With the real Kentucky Derby postponed until the first Saturday of September, 13 Triple Crown winners will come together on Saturday for a virtual running of the Run for the Roses and Jazz Sports is offering wagering on the event.
Secretariat, considered by many as the most talented and iconic Thoroughbred to have raced in America, has been established as the horse to beat in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown by veteran odds maker Mike Battaglia.
The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown is an animated race created by Inspired Entertainment Inc. using computer-generated imagery that will feature the 13 past Triple Crown winners in a 1 ¼-mile race at historic Churchill Downs.
Jazz Sports currently has Secretariat listed as the betting favorite at +200 with Citation the second choice at +400. Next in odds are Seattle Slew at +550 and Count Fleet at +600.
The most recent Triple Crown winner Justify is currently listed at +1500 in early wagering at Jazz Sports. The popular American Pharoah, winner of the 2015 Triple Crown is listed at +800 at Jazz Sports.
Virtual Race to Be Nationally Televised
The virtual race will be included in NBC’s broadcast of “The First Saturday In May: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown,” that airs Saturday (May 2) from 3-6 p.m. ET. The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown will air in its entirety during the broadcast at approximately 5:45 p.m. ET.
Secretariat, the two-time Horse of the Year who swept the 1973 Triple Crown with a stirring 31-length romp in the Belmont Stakes, landed post position No. 3 in a random draw for the field of 13 legends and was made the 7-2 morning line favorite. Calumet Farm’s multiple champion Citation, who won 27 of 29 races at age 2 and 3 including a sweep of the 1948 Triple Crown, is the 4-1 second choice with Seattle Slew and Affirmed, the 1977-78 Triple Crown winners, respectively, each listed at 5-1.
The complete field from the rail out (with Triple Crown-winning year, jockey, trainer and morning line odds): #1 Affirmed (1978, Steve Cauthen, Laz Barrera, 5-1); #2 Assault (1946, Warren Mehrtens, Max Hirsch, 20-1); #3 Secretariat (1973, Ron Turcotte, Lucien Lauren, 7-2); #4 Sir Barton (1919, Johnny Loftus, Guy Bedwell, 20-1); #5 Seattle Slew (1977, Jean Cruguet, Billy Turner Jr., 5-1); #6 American Phraoah (2015, Victor Espinoza, Bob Baffert, 6-1); #7 Gallant Fox (1930, Earl Sande, “Sunny” Jim Fitzsimmons, 20-1); #8 Citation (1948, Eddie Arcaro, Ben Jones, 4-1); #9 War Admiral (1937, Charlie Kurtsinger, George Conway, 8-1); #10 Whirlaway (1941, Eddie Arcaro, Ben Jones, 4-1); #11 Count Fleet (1943, Johnny Longden, Don Cameron, 6-1); #12 Justify (2018, Mike Smith, Bob Baffert, 15-1); and #13 Omaha (1935, Willie “Smokey” Saunders, “Sunny” Jim Fitzsimmons, 20-1).
“I’ve got to give Secretariat the edge,” said Battaglia, who has made the morning line at Churchill Downs since 1974. “This was a really fun morning line to make and I’m looking forward to the race.”
Battaglia also quipped: “I didn’t have the heart to hang more than 20-1 odds on a Triple Crown winner!”