Secretariat wins computer-simulated Kentucky Derby
Secretariat found his stride down the stretch and emerged victorious on Saturday in a computer-simulated Kentucky Derby, which pitted all 13 US Triple Crown winners against each other.
Seattle Slew, the 1977 hat-trick hero, led for most of the race but had to settle for third, after being overtaken by the victorious chestnut stallion, who won the Triple Crown in 1973 and whose story inspired a Disney film in 2010.
Citation, the 1948 Triple Crown winner and the first horse to earn US$1 million ($1.4 million), came in second.
The Triple Crown consists of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, and was most recently won by Justify in 2018.
Horse racing has gone online as the coronavirus crisis forces the cancellation or postponement of meetings, including this month's Grand National in Britain, which was also turned into a virtual race.
With the Kentucky Derby forced from its traditional first Saturday in May by the coronavirus outbreak, the first jewel of the Triple Crown was postponed to Sept 5.
Churchill Downs, which is home to the Kentucky Derby, said it was hoping to raise US$2 million for Covid-19 emergency relief from the race, which utilised data algorithms to help determine the probability of their potential finishing positions.
Churchill Downs had said that it would open for spectator-free racing on May 16, under strict guidelines to mitigate risks from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, taking over the Kentucky Derby spotlight on Saturday was the Arkansas Derby, which was divided into two divisions .
Charlatan, ridden by Martin Garcia, led all the way to convincingly win the first by six lengths. Nadal, named after the Spanish tennis star Rafael, was equally impressive in the second flight. Jockey Joel Rosario guided the colt into the lead around the top turn on the Oaklawn Park dirt at Hot Springs, before pulling away to score by three lengths. - REUTERS