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Kentucky Derby to be postponed until Sept. 5 in response to Covid-19 pandemic; Preakness may follow

Even Kentucky’s most famous rite of spring is not immune to the spread of COVID 19. Churchill Downs has announced that the 2020 Kentucky Derby, originally scheduled for May 2 (the first Saturday in May) will be postponed until September 5.

Churchill Downs Incorporated CEO, Bill Carstanjen released the following statement:

“Throughout the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic, our first priority has been how to best protect the safety and health of our guests, team members and community. As the situation evolved, we steadily made all necessary operational adjustments to provide the safest experience and environment. The most recent developments have led us to make some very difficult, but we believe, necessary decisions and our hearts are with those who have been or continue to be affected by this pandemic.

“Our team is united in our commitment to holding the very best Kentucky Derby ever and certainly the most unique in any of our lifetimes. While we are always respectful of the time-honored traditions of the Kentucky Derby, our Company’s true legacy is one of resilience, the embracing of change and unshakeable resolve.”

For more details about ticket refund policy, the schedule for Derby Week and other updates regarding access to the track can be found here. This site will be updated as more information becomes available.

The Thoroughbred News Services has provided reactions from several horsemen with horses on the Derby trail.

Trainer Tom Amoss (among the leading trainers at the Fair Grounds and Churchill Downs):

Scott Blasi, assistant to trainer Steve Asmussen (they have Silver State and Chestertown in Louisiana Derby and leading Kentucky Oaks contender Finite in the Fair Grounds Oaks Saturday):

David Carroll, assistant to trainer Mark Casse (they have favored Enforceable and Lynn’s Map in the Louisiana Derby)

Discussions also underway to postpone the Preakness Stakes

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that the state is in active discussions to postpone the Preakness Stakes. If the race is postponed it is expected to follow the traditional schedule and be run two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, in late September.

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