Kentucky Derby Is Postponed Until September Because of Coronavirus

Written by on March 17, 2020

For the primary time since World Struggle II, the Kentucky Derby is not going to happen on the primary Saturday in Might.

The Derby, the primary jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown, grew to become the most recent marquee sporting occasion pressured to postpone due to the deepening coronavirus pandemic.

Tonya Abeln, a spokeswoman for Churchill Downs, mentioned in an e mail on Monday evening that the race wouldn’t go forward as scheduled.

Churchill Downs will maintain a convention name on Tuesday morning to announce a make-up date for the race, which is anticipated to be Sept. 5. The Courier-Journal newspaper in Louisville, Ky., the place the race is held, had earlier reported the postponement and the brand new date.

The postponement got here as Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky ordered faculties and eating places closed to attempt to stop the unfold of the virus within the state, the place it has killed at the least one particular person. Mr. Beshear, like lots of his counterparts, urged the general public to cancel gatherings.

The Derby, which promotes itself because the “most fun two minutes in sports activities,” often attracts greater than 150,000 spectators to the famed racetrack with its twin spires. A lot of them sip on mint juleps and it’s customary for girls to put on ornate hats to the race.

Kentucky officers additionally introduced on Monday that they have been postponing the state’s presidential primary from May 19 to June 23 due to the well being emergency.

Keeneland, a racecourse in Lexington, Ky., that’s house to the Blue Grass Stakes, mentioned that it was canceling the spring race meet as effectively.

The coronavirus has transformed the sporting landscape. The N.B.A., the N.H.L., Main League Baseball and NASCAR have all suspended competitors, and the N.C.A.A. canceled all of its championships. And the Masters golf event has been postponed.

Racetracks throughout the nation have been shuttered to the general public, however races are nonetheless being run and bets are nonetheless being welcomed. In keeping with The Courier-Journal, the Derby and the weeks of celebration that encompass it infuse the region with about $400 million yearly.

In 1945, the Kentucky Derby was held on June 9, a few month after the federal government lifted a ban on horse racing that it put in place due to World Struggle II. The one different 12 months the race didn’t happen on the primary Saturday in Might was in 1901.

Final 12 months’s Derby, the 145th, ended in controversy after a 21-minute video evaluation. Though Most Safety crossed the end line first, the horse was in the end disqualified for impeding an opponent. As a substitute, Nation Home was declared the victor at 65-1 odds.


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