Secretariat has been established as the horse to beat in Saturday's Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown by odds maker Mike Battaglia.
The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown is an animated race created by Inspired Entertainment Inc. using computer-generated imagery that will feature the 13 past Triple Crown winners in a 1 1/4-mile race at Churchill Downs. The virtual race will air around 5:45 p.m. as part of NBC's broadcast of “The First Saturday In May: American Pharoah's Run to the Triple Crown” Saturday from 3-6 p.m.
Secretariat landed post position three in a random draw for the field of 13 legends and was made the 7-2 morning line favorite. Calumet Farm's multiple champion Citation is the 4-1 second choice with Seattle Slew and Affirmed, the 1977-78 Triple Crown winners, respectively, each listed at 5-1.
The complete field from the rail out (with Triple Crown-winning year, jockey, trainer and morning line odds): #1 Affirmed (1978, Steve Cauthen, Laz Barrera, 5-1); #2 Assault (1946, Warren Mehrtens, Max Hirsch, 20-1); #3 Secretariat (1973, Ron Turcotte, Lucien Lauren, 7-2); #4 Sir Barton (1919, Johnny Loftus, Guy Bedwell, 20-1); #5 Seattle Slew (1977, Jean Cruguet, Billy Turner Jr., 5-1); #6 American Phraoah (2015, Victor Espinoza, Bob Baffert, 6-1); #7 Gallant Fox (1930, Earl Sande, “Sunny” Jim Fitzsimmons, 20-1); #8 Citation (1948, Eddie Arcaro, Ben Jones, 4-1); #9 War Admiral (1937, Charlie Kurtsinger, George Conway, 8-1); #10 Whirlaway (1941, Eddie Arcaro, Ben Jones, 4-1); #11 Count Fleet (1943, Johnny Longden, Don Cameron, 6-1); #12 Justify (2018, Mike Smith, Bob Baffert, 15-1); and #13 Omaha (1935, Willie “Smokey” Saunders, “Sunny” Jim Fitzsimmons, 20-1).
There is no betting on the virtual race, but starting Thursday at 10 a.m., fans will be able to visit www.KentuckyDerby.com to choose their favorite horse to win the virtual race and also join Churchill Downs in making a charitable donation to COVID-19 emergency relief efforts. All participants who select the winning horse will be entered in a sweepstakes to win an ultimate Kentucky Derby 146 VIP Experience.
Churchill Downs has pledged to match up to $1 million of donations with funds to be directed to the Team Kentucky Fund and Direct Relief. A small percentage will be earmarked for the R.E.I.N. Fund (Relief for Equine Industry Needs), a program managed by Churchill Downs Foundation designed to benefit workers of the backside whose livelihood has been impacted by COVID-19 and also to help ensure essential care for horses throughoutthe pandemic.
A full day of online festivities is planned Saturday, including virtual tours, Derby cocktail and fascinator-making instructions, ideas for party decorations, kids' crafts, Derby-inspired recipes, an at-home Derby fashion contest and much more.