Virtual Kentucky Derby at Home Party: Date, start time, TV, how to watch, live stream

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On May 2, Churchill Downs will empty on the first Saturday in May for the first time since 1945. The 146th Kentucky Derby has been moved from May 2 to Saturday, September 5 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the party will still go on—with a virtual Kentucky Derby at home.

Stay healthy at home on May 2 for a virtual Kentucky Derby at Home Party with NBC Sports’ Derby Party Pack, featuring recipes for traditional Kentucky Derby foods and cocktails, printable decorations, at-home fashion tips, kids crafts and more.

Click here to download NBC Sports’ Derby Party Pack

Fans can stay healthy at home as NBC Sports and Churchill Downs partner for a virtual Kentucky Derby at Home Party, which includes The First Saturday In May: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown, a look back at American Pharoah’s 2015 Derby win en route to his historic Triple Crown, and 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.

On May 2, during what would normally be Derby Day, tune into NBC from 3-6 p.m. ET to watch both The First Saturday In May: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown and The Kentucky Derby: Triple Crown Showdown. The broadcast can also be streamed on NBCSports.com and on the NBC Sports app.

Click here to stream The First Saturday In May on NBC

Take the party online using #KYDerbyAtHome on social media, making your virtual Kentucky Derby pick and joining Churchill Downs in donating to COVID-19 relief efforts. Everyone who correctly picks the winner will be entered to win the ultimate Kentucky Derby 146 VIP experience. In addition, follow @NBCSports on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for live looks around Churchill Downs and content from at-home parties across the country.

“Churchill Downs has pledged to match up to $1 million of donations with funds to be directed to the Team Kentucky Fund and Direct Relief,” Churchill Downs announced. “A small percentage will be earmarked for the R.E.I.N. Fund (Relief for Equine Industry Needs), a program managed by Churchill Downs Foundation designed to benefit workers of the backside whose livelihood has been impacted by COVID-19 and also to help ensure essential care for horses throughout the pandemic.”

After the broadcast, tune into NBCSN at 6 p.m. for the Arkansas Derby, one of the major Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying races. This year, the race will be split between two divisions, with 170 qualifying points on the line in each division. Bob Baffert, American Pharoah’s Hall of Fame trainer, fields Charlatan in the first division and Nadal in the second. Storm the Court, who stormed his way to a 45-1 upset in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile last fall, will also race in the second division.

Watch ‘The First Saturday In May’ on Saturday, May 2 from 3-6 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Jason Servis, trainer of Maximum Security, pleads guilty to drugging his horses

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NEW YORK – Trainer Jason Servis, whose horse Maximum Security was the 3-year-old champion in 2019, pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges involving a widespread scheme to drug horses.

The 65-year-old New Jersey-based trainer faces four years in prison when he is sentenced next May in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. He was the last defendant facing charges in the scheme, and now 23 of the 31 individuals charged have pleaded guilty.

Servis pleaded guilty in connection with his role in the distribution of adulterated and misbranded drugs intended for use on horses in his stable.

“Servis’ conduct represents corruption at the highest levels of the racehorse industry,” Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement. “As a licensed racehorse trainer, Servis was bound to protect the horses under his care and to comply with racing rules designed to ensure the safety and well-being of horses and protect the integrity of the sport.”

Servis’ attorney, Rita Glavin, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Servis was charged in 2020 after a wide-ranging investigation into doping in the horse racing industry. Racing authorities suspended his trainer’s license.

Maximum Security finished first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby but was disqualified for interference during the running of the race. The colt finished first in the $10 million Saudi Cup shortly before Servis’ arrest in March 2020. Saudi officials later withheld the winner’s share of the purse, citing Servis’ arrest and indictment.

“I don’t take any solace in other peoples misery, actually quite the opposite I feel some empathy for them,” Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Graham Motion tweeted, “but the reality is that those of us who were beaten by Jason Service’s (sic) horses have little to show for it other than losing money, owners and horses due to his success.”

Another New Jersey-based trainer, Jorge Navarro, is serving a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty a year ago. Eleven of the defendants were trainers and seven were veterinarians.

Servis is the brother of trainer John Servis, who trained Smarty Jones to victories in the 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness before the colt lost his Triple Crown bid in the Belmont.

Irad Ortiz sets single-season record with 77th stakes win

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NEW YORK – Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. earned his record 77th single-season North American stakes victory when he guided Dr B to victory in the $200,000 Go for Wand at Aqueduct.

The 30-year-old native of Puerto Rico broke the old mark of 76 set by the late Hall of Fame rider Garrett Gomez in 2007.

“This is great. Amazing feeling,” said Ortiz, Jr., who won the Eclipse Award as outstanding jockey from 2018-20. “Gomez did it in 2007 and he was a great rider, one of the best in the game. I’m so happy just to be a part of this. I love this sport.”

Ortiz Jr. won the Belmont Stakes with Mo Donegal in June to go with Breeders’ Cup victories in the Juvenile, Filly & Mare Sprint and Sprint. He also earned nine other Grade 1 wins in New York, including Life Is Good in the Woodward and Whitney and Nest in the Alabama and Coaching Club Oaks. He won riding titles at Belmont’s spring-summer meet and Saratoga’s summer meet.

Ortiz Jr. leads North American riders with 304 overall victories this year. His purse earnings totaled over $35.8 million going into Saturday’s races, which already surpassed his single-season record of $34.1 million in 2019.