The 2020 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve was postponed (to Sept. 5) for only the second time in the 146-year history of the race. The only previous postponement came because of World War II in 1945 when the Derby was instead held in June, and that year turtles raced in place of racehorses on the first Saturday in May.
Bourbon brand Old Forester — the Old Forester Mint Julep is the official drink of the of Kentucky Derby — announced April 30 that it will carry on that turtle tradition in 2020 with the Old Forester Kentucky Turtle Derby on May 2.
NBC’s Triple Crown racecaller Larry Collmus will call the action with Churchill Downs bugler Steve Buttleman providing the “call to the post” for the race, which will be broadcast live with coverage starting Saturday at 7 p.m. ET on Old Forester’s YouTube channel.
The race will feature eight turtles with a scheduled post time of 7:05 p.m., and pre-race odds will be available prior to the turtles taking their place at the start.
There also in a nice charitable aspect to the Kentucky Turtle Derby. Old Forester encourages those who tune in to consider donating to the Hospitality Industry Emergency Relief Fund, and Old Forester’s parent company, Brown-Forman, will match dollar-for-dollar every donation up to $100,000.