The Slowest Eight Minutes in Sports: How a turtle derby will replace the Kentucky Derby
Thus, the first Kentucky Turtle Derby was hatched.MORE: Complete list of Kentucky Derby winners, recordsAccording to an article from The Courier-Journal about the first running of the race in 1945, more than 165 turtles were brought in crates to the track at the Jefferson County Armory in Louisville, with 20 being chosen for each of the seven races. Around 6,500 fans filled the stands for the 8 p.m. post time. Twenty turtles participated in seven qualifying races and the winners went on to compete in a 20-foot finale. (Of course, no fans will be allowed at the 2020 running of the turtles.)A turtle named Broken Spring won it all, with a time of 20 feet in two minutes. Broken Spring paid $2.50 on his win, and the race earned a total of $8,000 for a children’s health charity after all bets were paid out, according to museum records.Kentucky Derby fans will certainly hear some familiar sounds of the Derby; the Kentucky Turtle Derby will be called by Triple Crown announcer Larry Collmus, while bugler Steve Buttleman will play before the race.“I don’t think I’ve called a race that’s eight minutes long,” Collmus said. “I’m going to have to drink plenty of water to prepare for that one. With the Kentucky Derby, there’s months of preparation getting to know all the horses, getting the names in your head. These turtles, they’re going to be a little bit new to me.” The turtle race will be taped in Chicago, with turtles such as Sir-Hides-A-Bunch, American Toruga and Galapa-GO! in the field. Post time for Saturday’s race is 7 p.m., and you can watch the race here. “It is weird, but there’s been a lot of weird going on the last couple of months in this country,” Collmus said. “It will be like the Derby broadcast. Just turtles instead.” The Kentucky Derby will not take place May 5 as scheduled because of the outbreak of COVID-19, but taking the place of “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” is something a little slower: the Kentucky Turtle Derby.The Kentucky Derby began in 1875 and has been run every year since. But for the first time since 1945, the Derby won’t be held on the first Saturday in May. In 1945, the government banned horse racing for the first half of the year during World War II, and when the war ended in early May, there wasn’t enough time to hold the race, which they would end up running on June 9.