LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ)- Not in 75 years has Churchill Downs been empty on the first Saturday in May.
The Kentucky Derby has been postponed in 2020 to September 5th due to the coronavirus, but sponsor, Woodford Reserve, and Churchill Downs will still offer a derby of sorts, the first ever “Kentucky Derby at Home”.
The virtual celebration will take place Saturday, May 2nd, the original derby day.
The at-home celebration aims to celebrate while also raising up to $2,000,000 for people impacted by the global pandemic.
Churchill and Woodford Reserve will offer social media content throughout the day then NBC will re-air the 2015 Kentucky Derby from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. That’s the race that started American Pharaoh’s Triple Crown run.
“The Kentucky Derby is not just a horse race — it’s tradition, pageantry and history — and it brings people together from across the globe for the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports,” said Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris. “Now more than ever, it is important to preserve that history and keep the tradition alive.”
You’ll be able to find experiences like a Kentucky Derby Museum tour and Derby-inspired recipes on Kentucky Derby’s official social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram— @KentuckyDerby).
Woodford Reserve says it will offer:
- 2 p.m. — Bourbon, Horses & History — Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris will demonstrate how to make the perfect Mint Julep while speaking about the history that connects thoroughbreds, bourbon and Derby. Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall, an expectant mother, will share her favorite mocktail recipes that are inspired by Derby cocktail classics. She will also share tips to enjoy the day with the entire family.
- 3 p.m. A Global Live Toast to Derby — Morris and McCall will join Derby fans from all over the world join for a toast to celebrate the First Saturday in May and look forward to the Sept. 5 Run for the Roses. The toast will be on Woodford Reserve’s YouTube Live channel.
There will also be a virtual Derby, Chruchill’s first ever virtual horse race, The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown.
Starting April 30, you’ll be able to visit www.KentuckyDerby.com to choose your favorite horse to win the virtual race.
You can donate to COVID-19 emergency relief efforts while “betting”. Churchill has pledged to match up to $1,000,000 of donations, making for a potential $2,000,000 donation.
This is just the second time the Derby has been postponed in its 146 year history. The first time was in 1945 when World War II pushed the race from May to June.