Secretariat holds on to win virtual Kentucky Derby

Even in the virtual world, Secretariat stands above all.

Regarded by many as the greatest race horse of all time, Secretariat charged to the front on the home stretch then held off Citation on Saturday to win the Triple Crown Showdown — a virtual Kentucky Derby featuring the 13 Triple Crown winners.

The real Kentucky Derby was supposed to run Saturday at Churchill Downs but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The real race is currently slated for Sept. 5.

As for Saturday, Seattle Slew — the 1977 Triple Crown winner — took the lead out of the gate and led much of the race. As the field headed into the far turn, Seattle Slew and 1943 winner Count Fleet ran neck-and-neck, with Count Fleet briefly taking the lead heading into the final turn.

After failing to split the top two horses through the turn, Secretariat — the 1973 Triple Crown winner who started Saturday from the third position — followed American Pharoah (2015) and Whirlaway (1941) to the outside. After Whirlaway bumped American Pharoah and forced him further outside, Secretariat split those two and made his charge down the stretch.

Citation (1948) was the only horse that could keep up with the winner over the final 1/16th, riding the rail but finishing half a length back. Seattle Slew held on for third, followed by Affirmed (1978) and American Pharoah. The top five comprised the five most recent winners other than Justify (2018)

Secretariat, who capped his 1973 Crown with a legendary 31-length win at the Belmont Stakes, was the 7-2 favorite on Saturday. Citation and Whirlaway were 4-1, followed by Seattle Slew and Affirmed at 5-1.

–Field Level Media

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