Beautiful lady wearing a gorgeous fashion hat at the Kentucky Derby 2019.

Virtual Kentucky Derby

Hats off to Churchill Downs Incorporated (CDI). They are geniuses at making money, the kings of gambling in the horse racing world.

All the while, the horse racing industry in the U.S. continues to be scrutinized for doping, maiming and killing its athletes for which there doesn’t appear to be any sort of remedy for except to shut it all down.

We believe CDI, in possible anticipation of the above has a plan, and that is to eliminate most of live horse racing and replacing it with historic racing, also called instant racing. Heard of it yet? Here’s a quick explanation. Historic or instant racing is is an electronic gambling system that allows players to bet on replays of horse races (or dog races) that have already been run.

First Saturday in May

The Kentucky Derby will not run the first Saturday in May this year; it will run the first Saturday in September instead. We now have a novel replacement for the original May date.

CDI have come up with an idea which is more genius on their part — betting on “historical” horses who have already run — a reinvented Kentucky Derby race run “virtually” among the 13 Triple Crown winners.

Peter Amsel on describes it for us:

Open quote

The Kentucky Derby may have been postponed due to COVID-19 but a virtual all-star version of the race will take its spot on the calendar to raise funds for the state’s pandemic relief efforts.

CDI is taking a page out of the UK’s Grand National, which was supposed to take place in early April but was cancelled due to COVID-19. For three years, Inspired had run a Virtual Grand National prior to the real deal as a teaser but the virtual race took the spotlight this year, raising £2.6m for charity and attracting six times its normal TV audience.

The Triple Crown Showdown will air on NBC on May 2 and, starting April 30, race fans can log on to to make their pick for the virtual winner. Participants will be encouraged to make a donation to COVID-19 relief efforts and CDI has pledged to match these donations up to $1m.

So what do you think? Will you be watching?

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2 thoughts on “Virtual Kentucky Derby”

  1. The truth is CDI and its shareholders have been wanting to completely get out of horse racing for some time now. They want to focus their investments on casinos only with some live music venue or other entertainment.
    I was a shareholder with CDI back in 1999 and they were secretly discussing their options outside of horse racing then.
    They cited liability issues, social attitudes, decreasing wagering profits and just plain cruelty.
    Horse racing is neither a profit machine anymore and the truth is out.
    The only reason why this hasn’t been done is the Holy Grail called the Kentucky Derby.
    They make so much money on that day alone that it carries the entire year.
    Plus, they were under incredible pressure from “horsemen” and old Kentucky racing connections to keep it going.
    However, they stopped horse racing at Calder and want that turned into a casino and development.
    So that’s a huge start.
    It looks like they want nothing to do with horse racing in Chicago ignoring strong pressure to commit to horse racing.
    They haven’t and plans are in the works for anything but horse racing there.
    I can see CDI completely diversifying away from horse racing – it’s already started.
    The Stronach Group should follow their lead so that his antiquated business model can finally be put in the history books where it belongs.


    1. I don’t think the Stronachs are as clever as the leaders at CDI. CDI have carved out a vision for themselves, and are doing what is necessary to achieve it. All the Stronachs do is bellyache about everything. They want business as usual because they cannot adapt their game plan. That’s how it appears anyway. So it will all eventually come to an end for them and they will blame everyone else, such as anti racing and pro horse advocates. How convenient. The best thing the Stronachs can do is to get out now. Santa Anita is a beautiful park; turn it into an entertainment center of some kind.

      Liked by 1 person

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