Virtual Kentucky Derby simply cannot match reality


They ran a virtual Kentucky Derby on NBC on Saturday afternoon, with electronic versions of the great Derby horses of all time. The secretariat released Citation, which loaded late on the rail. “Data-reactid =” 13 “> They ran a virtual Kentucky Derby on NBC on Saturday afternoon, featuring electronic versions of the great Derby horses of all time. Quote, which made a late charge on the rail.

As far as the Kentucky Derby is concerned, the virtual is not close to reality. Believe me.

which missed its first annual Saturday in May and left another hole in the heart of sports America. “Data-reactid =” 15 “> The virtual Kentucky Derby was run in place of the real Derby, which missed its first annual Saturday in May and left another hole in the heart of sports America.

There is always a chance that we will have a Kentucky Derby in 2020. The Derby was postponed to September 5 due to the coronavirus, which keeps hope for the country’s oldest annual sporting event. Every year since 1875 there has been a Kentucky Derby.

Since 2007, a team of my university friends have ventured into the Kentucky Derby in one form or another. What started as a barn in the inner field has gradually improved in the same way in life that you finally traded Bud Light for an IPA or SoCo for Tito.

From sitting on the ground in Dale Earnhardt folding chairs purchased from Walmart to buying tickets from the grandstand and occasionally sneaking into suites, figuring out how to navigate the Derby has become iconic trying to navigate life at late twenties.

Runners cross the finish line during the 145th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Ian Johnson / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

I went to 10 Kentucky Derbys. It may be nine o’clock. I’m really not sure. But I was enough that I went from the guy at the front of the bet line unable to make a three wheel bet to the guy annoyed by the guy at the front of the bet line who can’t put in a three wheel bet. (True horse racing veterans, of course, do all of their betting work electronically. But I still want to sign up for this betting account TVG is the rubicon that a laid back horse fan doesn’t want not cross.)

The first part of what hurt so much a first week without Derby in May was the calendar alerts. Marriott sent them, reminding me of a hotel room in Louisville that had been canceled in late March. This was quickly canceled out by the forecast of incessant sunshine and 82 degrees, as the rain falling on Derby Day became as expected as the price hikes in dealerships. (Local residents celebrated the Derby in disguise on their porches, a community celebration perfect for a city that loves its horses.)

Rain has taken Derby 11 into account for the past 13 years. So when people ask me to make Mint Juleps, I say that I have become more of an expert in rain ponchos and smuggling umbrellas. (By the way, mint Juleps are disgusting.)

Without a Kentucky Derby this first Saturday in May, they ran the Arkansas Derby a few weeks after their normal start time. There were no fans. No frills. No circle of winners. Just a glimpse of what we normally receive on the first Saturday in May, but at Oaklawn Park instead of Churchill Downs.

A crowd of the Derby team – an unwieldy and ever-changing group – gathered in a Zoom on Saturday afternoon to toast our loss of the Derby and the inevitable losses. About twenty people entered and left all over the country. Some pets and some strangers, that’s about how the Derby works. We lost money when we discovered ourselves in the Oaklawn final to sink our choice 5. I would have been disappointed if the feeling was not so familiar and comforting.

The chatter of this unmistakable Derby verbiage came to life for a few hours.

Fans are seen in the indoor field at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday May 4, 2019, in Louisville, Kentucky (AP Photo / Gregory Payan)

And, finally, after the end of the map at Oaklawn, the temptation for the next race was hidden. “The races in Japan start in 26 minutes. “

I have learned that the new litmus test for racing in the middle of the road is degenerating, that they are betting on races at Fonner Park in Grand Island, Nebraska. The elite degenerate on the call, both realized they were betting on the same trotters in Sweden at 4 am (“Was it the day it is snowing?”, Asked one. “Yes! Yelled another.)

Anyone who was introduced to the world of horse racing late in life realizes that it’s a bit like learning a new language with a minor in math. The “morning steam” – aka runway gossip – starts every day. Learning Beyer numbers, tri-boxes and Pick-4s is a bit like learning a club. The moment you leave the Derby and speak the language for three days, you go to Starbucks and wonder if you can put your tea and brew cold.

Most of the Kentucky Derbies I have attended, I have left them over-served, light in the wallet and wet. Definitely damp. But I have yet to meet a horse player who only talks about his losses, which is why I will always remember leaving the Derby 2011 with so many hundred dollar bills that I could not close my wallet. Thank you, Animal Kingdom, who came home around 20-1.

(This swagger should be quickly counterbalanced by the reality of each player and horse player – the victory that year at Churchill paled in losses from the previous three years when I left broke and wet. Always wet.

One of my favorite parts is the Derby buildup. Wednesday, the track is calm, because the beers are always $ 6, the stands are empty and the parking lot is filled with Dodge Darts. There is less pretense than your average American bowling alley. On Saturday, it was as if Woodstock had exploded on the ground, the stands pulsating with Prada and stretched limousines saved for the blocks to enter. A-listers can all afford beers for $ 11.

Fans in the stands celebrate before the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on Friday May 3, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. Friday is Kentucky Oaks Day. (Photo AP / Gregory Payan)

The biggest misconception about the Derby is that it’s just one race. There are usually a dozen races on the Thursday map, followed by Kentucky Oaks day on Friday, and at least another dozen on Derby day. (I was told it was easy to lose all your money before launching the Derby itself, so be careful with that.)

All of these races and bets provide the accumulation for the real Derby, which is equally ridiculous and wonderful. Each year, goosebumps appear on demand when this bugle pierces the din of the “Call to the Post”. The planning months, steam weeks and beverage days are channeled into these two glorious minutes.

The two races after the Derby take place when Churchill Downs returns to just the other 51 weeks. Desperate gamblers place $ 500 bets to reduce losses around the same time as limousines arrive at private airports.

Then everything ends, and on Sunday morning, you feel like the day after the university degree. Everyone is tired, hoarse, broke and facing the cruel reality of 51 weeks from Monday until the next Derby.

And, of course, once we dry our clothes and our blood, we always start planning for next year’s reunion. Hopefully by May, world order will be restored and we will toast not to have to bet on races in Sweden and Nebraska. Most of us, anyway.

Party people dive into a rainwater sump in the indoor field at Churchill Downs after a sudden downpour that soaked the track during the Kentucky Derby Day festivities on Saturday May 1, 2004 in Louisville, Ky. ( AP)


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