Secretariat claims virtual Kentucky Derby title in Triple Crown showdown

The Kentucky Derby was postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking just the second time in the race’s history that it wasn’t held on the first Saturday in May. 

That, though, didn’t stop the race from being run on time.

Well, kind of. 

Secretariat surged ahead late to win the virtual Kentucky Derby on Saturday, beating out 12 fellow Triple Crown winners in the simulated race at Churchill Downs.

Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973, sweeping the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness before winning the Belmont by a record 31 lengths. Citation, who pulled off the feat in 1948, finished second in the virtual race, and Seattle Slew took third. 

The most recent Triple Crown winner, Justify, finished in eighth. 

The real American Pharoah, who won the three races in 2015, was shown on the NBC broadcast on Saturday, with a television set up in front of his stall so he could see the race.  

The real Kentucky Derby was postponed until Sept. 5. The only other time in history that the race had been postponed was during World War II.

The Turtle Derby

The virtual derby wasn’t the only big race of the weekend.

Old Forester, the official mint julep of the Kentucky Derby, put on the Kentucky Turtle Derby on Saturday afternoon. The race featured eight turtles placed in the center of a ring with a finish line on the outside. 

While it took a bit for the turtles to get moving, What The Turtleneck snuck ahead in the final seconds to grab the title. 

It wasn’t the real thing by any means, and a whole lot slower, but it at least provided fans with a real race to watch. 

Bob Baffert’s horse win the Arkansas Derby

There was actual horse racing that took place on Saturday.

The Arkansas Derby, which was scheduled to be held last month at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Arkansas, was pushed back due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Legendary trainer Bob Baffert came out on top, too.

Baffert’s Charlatan led throughout the entire race of the first division to claim the title in 1:48.49 in the 1 1/8-mile race. Charlatan now holds a 3-0 record, and picked up 170 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.

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