Horse racing fans are lamenting that this week is typically Kentucky Derby Week, with the “Run for the Roses” slated for the first Saturday in May. As the Derby has been postponed to the fall, NBC will broadcast a virtual Derby on Saturday, May 2, featuring 13 Triple Crown champions as contenders. Fans can visit the Kentucky Derby website here to pick the winner of this weekend’s race and enter the Triple Crown Showdown Sweepstakes for a 2020 Derby Ultimate Experience, while also having the opportunity to make donations to Churchill Downs’ COVID-19 relief effort.
One of the 13 runners in the virtual Derby is Assault, the only Texas-bred colt to win the Triple Crown–an unlikely hero due to his diminutive size and deformed right front hoof. The Times previously contributed the story, “Remembering a Texas Legend: Texas-bred Assault still attracts attention more than 70 years after his birth,” to American Racehorse. Here’s one of our favorite quotes from this piece regarding Assault’s Derby victory:
“Assault is the name, but he looked like Murder, Inc., today as he won the seventy-second running of the Kentucky Derby,” wrote Walter Haight for The Washington Post about Assault’s victory over a sloppy Churchill Downs track in 1946. “With a stretch move that smacked of jet propulsion, the Texas-bred colt with a Brooklyn cowboy in the saddle shot to the wire eight lengths ahead of the closest opposition in a field of 17 seeking the richest Derby prize before a record crowd of more than 100,000.”
Read more in American Racehorse magazine about this Hall of Famer here on pages 42-43, and you might just pick him as Saturday’s winner.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Virtual Derby!
Editor, Turf History Times