One of the oldest horse racing events in the world, the annual Kentucky Derby is a thriller. But how do you watch this event live in New Zealand?
It’s definitely not obvious, but today we’ll show you how.
What is the Kentucky Derby?
The Kentucky Derby is an annual horse race held in Louisville, Kentucky, in the United States. It is held on the final Saturday of May at the Churchill Downs, marking the end of the two-week long Kentucky Derby festival.
The event is known as “The Run for the Roses”, due to the blanket of roses draped over the winner, in addition to “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” for its approximate duration.
The first Kentucky Derby took place in 1875, and it has gone on to be one of the most viewed horse racing events in the world.
It is a Grade 1 stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds and runs at a distance of 1.25 miles (2 kilometres).
How the Kentucky Derby works?
The race is distinct for its various traditions; such as the mint julep, an iced drink of bourbon, sugar syrup and mint, which is the traditional drink of the race, served in an ice-frosted silver julep cup.
Additionally, the song “My Old Kentucky Home” by Stephen Foster is also played by the University of Lousville Cardinal Marching Band, which has been a tradition since 1921.
The term “Riders Up!” is also the traditional command for the jockeys to mount their horses in preparation for the upcoming race, and since 2012, the phrase has been uttered by a dignitary or a celebrity.
Kentucky Derby History
The first event occurred on the 17th of May 1875, in front of an estimated 10,000 people. 15 horses participated in the first Derby, which was won by Oliver Lewis.
Originally, the track was 1.5 miles (2.4 km), and remained so until 1896, where it was changed to the 2 kilometres it is today.
Despite the popularity of the first race, a series of financial difficulties limited the growth of the race up until 1902, when it was acquired by Col. Matt Win of Louisville alongside a syndicate of businessmen.
From there, the Kentucky Derby began to flourish. On May 7, 1949, the race received television coverage for the first time.
The record for the event is held by the legendary Secretariat in 1972, with a time of 1:59 2⁄5.
Why Watch The Kentucky Derby?
The event is incredibly popular in terms of both physical attendance and television viewership.
The spectator arena is always full, and many hundreds of people fly in via private aircraft to the Louisville International Airport to the event. In 2017, a crowd of 158,000 attended the event, making it the 7th biggest attendance in the racetrack’s history.
Millions of people, from all over the globe, bet on the event at online sportsbooks and various live tracks and tune in to watch the race.
In 2019, NBC reported that 16.5 million people had viewed the coverage, which was tied for the most watched Derby since they had begun broadcasting it in 2001.
Attendance for the Kentucky Derby ranks first in North America, usually surpassing the attendance rates of the other stakes races, including the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup. The former two, combined with the Kentucky Derby, form the ‘Triple Crown’ of stakes racing.
Watch Kentucky Derby NZ
The next race is scheduled for Saturday 2nd May 2020.
USA: NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com
UK: Sky Sports Racing
You’ll need a cable provider to use NBC which most of you probably won’t have, fear not, because there are other options that will allow you to watch NBC without being located in the USA.
How To Watch Kentucky Derby In NZ
These three platforms offer 7 day free trials.
- Directv Now
- Sling TV
To access one of these three platforms, you need to use a US or UK based VPN provider. By changing your IP address to make it look like you’re in the US when you’re actually not, you can access the free trials on those platforms.
After much deliberation we believe that PureVPN is the absolute best, most affordable option. It’s compatible with all of your devices and supports the streaming services you need to watch the Kentucky Derby.
You can install the PureVPN app on devices such as iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Xbox, Playstation and of course your Windows, Mac or Linux computers.