by three lengths. American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018) are the most recent Triple Crown winners and come in at 6-1 and 15-1 odds, respectively.
Actual betting is not allowed on the race because it’s a charity event, but you can try to pick a winner at KentuckyDerby.com. Those who get it correct will be entered to win a Kentucky Derby 146 VIP experience.
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What is the Triple Crown Showdown?
The Triple Crown Showdown will pit all 13 Triple Crown winners — horses that swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes in one year — from years’ past against each other in a racing simulation on the virtual 1 1/4-mile track of Churchill Downs.
How to watch the virtual Kentucky Derby
- Start time: 5:45 p.m. ET
- TV channel: NBC
Coverage of the virtual Kentucky Derby starts at 3 p.m. on NBC, but the main event won’t get started until 5:45 p.m. ET.
When is the Kentucky Derby in 2020?
The real life Kentucky Derby was rescheduled from May 2 to Saturday, Sept. 5, in hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic will have flattened out and allow guests to safely attend. If Churchill Downs cannot accommodate a crowd due to social distancing guidelines, it’s likely they will run the race with empty grand stands.