Woodford Reserve, the Presenting Sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, has joined with Churchill Downs for a nationwide, at-home celebration to honor the derby’s traditions, while also raising up to $2 million for people impacted by the global pandemic.
The Kentucky Derby has been postponed for just the second time in its 146-year history. The first was in 1945, when World War II pushed the race from May to early June.
The day-long virtual experience will take place on Saturday, May 2, the original date for the annual race, which has been moved to Sept. 5. Churchill Downs and Woodford Reserve will offer content on social media during the day, followed by NBC’s 3 p.m.-to-6 p.m. re-airing of the 2015 Kentucky Derby that began American Pharaoh’s 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,” says Woodford Reserve Master Distiller Chris Morris. “Now more than ever, it is important to preserve that history and keep the tradition alive.”
A series of interactive virtual experiences, from Kentucky Derby Museum tours to Derby-inspired recipes, are scheduled to air on Kentucky Derby’s official social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @KentuckyDerby). Woodford Reserve will join the at-home celebration with the following programming:
● 2 p.m. Bourbon, Horses & History — Morris will demonstrate how to make a Mint Julep while speaking about the history that connects thoroughbreds, bourbon and Derby. Assistant Master Distiller Elizabeth McCall, an expectant mother, will share her favorite mocktail recipes inspired by Derby cocktail classics. She will also share tips to enjoy the day with the entire family.
● 3 p.m. A Global Live Toast to Derby — Morris and McCall will join Derby fans from all over the world for a toast to celebrate the First Saturday in May, and look forward to the Sept. 5 Run for the Roses. The toast will be on Woodford Reserve’s YouTube Live channel. The day’s virtual events also include Churchill Downs’ first-ever virtual horse race, The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown.
Beginning on April 30, fans will be able to visit KentuckyDerby.com to choose a horse to win the virtual race, and can join Churchill Downs in making a charitable donation to COVID-19 emergency relief efforts. Churchill Downs has pledged to match up to $1 million of donations, for a total potential donation of $2 million.