Publish Date: 30/05/2021
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis
While the actual Kentucky Derby has been postponed until September, keen punters can still bet on a version of the iconic race on May 2.
A virtual version of the race that pits the 13 winners of the Triple Crown against each other on a computer generated version of the Churchill Downs track will be televised by NBC on May 2.
The race has been named Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown, and will be 'run' over a course that is a mile and a quarter in length.
The horse that is considered by many horse racing fans to be the greatest thoroughbred ever to have raced in the United States, Secretariat, has been made the favourite.
With a morning line of 7/2, it looks as though Secretariat will be attracting plenty of attention from punters keen to make up for the lack of any real horse racing at Churchill Downs.
The actual Kentucky Derby is now set to be run on September 5, but TV viewers in the USA will be treated on Saturday to a day of Derby-themed programming in which the virtual race will feature prominently.
There will even be a familiar presence in the commentary box, with Larry Collmus, who calls the Triple Crown series for NBC, commentating on the race.
As for the odds for the race, they certainly make interesting reading.
"I've got to give Secretariat the edge," Mike Battaglia said.
It was Battaglia who assigned the morning-line for the race, something he has done for actual Kentucky Derby races since 1974.
He added: "This was a really fun morning line to make, and I'm looking forward to the race."
Citation, a Triple Crown winner from 1948, is priced at 4/1, while Justify, who won a Triple Crown in 2018, enjoys odds of 15/1.
Count Fleet, whose year of triumph was 1943, is priced at 6/1. You can also find War Admiral, from 1937, priced at 8/1.
There will be no pari-mutuel betting on the virtual race. But punters can head over to the Kentucky Derby’s official website where they can choose which horse they think will win the race.
They can also make a charitable donation there to Covid-19 related causes.
All punters who pick the winner will be entered in a sweepstakes to win a Kentucky Derby VIP experience for the actual race this year.
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