If you’re not planning on flying your Learjet to Louisville for the 2021 Kentucky Derby on May 1—yes, Churchill Downs is allowing some fans in and will be at 40 percent or possibly even 50 percent capacity on the day of—Saratoga’s National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is offering fans the next best thing.
The museum will be presenting a pair of virtual Zoom programs related to the Derby, as well as launching a special “Derby at Home” section on its website, to help racing fans plan for the 147th running of the “Run for the Roses.”
Getting Derby week started off on the right hoof on Monday, April 26, the museum will host its first of two Zoom programs, featuring jockey Diane Crump and author Mark Shrager, who teamed up for the book Diane Crump: A Horse Racing Pioneer’s Life in the Saddle. In 1969, Crump became the first woman to ride in a parimutuel race in the United States, and the following year, she made more history as the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby. Interested parties can sign up for the program here.
On Thursday, April 29, the museum will host its annual Derby preview panel at 1pm, moderated by Hall of Fame and Communications Director Brien Bouyea (also Saratoga Living‘s sports editor). It will feature special guests Capital OTB TV handicapper and analyst Tom Amello, as well as Daily Racing Form reporter Nicole Russo, who will be reporting in live from Churchill Downs. The program will feature analysis of the Derby field and key prep races, along with predictions and longshots to keep an eye on. (Amateur handicappers can register here.)
Also on the 29th, the museum’s “Derby at Home” hub will go live on its homepage (it can be accessed here but not before the 29th). It will be available through May 1 and feature a point-by-point guide to enjoying the Derby from the comfort of your Saratoga home, including recipes, handicapping tips, Derby history, family activities, fashion suggestions and party supplies.
There will also be an opportunity to support the museum via the Derby hub and be entered to win one of six gift baskets. (Winners will be announced on Monday, May 3, and contacted via phone or email.) Furthermore, the hub page will include a special promo code from NYRA Bets and past performances for both the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks, courtesy of Equibase. Additionally, the museum will be showcase an educational video and several objects from its collection related to the Derby, and there will be a 15 percent discount offered at the museum gift shop from April 29 through May 1.