Virtual Kentucky Derby: Schedule & how to watch live stream online
Sports fans have had it hard during these past weeks of lockdown with just about every major event in the calendar seemingly postponed or cancelled. Among the casualties is the 146th Kentucky Derby, which had been due to take place this Saturday, but has now been postponed until September 5.
While horse racing fans won't be able to descend upon Churchill Downs this weekend - some technical ingenuity means the iconic racetrack is still set to host a replacement event.
The Virtual Kentucky Derby takes the form of a computer-simulated race, with sports fans encouraged to take part in nationwide at-home Derby parties to help raise money for COVID-19 emergency relief funds - read on for our full guide to watching the event online.
The virtual version of the world famous race is being put together by Inspired Entertainment, a firm who last month recreated the UK's prestigious Aintree Grand National which proved a big hit with sports-starved racing fans who tuned in live in their millions.
Much like that event, the Virtual Kentucky Derby will bring back big names from yesteryear and is set to feature 13 legendary horses that have all completed the Triple Crown.
The race series, comprising the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Derby, has been won by the likes of War Admiral (1937), Secretariat (1973) and American Pharoah (2015).
Virtual attendees of Saturday's computer generated event are being invited to choose their favourite horse to win the simulated ten-furlong contest on dirt online and make a donation to charity, with a total of $1 million set to be matched by Churchill Downs.
The Virtual Kentucky Derby: Where and when?
The Virtual Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday May 2, at 5:45pm.
Race day coverage in the US will be shared across NBC and NBCSN and KY Derby's Facebook and Twitter pages with the action running from 3 to 6 pm (EST). The coverage will feature an interactive virtual Kentucky Derby party designed to bring the race day experience to your living room, plus documentaries and interviews charting the races' history.
The main event of the Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown will be broadcast live at 5:45pm.
Watch the Virtual Kentucky Derby online from outside the US
If you're looking to watch the Virtual Kentucky Derby, but find yourself away from the US then you'll run into problems when trying to stream domestic coverage online from abroad as it's likely to be geo-blocked.
That's where a VPN (Virtual Private Network) can be a lifesaver. They allow you to virtually change the ISP of your laptop, tablet or mobile to one that's back in your home country, letting you watch as if you were back there.
VPN's are incredibly easy to use and have the added benefit of giving you a further layer
of security when surfing the web. There are lots of options, and we...