This year, eight elite turtles will compete instead, as the annual horse race had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Kentucky Turtle Derby, sponsored by the bourbon brand Old Forester, whose julep mint is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby, will take place on Saturday at 7 p.m. EAST. Fans can watch the race on Old Forester’s YouTube channel.
“The first time the Kentucky Derby was postponed, they ran turtles, so we thought it would be fun to do something similar and give the fans at home some entertainment this year … And that n not like a good turtle race in May? Campbell Brown, president of the company, told CNN.
The Kentucky Derby, the oldest major continuous sporting event in the United States, is traditionally held on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
The first “Race for the Roses” took place in 1875 and has only been postponed once before. In 1945, war restrictions forced him to be pushed back for a month.
In its place, the first Kentucky Turtle Derby took place. More than 6,000 people gathered in what has become the Louisville Garden Arena to watch 167 turtles slowly make their way to the finish line.
More than 70 years later, the coronavirus pandemic inspired the rebirth of the Kentucky Turtle Derby, jokingly called “the slowest eight minutes in the sport”. However, this time the event will not be held live.
The derby will always feature familiar traditions and voices. Larry Collmus, horse racing announcer at Triple Crown, will call the race from the comfort of his home.
“I got kicked when I was asked to call the Old Forester Kentucky Turtle Derby,” Collmus told CNN. “They thought it would be a good idea to do so [the turtle race] this year they called me and I said, “Of course, why not? I’ve never called a turtle race before, it’s going to be fun. “
Steve Buttleman, who has been the bugle of the race at Churchill Downs for 23 years, will also serenade viewers before the race.
The turtle derby was filmed at a facility in Chicago – where the turtles come from – well known for weekly turtle races, and will be produced to have the appearance of a live sports program, said a spokesperson. – Old Forester’s speech to CNN. .
The winner will be “strung in a garland of roses,” according to derby tradition, and will go down in history as the winner of the 2020 Kentucky Turtle Derby.
As for the Kentucky Derby, it was postponed to September 5.