The Kentucky Derby Goes Digital with Churchill Downs and Woodford Reserve

This May 2, celebrate Derby at home with virtual events, a Mint Julep and mocktail class and a re-airing of AAmerican Pharoah’s historic Triple Crown run in 2015

Apr 24, 2020 at 3:30 pm
click to enlarge The Kentucky Derby Goes Digital with Churchill Downs and Woodford Reserve

While the 146th annual Kentucky Derby may be rescheduled for Sept. 5, there's no reason you can't pop on your seersucker suit, break out a floppy hat with flowers glued to it and pour yourself a mint julep anyway on May 2.

This is just the second time in history the race has been postponed — the first time was in 1945 during World War II, when it was pushed from May to June. And Churchill Downs and Woodford Reserve, the Derby's presenting sponsor, have come up with a creative way to do Derby day at home while simultaneously raising funds for COVID-19.

The day-long party on May 2 will feature a series of interactive virtual experiences on the Kentucky Derby's social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc. @KentuckyDerby) ranging from museum tours to themed recipes. 

At 2 p.m., Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris will teach a class on how to make a perfect Mint Julep, as well as explain why this drink — and bourbon — are associated with the sport of horse racing. Assistant Master Distillery Elizabeth McCall will pop in to share her favorite Derby-inspired mocktails. 

At 3 p.m., there will be a toast to the Derby on Woodford Reserve's YouTube channel.  

Then from 3-6 p.m., NBC will re-air the 2015 Derby, during which American Pharoah made his historic 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's Morris. “Now more than ever, it is important to preserve that history and keep the tradition alive.” 

Churchill Downs will also be hosting its first-ever virtual horse race, The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown.

Head to to pick (and place money on) a horse to win. That charitable donation will be matched up to $1 million by Churchill Downs and go to benefit COVID-19 emergency relief efforts.