Toasting The First Saturday in May– Virtual Kentucky Derby; Plus STL Aquarium’s Ken-Turtle Derby

By Suzanne Corbett, Travel / Food Editor

With the postponement of the Kentucky Derby, the first Saturday in May won’t quite be the same this year.  I’ll miss the run for the roses, which has been moved to the first Saturday September.  But that doesn’t mean I can’t sip a mint julep and watch Derby Day re-broadcasts.

Of course, there still will be racing action. One fun event planned is the Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown, a socially distant, computer-simulated edition of the Run for the Roses that pits all 13 Triple Crown winners against each other.

Thanks to computer simulation technology, the 13 Triple Crown winners will square off in a virtual “Kentucky Derby” to be broadcast by NBC on May 2. Fans will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite.

The event a fundraiser for Covid-19 relief of which the Churchill Downs Foundation. Bet on your winner and for the Churchill Downs Foundation will match every dollar donated up to $1,000.000. To pick your winner, visit

I think I‘ll place my bet on the 8-1 favorite, War Admiral, the 1937 Derby winner.

Turtles use this oneI’ll also bet on Tilly, the three toed box turtle who’s making the Run for the Romaine, at the first running of the KenTURTLE Derby at the St. Louis Aquarium at 1 p.m. . She’s one of a field of three who will face off on Saturday  May 2 at what’s being touted as the slowest 10 minutes in sports.

Post time for the online Aquarium event is 1p.m.  Fans can view the race on the St Louis Aquarium’s Facebook page. It’s also where you’ll find turtle/racer stats, voting opportunities and printable flags to root for your favorite racer.

Since the Derby itself has been cancelled there are other area events revolving around the Kentucky Derby.

The Third Annual Horses & Hats Derby Party at Legends Country Club to benefit Epworth as well as the Kentucky Derby Party to benefit the Ronald Mc Donald Houses of St. Louis were both cancelled.

To enjoy the race day action – no matter what’s running on the track –  toast the winners with one of the signature drinks of Churchill Downs. A Mint Julep or a Spire, both featuring the official bourbon of the Kentucky Derby, Woodford Reserve.


The Official Kentucky Derby Mint Julep

3-5 mint leaves

1teaspoon Powdered Sugar

2t teaspoon Water

2 oz. Woodford Reserve Bourbon

Crushed Ice

Muddle (stir/gentle crush) four mint springs and sugar in the bottom of a julep glass. Add water, continuing to muddle contents to a paste. Add Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Pack the julep glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a mint spring for and don’t forget the sipping straw.


Woodford_Reserve_Spire_Recipe_PageThe  Woodford Reserve Spire

1 ½ ounces Woodford Reserve Bourbon

2 ounces lemonade

1 ounce cranberry juice

Lemon twist for garnish

Combine the bourbon, lemonade and cranberry juice in a rocks glass filled  with ice. Stir and garnish with a lemon twist.